拉雪橇的沉默伙伴:铁人雪橇的一瞥

Truck and tractor pulling in simplest terms is a dance between two partners.  There’s an animated and loud partner leading the dance, the pulling vehicle.  另一方, 雪橇, 是在完全和无声的控制的道路的引导, 即使是这样.   Let’s take a look at the silent partner that graces Freedom Hall and how it’s set up differently from the world of outdoor pulling.

自1995年以来, Vaughn Bauer and his team have provided 雪橇s for the 冠军拖拉机拉 at the 十大正规平台.  Bauer’s Ironman sleds are a prominent part of national pulling events across the United States, 每年有四辆雪橇参加200场比赛.   它们的大部分季节都在户外度过, 鲍尔和他的团队转移了注意力和精力, 字面上的, to provide a top-notch dance partner for the 冠军拖拉机拉.

从表面上看,室外和室内活动都是一样的. The pulling vehicle guides 雪橇 down the track while the weight box moves forward onto 雪橇 pan to increase downforce/friction, 最终停止车辆.  由此,一些差异开始发挥作用.

The track in Freedom Hall is a shorter course than typical outdoor tracks and in turn 雪橇 must do its job at faster pace; to do that job the weight box is sped up to apply downforce faster.  That’s accomplished by a gear change in the Eaton two-speed gearbox driven by the ground drive axle on 雪橇.  That gear change provides the necessary extra speed to move the weight box faster.  Between the two-speed and the weight box final drive is a five-speed ProFab transmission that offers incremental speed changes needed for different classes and track conditions.  鲍尔指出,第二, 第三, and fourth gears are the primary gears used and ideally produce distance changes of 10 feet between each gear.

Beyond the gearing change there’s an addition to 雪橇 that makes indoor pulling bearable, 烟管装置.  Without the apparatus and the dedicated smoke system permanently built into Freedom Hall, pulling would be unbearable because of the volume of diesel smoke emitted in the popular “smoker” classes.  For die-hard pulling fans the addition of the smoke tube assembly would seem to have a dramatic effect on the performance of 雪橇, 但这种影响是微乎其微的.  Weighing only 700 pounds the apparatus shifts the weight balance of 雪橇 slightly.  That change in balance is only noticeable in the two lightest classes at the 冠军拖拉机拉, the Modified Four Wheel Drive Trucks and Lightweight Super Stock Tractors. 来抵消雪橇平衡的变化, a 2000 pound weight is placed in the back of the weight box to optimize the performance of pullers in those classes.

从这里开始,该出发了.  A bare, 32,000-pound sled is weighted up at various levels depending on the class in competition. 对于改良拖拉机类, 满载14个, 2000-pound blocks are in use to keep that class in check for a total sled weight of 60,000磅.  Pro Stock Tractors require 9 to 10 blocks for a 52,000-pound burden for that class to bear.  当你观看课堂活动时, you can take note of the number of blocks in the weight box and determine how much weight is needed to stop the wide variety of classes at the 冠军拖拉机拉.

除此之外,这个谜题中一些微小但重要的部分正在发挥作用.   锅里旅行, 当它移动到车架轨道的顶部时,被重量箱固定, forces the pan into the ground even further through hydraulic cylinders.  锅里旅行 typically remains a consistent setting throughout the event except for during the Modified Tractor competition to keep the sports’ most powerful class under control.  On the bottom of 雪橇 pan are 14 grousers that aid the pan in digging into the track further.  Bauer offered that 240 to 242 feet is the “sweet spot” for winning distances; it’s a subtle step in the “dance” that puts the front tires of the pulling vehicle at the edge of the legendary sand pile in Freedom Hall without diving deeply into the pile.

It is evident after speaking with Vaughn that he enjoys his role of being an integral part of the 冠军拖拉机拉.  He offers that the efforts are not his alone; it’s a team that makes this portion of the “dance” happen.  这个团队有两个部分.  这是佩顿, 爱荷华州的部分由沃恩组成, his brother Kevin Bauer and Chris “Big” Sprecher that handle sled duties.  A quartet of “Blue Shirts” from the National Tractor Pulling Championships in Bowling Green, 俄亥俄州——Tom Schaller, 没有夏勒, 布莱恩·夏勒, 还有丹·谢尔德里克. 从雪橇上钩和脱钩是它们的主要职责之一.  主雪橇有什么问题吗, the team brings an additional sled that can quickly be put into 行动.

当你在自由大厅观看拖拉机锦标赛时, 享受的权力, 行动, and performance of the elite drivers and machines invited for the five sessions of competition.  Remember their dance partner as well and their vital contribution to the sport of pulling.

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