Monday, April 06, 2020

The new Unlimited Mod of the Screamin' Bobcat Team

From IJsselmuiden, in the Netherlands, the Screamin' Bobcat Pulling Team around Bertus and Berrie Boer have built their first unlimited/heavy modified tractor during the winter of 2018/2019.
At the beginning of 2006, the team was founded by Inter-Techno owner Bertus Boer. Before Bertus founded the team, he sponsored for many years different pulling teams in the Netherlands, like the Lambada Pulling Team, the Predator Pulling Team, Zapo Pulling Team, etc.
In the winter of 2006/2007, the Screamin' Bobcat Team started to build their first pulling machine for the 2.6t/5730lbs two-wheel-drive truck division. During the building of the new twd truck, they received a lots of help from the Lambada Pulling Team in Zwolle, the Netherlands.
The new machine had a steel wedge frame with a GTS fiberglass Chevrolet SSR pick up truck bodyshell, a Rockwell rear end with Humpco components and a Humpco gearbox. The TWD truck was powered by a Keith Black Stage 10 V8 Hemi engine with Veney billet aluminum heads, a Sassy Racing fuel system and an SSI 14-71 blower. The Screamin' Bobcat debuted at the indoor pull in Zwolle, the Netherlands in 2007. It was a successful maiden run with Bertus Boer as the driver behind the wheel. He finished at his home pull in a well 3rd place behind Intertechno Predator and Heart 2 Beat from the Netherlands. Around 6 weeks later, he achieved another 3rd place at the European Superpull in Ahoy, Rotterdam. All in all the first season for the team was a success in the Dutch Championship.
With 2 wins in Made (NL) and in Lochem (NL), the Screamin Bobcat Team finished in runner up position, 6 points behind Heart 2 Beat in the 2007 Dutch Championship point standings. Another big success in their first season was the runner up place at the European Championship in Herning, Denmark.
It was a close battle between Bertus Boer and the two other competitors in the finals. In the end, Bertus Boer was with his Chevrolet pick up truck only 13cm behind the guys of the Sledge Hammer Team. The Screamin' Bobcat Pulling Team competed with the two-wheel-drive truck in the Dutch Championship from 2007 until 2014 very successful, but they never won a Dutch Championship or European Championship title with that machine during that time.
Only a year after the first full season with the Chevrolet SSR truck in the twd division, there came the first considerations to build a completely new tractor for the 2.5t/5500lbs light modified class with 2 Hemi engines. Finally, the Dutch team started with the new project in the winter of 2008/2009. For their first mod tractor, they received again a lots of help from the Lambada Pulling Team. The new machine called ''Double Screamin''' got a new homemade Domex wedge frame with a new homemade 2 bar chrome-moly roll cage, a Rockwell rear end with CAT planetaries and Humpco parts and a newly developed crossbox with custom-built gears for 3 engines. The machine was powered by 2 blown Hemi engines in the 2.5t/5500lbs light mod class and with 3 Hemis in the 3.5t/7700lbs mod class.
Each power plant had a Brad Anderson block with Veney aluminum cylinder heads, a Sassy Racing fuel system with a Sassy Racing fuel pump and an SSI 14-71 blower with a Veney aluminum scoop. Before the season started, it was clear the tractor would be a challenger for the multiple European Champion Black Power from Denmark. The new Double Screamin' had its maiden voyage at the 2009 Euro Cup round in Bernay, France and ran pretty well. Bertus was for a long time the leader, but the class and the pull was later canceled due to severe weather conditions. At the end of July 2009 in Herning, Denmark Bertus Boer won his first Euro Cup round with the new Double Screamin'. They finished in their first Euro Cup season on remarkable 3rd place in the point standings. The biggest success came at the European Championship in Bakel, the Netherlands later that year. Wim Dingerink drove the new tractor in his first season to the European Championship title in the 2.5t/5500lbs light mod division.
After that 2009 season, a real domination of the team started now in the light mod class. The Dutch team won incredible 7 European Championship titles in a row and 6 Euro Cup titles from 2010 until 2017 with the Double Screamin'. They also won during that time 2 EC titles in 2010 and 2011 and 5 Dutch Championships in a row from 2010 - 2014 in the 3.5t / 7700lbs mod class. But during that dominance, some more pulling tractors were born in their workshop in Ijsselmuiden. In the winter/spring of 2013, they built their first mini modified tractor called ''Bobcat Jr''. The first Bobcat Jr. had a homemade chrome-moly tube frame with a homemade chrome-moly roll cage, carbon fiber fenders, a TRB rear end and a Lenco reverser.
The ride was powered by a BAE V8 Hemi engine with an SSI 14-71 blower on methanol which was built by Sassy Racing in the USA.

