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Harrisburg - The throaty chuff of big two-cylinder John Deeres and the smooth rumble of four-cylinder tractors filled the Equine Arena at the 2011 Pennsylvania Farm Show. When a tractor hooked up to a pulling sled and roared down the track, the crowd went wild.

Jerry Reichart, floor manager for the show, assisted with the tractor pull. "Despite the snowy weather, tractor participation was down about 10 percent," he said. Attendance was nearly the same as last year.

"There were enough tractors to put on a very nice pull," he added. Ninety tractors hooked up and pulled during the night.

Two tracks were created the length of the Equine Arena, necessitating two weight-transfer sleds be used, courtesy of local tractor pulling clubs.

With a weight-transfer sled, weights are placed on a gondola at the back of the sled, overtop an axle. A pan that scrapes the ground is at the front of the sled. As the tractor moves forward down the track, gears in the axle cause the weight to travel forward, forcing the pan further into the ground and increasing resistance until the tractor stops. If the tractor gets to the end of the 300-foot course, it's considered a "full pull." If more than one person makes a "full pull," more weights are added and those operators compete in another round.

C.B. Hoober provided a Case International and Valley Ag and Turf provided a John Deere to pull the sleds back at the end of each run.

This event capped off the day's events in the Equine Arena, which started with an antique tractor display and featured a pedal tractor pull in the afternoon.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 290 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 8-15 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10.

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