(Words and photos by Doug Gregory) – Truck Tug-o-war. This is an event that likely began once there were two trucks in the same vicinity as a handy length of rope. The Kentucky Truck Tuggers have been running at fairs and other events while entertaining spectators for decades. The rulebook is not 3-inches thick and the spirit of the thing is to keep the dollar investment down. There is a payout and a yearly points chase for a championship.
Three official classes run and if there is enough time they also allow street trucks to run class as well, but without points. The classes are 4300lb 4wd, 5500lb 2wd, and 6000lb 4wd. It is not uncommon for the same truck to be used in both 4×4 classes by adding/removing weight. The vehicle rules are fairly simple. Some are:
-Only approved, uncut All-terrain tires can be used. Most everyone uses beadlocks on at least the rear.
-Stock wheelbase with a bed that must cover the tires.
-blow-proof bellhousings, driveshaft loops, u-joint covers, and seatbelts.
-Maximum 11.5” ring gear. No old bus or dump truck diffs in here.
There are specific rules governing how the event is conducted that address everything from boundaries to false starts to time restrictions for getting hooked.
The track is graded, but not packed. The chain has a dangle in the middle to clearly show position. Typically the trucks will line up on opposite sides of the track and most times the tugging will pull them center stage. As you might expect the gear ratios are fairly steep and most run a stick. Lots of small blocks, some in-line sixes and even one diesel are part of the show.
This particular gallery features both the 4300lb and 6000lb 4wd classes.
Kentucky Truck Tuggers have a Facebook page and a website that gets updated fairly regularly.
A few years ago we shot some video so you can check that out to see what is looks and sounds like.
Enjoy. If you like this kind of thing let us know and I’ll seek out more.