Garden Tractor Pulling

Tim Pieters of Clifton Springs and his NQS Pro Stock blue Ford.

For the love of the sport

by Tim Pieters

While motorized farm tractor pulls have been around since the late 1920s, it wasn’t until 1969 — 40 years later — that garden tractor pulling began in the Finger Lakes Region. Today, there are roughly seven local garden tractor clubs and organizations, including the Central New York Garden Tractor Pullers Association (CNYGTPA), which puts on events at county fairs and festivals from May through September.

The association currently has about 60 members — men, women, and children ranging in age from 5 to 80 years old. Like any other motorsport, garden tractor pulling is done for the love of the sport. One member of the CNYGTPA has been pulling garden tractors since the early 1970s and has no intention of retiring any time soon.

The CNYGTPA includes pulls for both stock and highly modified garden tractors. For more information about the club and a schedule of events, please visit the organization’s Facebook page.



Stock Class consists of governed classes of 12hp and 16hp. Slight modifications allow for increases of 6-10 horsepower. This class is mainly for those who are just getting into tractor pulling, including children.

The Sports Stock Class is based off a cubic inch limit motor, including V twin 46 cubic inch, a single cylinder flat head 48 cubic inch, or a twin cylinder opposed 60 cubic inch motor. With modifications, a puller can double the horsepower to roughly 53 horsepower on a governed motor, which are governed at 4500 rpms.

Sportsman Class consists of up to a 1,000 cc 4 stroke motorcycle, snowmobile, or garden tractor motor. This is an open rpm (not governed) class, making roughly 100 horsepower.

National Quarter Scale (NQS) Super Stock class can be found throughout the Northeast, the Midwest, and the Southern states. Our Super Stock class consists of very highly modified motors that are a single cylinder 50 cubic inch limit. These modified motors can run open carburation, with alcohol, which includes mechanical fuel injection, Harley Davidson carburetors, and Billet homemade carburetors. After all modifications, these highly modified motors make horsepower into the mid 90s.

Pro Stock diesel class (page 68) is the organization’s newest class, just started this year. These tractors are built from compact tractor motors of up to 75 cubic inch where after modifications are made to the motor and a turbocharger is added. These motors can make well over 200 horsepower. 

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