Twin brothers enjoy tractor pulling

Farm Forum

Donnie and Ronnie Gab, both of Eureka, have been competing in antique tractor pulling for a total of 19 years combined. Tractor pull season starts during the first week of June and goes until the end of September. They both said their favorite part about tractor pulling is socializing with others and, obviously, winning.

Ronnie Gab has been competing in tractor pulling for nine years. He got involved with tractor pulling when he saw his twin brother, Donnie, pull. “When I saw Donnie pull as well as he did, I wanted to pull better,” Ronnie said with a smile.

Donnie Gab has been competing in tractor pulling for ten years. Donnie pulled regular farm tractors in town during the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, that is no longer available, so Donnie and Ronnie now do antique tractor pulling. “I first pulled my tractor in 2003 and liked it,” Donnie said.

In order for the tractors to be qualified for a tractor pull, they have to be built in 1959 or earlier. However, if it was built two to three years later, it still qualifies. To prepare for a pull, they have to load their tractors and travel to a pull if it isn’t in Eureka. After unloading the tractors, they weigh them to see what class they will be in. Both Donnie and Ronnie pull the 10,000-pound class. The weights on the tractor can weigh no more than 10,000 pounds. At each of the tractor pulls, there are at least 12 different classes of pulling. However, a tractor can pull in more than one class, but they have to make sure the weights meet the class requirements.

Both Ronnie and Donnie said that safety and attention to detail are the two most important things to keep in mind while pulling. Insurance is getting difficult to acquire for this activity. The fastest you can go on and off the track is four miles per hour as a safety precaution. “When you are on the track getting ready to pull, you have to put the tractor in neutral an raise your hand. That way, you are ready to hook up to the truck-mounted skit. That is the truck behind the tractor,” Donnie explained.

Ronnie and Donnie are members of the Brown County Old Time Tractor Pull Association. Orville Gab, their oldest brother, also does tractor pulling and lives in Brookings, S.D.

— Reprinted with permission from Northwest Blade.