Revisiting My 2012 NFMS Articles

Published February 16, 2016 12:45AM, by Jake MorganViewed: 3176 times

The hollowed grounds of Winter's most prestigious event, The National Farm Machinery Show Truck and Tractor Pull.
Since it's a national election year and we can look back at the candidates and see what they said a few years back I figured I'd look back at one of my own opinion series and see where I've flip-flopped. I'm glad to say that I'm not Donald Trump and I haven't done a complete 180 on my core beliefs (sorry Trump fans, but who he was and who he says he is now don't really make sense... but I digress) I think discussing changes at the Farm Show are especially relevant today. I also think my old articles, whilst riddled with typos and grammatical mistakes are even more applicable today since no changes of significance have occurred at NFMS pull yet.

Here are the links to my 2012 series on the NFMS for those interested:
Part 1  -  Part 2  -  Part 3 Part 4

For the sake of brevity's I won't go into all the reasoning behind my ideas, that's all in my 2012 articles and that hasn't changed. Here's a quick summary with my updates for 2016, and my idea for an updated schedule:









Light Pro

Modified (top 5)

Super Farm

4.1 Limited Pro

Super Farm

Light Limited Super

Super Farm(top 10)

Light Modified


Light Super

Diesel 4wd

Light Super (top 5)

Pro Stock

Diesel Super

Pro Stock

Open Super

Diesel Super (top 5)


Open Super (top 5)

2wd (top 10)

Pro Stock (top 10)

48 hooks

48 hooks

48 hooks

48 hooks

50 hooks

* blue = alcohol class
* black = diesel class

Now that we've got the schedule out of the way here are some other ideas for change:

  • Driver Introductions at 6:30pm, Pull Starts at 7:00pm (or even earlier, make the show family friendly)

  • 12 vehicles per class... (make it more exclusive) even 10 would be fine.

  • Three announcers (I want to hear from guys that haven't hooked yet, then again after they hooked, and good announcers will know who to interview and who not to.)

  • After the class ends, only interview winners for the Preliminary rounds, but still take a podium picture with the top three (yes actually build a small portable podium). If a class is not in the finals on Saturday night then do the top three interviews as normal.

  • For the finals interview all three podium places as per usual.

That rounds out the serious stuff... now add in some fun stuff and quit taking yourselves so serious. Somehow this show forgets that it's in the entertainment business, lighten up. They should still make everything that happens on the track 100% about the competition, but remember that the rest of the event is actually a show and you're trying to entertain people to get them to come back. The competition on the track and the vehicles will always be the stars of the night, but don't forget the rest on the pull is a show where NOTHING is happening other than watching scraper tractors and rollers. There was a time when crazy entertainment was the norm; a guy in a chicken suit, or gorilla suit, a stunt guy who gets into a box of "dynamite" and blow it up and walks away, etc… Now the pull has gotten too serious and only entertains people for approximately ten seconds every 3 ½ minutes or so. Remember your roots, you can still be prestigious AND fun.

  • Get a tee shirt cannon and fire tee shirts into the crowd - encourage teams and sponsors to donate them... because they would!

  • Get kids involved again... see if teams will donate children's tee shirts and cannon some of them out into the crowd.

  • Have a kids brand loyalty contest and give some kids dressed in Deere gear some shirts from teams running John Deere. Do that across the board for every brand you get a shirt for. If no kid show up with Moline gear give it to some kid with no brands on.

  • You don't allow Hero Cards in the pits... but make a Hero card section in Freedom Hall, heck there are old locker rooms, put some magazine racks or table in there and let drivers fill the place with cards. Put a flat screen TV in there with wild rides and wrecks playing and make it a kid's zone (parental supervision required).

  • Have a pedal pull signup before the session and do a quick 3 or 5 kid pedal pull while they hook up the smoke tube (I'd much rather watch this than seeing a second and third place interview). You could even do a pedal pull prelim in Broadbent and have the finals in Freedom Hall.

  • Shoot a tee-shirt with a voucher for free season tickets for next year into the crowd each session. (I stole and modified this idea from my friend Wayne Girbach)

  • Bring back the kiss cam, it's Valentines weekend for goodness sakes!

  • You're the granddaddy of all indoor pulls, use that to your advantage...

    • Play up your history - run some old footage on the scoreboard every now and then (give the announcers a heads-up though so they can talk about the video clip with some interesting facts)

    • Between every Syngenta banner track side hang up a banner with an old photo of a past Champion, make those concrete barriers and those repetitious Syngenta ads catch your eye.

  • Have a drawing or contest and let some kid ride in the cab of the John Deere that makes the test passes on the sled before the anthem. (I know, insurance/liability/risk blah blah blah... we've got kids standing on the top of a combine out in the South Wing so I'm sure they could make this happen. Every session some kid can could go down the track in the cab of a new John Deere in the famed Freedom Hall.

  • Get the future generation hooked on Louisville to ensure we have a future Louisville.
  • GoPro cameras are everywhere, either get Veranda to incorporate them into their routine, or find someone who will because with today's technology we should be watching onboard footage between some hook.

As a side note: I'd Love to see the minis at the Farm Show. They put on an awesome show and they are one of, it not the most exciting classes in the sport. The only downside is that it necessitates another two sleds (you need a backup). I could be easily swayed to swap out 4wd for minis if that's what the committee thought would fill more seats.

These are some of my ideas on giving the show a little face-lift and breathing new life into the best stale show in all of tractor pulling. I honestly think that these are pretty realistic ideas and the wouldn't be too hard to implement some of them. I'd love to hear what people think or any other realistic(ish) ideas you may have.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2016 02:17AM by Jake Morgan.


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