New Entrant Driver Scores Tractor Pull Victory With New Holland

New Entrant Driver Scores Tractor Pull Victory With New Holland

Norwood Farm Machinery Centre Field Technician Todd Fletcher was named the winner of the weight transfer Tractor Pull competition at Mystery Creek Fieldays® in June, despite having not spent as much time behind the wheel of a tractor as some of the other competitors.

This is the first year Todd has entered the competition but it was not his first top showing. He came second in the Central District Field Days tractor pull event in March. No one was more surprised by his success than Todd himself. "I’m a town boy. I haven’t done a lot of tractor driving and I didn’t go there expecting to win. I haven’t had a lot of experience in tractor pulling contests,” he says.

Todd has been a technician with Norwood Farm Machinery Centre since he started his apprenticeship nine years ago. He decided to enter the Central District tractor pull after another entrant pulled out.

"Nick Eames is a contractor here and I used his tractor. He entered in the Central District Field Days but he couldn’t do it because he had a wedding,” he says. Todd drove Nick’s New Holland T7060 in the weight transfer section, which is the newest addition to the popular Mystery Creek Fieldays® tractor pull competition in many years.

In the weight transfer competition, the tractor’s pull weight starts off as rolling weight centred over its wheels and then it is progressively transferred onto a sledge. This continues until the pulling can no longer make forward progress. The tractor that pulls the longest distance is the winner. 

This differs from the previous aim of being the fastest and requires a whole different style of set up and driving skill. A world-first hydraulic weight transfer sled was built for the competition two years ago. Weight transfer tractor pulling is extremely popular in Europe, America and Australia.

Todd spent some time setting up the T7060 before the event, ensuring its weight and tyre pressures were correct. There were different weight options in the competition, with Todd working to get the weight of the tractor as light as possible, at around nine tonnes.

"I had the tractor down at the workshop for a couple of weeks. I’m really biased towards New Hollands as they’re a good tractor. You can just hop in and drive them,” he says. "The T7060 is a mid-range tractor. At 213hp, boosting to 238hp it’s not the smallest or the biggest in the range.”

Todd won a Suzuki motorbike and a cash prize. He thanks Nick Eames for lending him the tractor and Norwood Farm Machinery Centre in Palmerston North for transporting it to Mystery Creek.

Tractor owner Nick Eames was happy with Todd’s result on the New Holland T7060 he uses in his full cultivation business, Eames Ag Contracting Limited in the Beaconsfield Valley, north of Feilding. Nick entered his first tractor pull contest last year and enjoyed the event. "I was pleased for Todd. He set the tractor up and put time in and did his homework and he did it very well,” he says.

Nick is also more than happy with the T7060 tractor, which he’s had for three years, saying he has a great relationship with his local Norwood Farm Machinery Centre branch in Palmerston North.