The tractor debuted at the German Championship opener in Füchtorf, Germany and went home with a win. After that, the Bobcat Jr., together with the Gencom Lambada 9 was shipped to the US and competed on 3 NTPA GN rounds in 2013. The best result in that season was a 3rd place at the National Tractor Pulling Championships in Bowling Green, Ohio. In 2014 the team competed also for the first time in the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League with the tractor. The guys finished in runner up position in the point standings of the PPL mini rod class. During the years the team built several new Bobcat Jr. chassis which were all time an successful development of the previous chassis. Those new chassis with an Vampire gears planetaries rear axle and driveline become one of the most successful mini mod chassis in the USA and Europe.  
From 2015 until 2019 the Screamin' Bobcat Team together with the Dirtslinger Pulling Team won many different pulls and titles across the US. Definitely, the biggest success was the win of the Bowling Green Ring and the NTPA Grand National title in 2017. It was the first European team that won the BG ring and the GN title in the USA.
During the winter of 2014/2015, the Screamin' Bobcat Team developed and built a new machine for the light modified class, the ''Wicked Screamer''. The Wicked Screamer was a further improved version of the Double Screamin' but has his technical differences. The driver's position is more forward and the center of gravity on the Domex chassis is lower, which gives the tractor a better balance on the pulling tracks. 
Also with the newly developed drivetrain, they went a new way, especially with the crossbox on the tractor. The new crossbox, was a collaboration between the Screamin' Bobcat Team and Bennie Vreeman of Vampire Gears from Neede in the Netherlands. On the crossbox they can switch every time on the events the ratio for the different conditions. The box isn't built only for 2 engines. They can put a dropbox on the top of the crossbox and then they also can run with 3 Hemi engines. The Wicked Screamer is powered by 2 SSI 14-71 blown Sassy Racing V8 Hemi engines on methanol fuel. Sometimes they also ran for fun with 3 engines in the 3.5t / 7700lbs modified class with this machine. The first 2 seasons for the team with the Wicked Screamer were a learning time to find all the right setups for all conditions on the tracks. In 2017, then they really started to harvest their fruits with the tractor. The team won in 2017, 2018 and 2019 the Euro Cup title, in 2017 and 2019 the European Championship title and the Dutch Championship title in 2018 and 2019.
Enough history for now and back to the new unlimited mod ride.
The development of the new Bobcat Sr started alongside the development of the new Bobcat Jr chassis at the end of 2017. But it should take 1 more year before they started to build the new project. The whole tractor was completely developed and built on a CAD computer program by Berrie Boer. Berrie spent hundreds of hours developing the tractor on the CAD program and was finally ready with the machine on the pc in the off season in 2018. Usually, the plan was to build the new tractor in the winter of 2017 / 2018 after the last run of Double Screamin' at the indoor pull in Zwolle. But unfortunately, time problems and business projects made it impossible to build the new unlimited mod during that time. So the building of the new ride was postponed to the winter of 2018/2019. 
The new Bobcat Sr. received a completely new developed homemade Domex 700 wedge frame with a new homemade 3 bar chrome-moly roll cage, a Kirkey Racing driver seat with a 4 point harness, a homemade rack and pinion gear, homemade chrome-moly wheelie bars and a homemade Rockwell rear end with a newly developed drawbar.
The Screamin' Bobcat Team around Bertus and Berrie Boer had decided to develop and build a completely new chassis, which is completely different compared to their old chassis in the past on their mod tractors called ''Double Screamin'' and ''Wicked Screamer''.
But what is different compared to the last chassis? 
Basically, the frame rails on the chassis are differently built. Usually, all pulling tractors with a wedge frame have a bent c-profile Domex rail on each side, but exactly on that point the new Bobcat Sr is different. 
For the new chassis were 2 Domex c profile frame rails welded together, which should give the new chassis a better stability and a better balance on the pulling tracks in the future. The holes in the frame rails were calculated in the computer and laser cut because to save weight on the chassis.
According to the team's calculations, the holes in the Domex rails should not affect the stability of the frame. The newly developed chrome-moly roll cage was built according to the SFI Spec rules. That also makes it possible to drive with the tractor in the USA in the nearby future.
All those parts for the chassis and the roll cage were laser cut and bent by their sponsor Tosec BV. in Zwolle, the Netherlands. The company has laser cut and bent a lot of chassis parts for the Screamin' Bobcat Pulling Team in the past.     

