Hallettsville Truck Pull test power of area 4x4s
By by jessica firstname.lastname@example.org
July 17, 2013 at 2:17 a.m.
Before Allen Machicek puts his foot on the pedal of his 1967 Chevy pickup, his eyes are focused in the rearview mirror on the mechanical sled behind.
Any miscalculations could mean the difference between a successful run and a short-lived attempt at first place during the Hallettsville Truck Pull.
"My adrenaline is pumping now just thinking about it," said the 34-year-old standing next to his blue pickup.
The Wilbur Baber Memorial Complex indoor arena will serve as the battlegrounds for the 300-foot dirt track Friday and Saturday for truck drivers young and old. Some people, he said, will test out their every day truck just to see how far it can go.
Machicek, who has owned his truck for 11 years and used it for mudding in the country and participating in a few mud races, started pulling four years ago when he was helping put on the event.
"It feels like you're tied to a tree," he said about being in the driver's seat. "You gotta get a good rolling start and then just lay into it."
His first experience was nerve-wracking, and his nerves still take a beating every time he competes.
Machicek's truck packs a throaty 480 horsepower and is equipped with a weight rack in the front, a traction bar for stabilization, a drive shaft noose for safety and a 454 big block under the hood.
"You have to get into it as soon as possible because once you're moving, the sled starts to add more weight," he said.
Ryan Little got his start around the same time as Machicek when he took a seat behind the steering wheel to draw more drivers to the truck pull.
"Now, we see about 40 to 50 trucks come out and compete in the pull," Little, 32, said. "We get drivers from surrounding communities to about 150 miles away."
Both volunteer their time at the event but make time to floor their trucks in the name of a good cause.
"I'm not really in it for the competition - it's more for bragging rights - but there are some pretty intense drivers," Machicek said.
Still in its formative years, the Hallettsville Truck Pull, which raises money for the Hallettsville Junior Livestock Show, has been generating an interest in both men and women who are willing to put their mightiest of 4x4s to the test.
Rick Rose, 58, one of the founders of the event, said the truck pull was something he thought of when he was looking for a way to raise money for the annual stock show.
"I've seen tractor pulls, but a truck pull is a lot more exciting," he said. "Some of these are old, modified trucks, so there is more noise, more smoke, and it's more exciting."
Ever since then, Machicek and Little have been competing with other motorheads and grease monkeys to take first place. Machicek has taken second and third place in years past, and Little has claimed the first-prize trophy.
Little and his 1970 Ford truck have competed in truck pulls in El Campo, Gonzales and Cuero.
Both men got their start as motorheads when they were young and forged interests in tinkering and rebuilding engines.
There's even a tractor pull for the kiddos. The Kiddie Tractor Pull tests the powerful legs of kids ages 8 and under. And just like the bigger trucks, the pedal-powered tractor has a small weight pulled behind it, and they have to try and get as far as possible.
"It's a lot of fun," Rose said. "They're all winners, and each of them gets a ribbon at the end and free shaved ice."