Few WSM events are more impressive than the vehicle pull. Introduced in 1977, it’s the jaw-dropping one-to-watch as vehicles such as trams, boxcars, buses and planes are pulled across a 100 ft course, by hand, in the quickest time possible. Originally, the Strongmen would wear a pulling harness, but today it is more common for them to have a harness and a pulling rope. The old harness-only system did see to give an advantage to the competitors with the strongest body weight.
The vehicle is often chosen to reference a previous winner or the current host city of the current competition. The 2007 competition featured a fire truck in a nod to 2006 champion Phil Pfister, a professional firefighter, and the 2008 qualifying rounds featured a coal truck, a reference to the coalmining industry in West Virginia where the competition was held that year. The terrains also change yearly too, with vehicles being pulled on snow, ice, sand and concrete. Other variations to the competition also include filling a tram with passengers for the Vehicle Pull in 1979, meaning the total vehicle weight actually topped 4535kgs.
It’s double WSM Title winner Bruce Wilhelm who holds the record for the first ever pull in the contest’s history, completing the 21 metre course in exactly 14 seconds and proving that this event is about more than just size and strength; that it’s about stamina, strength and skill.