The Rockwell rear end was shortened by the team himself and later CNC-machined at Breman Machinery. The rear axle received a billet Humpco aluminum center section with a Humpco billet aluminum differential, a Humpco ring and pinion gear, Caterpillar 966 magnesium planetaries carrier housing with custom-built CAT 966 planetaries by Vampire Gears and Engler Machine and Tool billet aluminum brake calipers with laser-cut brake discs. Compared to the 3 planetaries gear setup in their Wicked Screamer light mod machine, the rear axle has 4 idler gears on each side in the planetary. With the 4 idler gear planetary setup, they hope to gain on reliability on parts.
Also completely new developed and built is the drivetrain of the tractor. The drivetrain received a completely new crossbox with 2 new Vampire Gears reverse boxes, a new billet steel driveshaft between the reverser and the crossbox and a Humpco reverser from the USA.
The new crossbox has a CNC-machined billet aluminum housing with 5 custom-built gears and shafts. Bennie Vreeman of Vampire Gears from Neede in the Netherlands did all the gears and shafts for the crossbox of the new unlimited mod. The calculations for the crossbox were also made by Bennie Vreeman in collaboration with the Screamin Bobcat Team in 2015. The housing for the crossbox was CNC-milled by Breman Machinery from Genemuiden in the Netherlands. The crossbox in the unlimited mod is calculated and built for 5 engines too. With a dropbox and a driveshaft, it's possible to run with 5 engines on the tractor. The 5th Hemi would sit in the middle of the chassis behind the 2 rear Hemi engines. But first, they have planned to drive with 4 engines. The little reverse boxes between the crossbox and clutch are for that both engines can go on the same gear in the crossbox, this because they are mounted mirror wise on the chassis. 
With this setting, they can take the torque out of the chassis, which makes the tractor is more stable on the track and they also can bring their power of the 4 Hemi engines better to the ground. The same system worked very successfully on their light mod tractor called "Wicked Screamer" during the 2018 season.
For optimum traction on the pulling tracks in the Netherlands and at the Euro Cup rounds in Europe, the Dutch team purchased a set of new Mitas Powerpull 30.5 x 32 tires. The new set of Mitas Powerpull tires were cut by farm stock competitor Hans Heesakers from the Netherlands.
The new fenders on the tractor were made off carbon fiber and were built by Jack Stijnen of the Rocket Science Pulling Team from
Weert in the Netherlands.
The new Bobcat Sr. is powered by 4 blown Sassy Racing V8 Hemi engines with a displacement of 572 cubic inch on methanol fuel.
The engines on the machine have the lastest stuff that you can get for V8 Hemi racing engines in the USA from Sassy Racing Engines.
The power plants have a BAE billet aluminum block with Darton billet steel sleeves, a Winberg billet steel crankshaft with MGP billet aluminum rods and Diamond billet aluminum pistons, BAE Alcohol Hemi cylinder heads with Moroso aluminum valve covers, a billet steel camshaft, a Sassy Racing fuel system with a Sassy Racing fuel pump, an SSI 14-71 blower with a carbon fiber injector scoop, a homemade aluminum fuel tank, a dry-sump lubrication with an RCD oil pump, a Moroso aluminum oil pan and a homemade oil tank, a laser-cut aluminum bracket for the oil tank by Tosec BV., an MSD 44 Pro Mag ignition and a full Racepak data logger system. Each engine on the tractor should make around 3000hp with this setup.

