MOUNT VERNON — There was plenty of good, old fashioned power to spare at the 2012 Knox County Fair antique tractor pull.
With seven different classes, there was something for everyone. Machinery built for brute strength or rebuilt for beauty — or a little of both.
Wes Weiss of Bellville won the 3,500 pound weight class with his completely rebuilt Allis Chalmers WD. Not only was the orange and chrome-plated beauty an eye-catcher, it was packed with power, dragging the sled 165.54 feet.
“Took us two years to build it, to get it built right,” said Weiss, who has been tractor pulling for 15 years. “It’s a 1954 WD. It’s not exactly stock. It’s just a toy. We went from 28 inch rims (on the back) to 38 inch rims. Instead of 16 inch rims on the front. I put 15 inch and that kind of dropped the front end down.”
Bill Souder of Fredericktown took first in the 4,500 pound class . His 1945 John Deere A dragged the sled 169.78 feet. For Souder, tractor pull is a passion.
“We pull all over the state of Ohio,” said Souder. “This tractor was partially restored and I bought it from down around Cincinnati off of eBay.”
Souder willingly shared his secret for the perfect pull.
“Luck,” deadpanned Souder.
Lester McKee of Gambier, used a 1971 John Deere A to win the 5,500 pound class with the biggest pull of the competition — 199.36 feet.
“This tractor was given to me by my uncle,” said McKee. “I restored it and I’ve been bringing it to the fair ever since.”
McKee gave full credit to his tractor.
“I just sat there and let old John Deere work,” said McKee, who raises soybeans and corn as well as cows. “I just went straight down the track. I didn’t go to one side or the other. He just was pulling good.”
Centerburg’s Stuart Brown captured first prize in the 6,500 pound class with a 187.71 foot pull in his 1955 Farmall 400.