Running a Straight Pass Towards Change

Running a Straight Pass Towards Change

As I  watched the MAC Trailer Winter Nationals at the Mid America Truck Show this past weekend, I couldn’t help but take note of a certain feature and phenomena: The infamous Louisville “left-hook” is not exclusive to the National Farm Machinery Show. Naturally. It is the same track, in the same conditions. It is also very cool to start our season off with more than one show in Freedom Hall. A nice treat, and a great display as we get to observe different classes in each show. Regardless of which pull they are competing in, drivers know that track is going to try to take them left, and they will do all they can to work against that. They want the straight pass. They don’t want their momentum to change. 

Change is the key word in pulling. Change is something that doesn’t always mesh will in our sport. A change in direction causes pullers to adjust, or even use the brakes to keep things inbounds. Pumping the brakes slows the run. Change in direction is a puller’s nemesis. Off the track we can find ourselves just as resistant to change. However, as we know in all things, change is inevitable. What is the biggest change off the track? It would probably be the way pulling is being disseminated and brought to the masses. A couple of years ago, I received a notification in the mail informing me that my long time hard copy magazine subscription would be coming to an end. I had grown up looking through these magazines, and my sons were doing the same. Why was this publication ending? The world moves to a digital format. This can seem odd at first. It can feel like our momentum is changing. We might even want to hit the brakes, to bring it back to how it used to be.

Social Media is probably the most obvious and  easily seen and targeted of these changes. Pulling highlights and promotions are now oftentimes experienced on screens, and applications. Things that use phrases like “login information” and “password.” This can seem frustrating for a traditionally rural based demographic. But the whirlwind of media and pulling and broadcasting is so fast paced, to me I think it can be compared to a ride down the track. And if there is one thing I have learned from interviewing drivers it's this: When you take a pulling vehicle down the track, it doesn’t always go the way you want it to. Additionally the more you fight it, to try and force it back in the direction you would prefer, the more the vehicle will react poorly. The best one can do is to coexist with the pulling beast, and gently nudge it between the lines, and accept the path it chooses to take. I think that same advice can be applied to pulling seen on social media. What at first might seem different than we expected, if we choose not to pump the brakes, and let the ride go, can yield us pretty good results. 

Here is a prime example. This morning I logged onto a social media platform and saw a post from a puller. This puller was not in the typical social media age range (70+ years old), and yet they were using the platform to directly explain to fans what had recently happened in a run. It used to be months before you would hear about a specific run, and then you had to hope the writer tracked down the driver for an interview. Instant feedback from a puller who chose to use social media to the pulling world’s advantage. I, as a fan, am now much more intrigued on following the progress of this puller through the season. Most pulling teams are doing this. Most websites are as well. Instant feedback. Live results. Direct interviews. 

Before we as fans think the internet is an odd place for pulling, I say let’s just look at it like the Louisville “left-hook.” Change is right around that corner, and before we pump the brakes trying to fight it, we should embrace the path it’s going and use the forward momentum to take it as far as we can. 

Green Flags and Tight Chains. Pullin’ is fun.

You may also like View all