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Posse Arena welcomes truck tugs

April 5, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

When you plow the dirt away from the middle of the Lee County Posse Arena, there is a landing strip of concrete just wide enough to fit a large truck.

It is on this battle ground where some of the area's most powerful trucks converged upon Saturday as the arena hosted the last of its pair of truck tug-o-wars, once again to a good crowd.

The event in January packed the house, and while the second one didn't sell out, the late arriving crowd did provide a good audience, unlike last spring where rain kept most fans away.

Article Photos

Katie Mason, Alicia Hayes and Lee Thorpe, members of the “Blueberry” team, pose for a pic during the Truck Tugs at the Lee County Posse Arena on Saturday.


The idea is simple; two trucks are tethered together by a rope. The object is to get to your end of the runway while dragging your opponent in the two minutes allotted. It's best two out of three falls.

One would think that the truck with the most power will probably win. That's not necessarily the case.

It's more about finesse and patience, making sure the tires don't spin. Last year, the smallest truck in the battle turned out to be the winner for that very reason. If a truck's tires are spinning, they stand no chance in winning.

"It's definitely not all power because this thing has none," said Ashley Andrews, pointing to her blue truck that won last year. "Last year my tires did well in the rain and others didn't. You have to pay attention. What works for one pull may not work for another."

That's why teams were busy clearing off the track and tires of any dirt and rubber using blowers and even towels, cleaning them to allow a firm grip when the green light flashes.

Cliff Garlick got as far as the 9000-pound final, where he finally went down in the third tug. He used his patience to take time-limit wins over Matt Hayes.

"You have to have clean tires. Once (Matt) had those he got better traction. Also, one side of the pad is better, where more rubber has been laid down," Garlick said. "It's a dirty track, so you have to be patient. You have to wait them out. Horsepower rarely wins on this patch."

Unfortunately, very few tugs went to a third tug last year. This time, many went to the time limit (which is done to protect trucks from having their engine blow) and to a third tug.

What has changed from the last year is that the event had a sponsor in Hercules Tires, which put up a set of its tires for one of the competitors to win as well as $500 toward another set for the fans.

Meanwhile, Alicia Hayes took her "Blueberry" truck and made it into her enterprise, with shirts, hats and merchandise. She isn't getting rich, but it helps pay the bills for her hobby.

"I started pulling a couple years ago because my friends were doing it. Most trucks don't have sponsors, just people who worked on the truck," Hayes said.

It's that home-spun spirit that brings a lot of people to the event. Stacie Henderson brought her family to give them and her fiance Rick, something to do.

"We come whenever they have an event here. I have a horse rescue down the street," Henderson said.

"It was either go sit on the couch or go and have some fun," Rick said, who along with everyone else are lifelong North residents. "I'd rather have fun and see all my friends. We come for the rodeos and everything. It keeps the kids quiet for two hours."



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