I figured that this blog would be a good way for me to discuss some things in short form that I am observing in the sport of pulling. One issue that I has me perplexed is the idea of the top cut tire in "Farm Stock" classes.
The issue at hand is pretty clear to everyone, how do you police cut tires in a non-cut tire class? For some clubs its become very apparent that the best enforcement is not to worry about it, to allow top cuts from top to bottom in the classes offered. Other clubs have made it a point to keep the uncut tire classes and endure the issues of possible "tampering" with some sets of tires in the classes.
As for me, I see both sides of the issue, and see that both sides have valid points. "Top cuts level out the playing field, and the cost to top cut is pretty cheap" is one thought I hear. "Allowing top cuts in an entry level class can discourage someone who is just getting started in the sport" is another thing I hear. And honestly, I think both sides are right----to an extent.
So how do you fix it? One thought I have is that clubs that allow top cuts in their entry level classes should, in the course of a season, offer a true "barnyard" class from time to time. This would be tractors that are not "regulars" to a club. no forward hanging weights, only factory weights, everything as bone stock as possible. Is this the best idea ever? Of course not....but we gotta start somewhere.
I am of the opinion that we have to get folks involved to keep this sport rolling and growing. Anything that sets them up for failure (the old bringing a knife to a gunfight idea) will do one of two things: send them away wanting to do better by investing in their machines or discourage them because they see the folly in trying to compete in farm stock with, of all things, a farm stock tractor.
What are your ideas? What works where you pull? Where does farm stock end and modified begin?
Let me know your thoughts. I wont pretend to have the answers to these questions, but its time to have discussions about the sport to make it grow. Lets go pulling.