The new Bobcat Sr had its maiden voyage at the Euro Cup opener in Füchtorf, Germany last year. But before the new tractor hit the track for the first time it was a hard time in the workshop. The guys worked for around 4 months every evening in the workshop to get the new machine ready for the first Euro Cup round. And they really did it, with the help from Philip Fairbanks and Brain Knox from the USA.
Around 2 days before the pull the new toy was ready to run. The premier of the new machine was very well. With 2 strong passes, driver Berrie Boer finished on a good 3rd place behind Komeco Simply Irresistible from the Netherlands and Green Fighter from Germany.
After the podium finish in Füchtorf, Germany the expectations were high for the rest of the season, but unexpected problems made the first season not easy for them in the heavy/unlimited mod class.
They had at the beginning of the season 5 broken rear axles, which was very unusual for them. But with the help of Bennie Vreeman, they found the problem why every time the bearings in the diff went broke. The power of the engines from the crossbox goes with 14000rpm into the rear axle, which is very fast compared to what other teams did on their unlimited mod machines. Because of that high rpm and the centrifugal force, the oil on the diff cross for the bearings was hurled away and the bearings ran without the lubrication dry. After the round in Made (NL), Bennie Vreeman of Vampire Gears and Brent Payne of GMS / Humpco worked a transitional solution out to solve that problem with the lubrication. With the beachpull in the Netherlands the rear axle received an external oil pump on the rear axle, which give a much better lubrication on the bearings in the diff at the high rpm.
After the problem was solved the tractor ran without any big problems through the rest of the season and won 2 rounds in the Dutch Championship. With those good results, they could fight back into the top 3 places of the point standings in the Championship, which brought them the runner up position in the Championship at the end of the season. But the best was yet to come. 
At the European Championships in Brande, Denmark last year Bertus Boer won with his new machine the European Championship title in the 4.2t / 9260lbs heavy modified class, incredible 10m ahead on the rest of the field. Definitely, it was a well-deserved title for the team after all those problems at the beginning of the year.
After the EC in Denmark was sure, the new Bobcat Sr. will be one of the biggest favorites for the Dutch Championship, Euro Cup and European Championship title in the 2020 season.
But that's not everything, the Bobcat Sr will work hard this winter and drink an lot of beer to improve for the 2020 season.
The Screamin' Bobcat Pulling Team will compete with their Bobcat Sr in Dutch Grand National Championship (4t/8860lbs unlimited class) and in the Euro Cup (4t/8860lbs heavy modified division) this year.

For further information, check here:




Sunday, April 05, 2020

MPM Seaside Affair nieuwbouw part 3

R.I.P Bruce Hutcherson

Last Friday the 28th of March 2019, the world of tractor pulling lost with Bruce Hutcherson, 78 from Patriot, Indiana in the USA another legend. Bruce was a legend in modified pulling and was inducted into the NTPA Pulling Hall of Fame in 1990. He won 8 NTPA Grand National titles with his mod tractor called "Makin' Bacon Special". Bruce also competed with his tractor once in Europe, which was at the tractor pull in Amboise, France in 1985.

From NTPA:

We report with great sadness of the passing on Saturday, March 28 of Bruce Owen Hutcherson Jr., 78, of Patriot, Indiana. Mr. Hutcherson was an eight-time Grand National champion with several configurations of his "Makin' Bacon Special" Modifieds and a 1990 inductee into the Pulling Hall of Fame. Mr. Hutcherson grew up on his parents' dairy, beef, and grain farm near Patriot, a village along the Ohio River in southeastern Indiana. After graduating from Purdue University, Mr. Hutcherson started out as a science, industrial arts, and agriculture teacher at his hometown high school. After six years, he devoted himself for the next three-and-a-half decades to full-time farming, a career which he eventually augmented with a farm machinery and school bus repair business after his pulling career concluded. In 2009, Mr. Hutcherson earned the Silver Star Lifetime Achievement Award from the Switzerland County Soil and Water Conservation District.
At its height, the Hutchersons' farming operation involved 5,000 acres including 2,300 acres of row crops across parts of 11 family farms from Switzerland to Ohio Counties. He grew corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay for over 200 cows. And, of course, the pigs---as many as 10,000 of them at a time, including 425 sows---that were the inspiration for the iconic name Mr. Hutcherson drove deeply into the NTPA record books.
His 14-year pulling career began in 1975 with a single, carbureted big-block Chevrolet in front of automatic and Farmall M transmissions. By 1976, he had built the first "Makin' Bacon" from an Oliver 88 rear and a fuel injected BBC and claimed the 1977 5,200-lb. Grand National Modified title as well as the Region IV 5,200- and 7,200-lb. championships. For 1979, the Chevy was fitted with a supercharger for national competition. A second "Special," though, came along in 1978 and married a John Deere log-skidder rear to an aluminum chassis built by ProTrac, the Fort Wayne fab shop previously famous for Modified Mini frames. Mr. Hutcherson installed two inline Rodecks while competing in the 5,200, 7,200-, and 9,200-lb. classes and winning the lightweight division.
Then, in 1980, a heavy-duty Rockwell replaced the skidder and a Miller Brothers chrome-moly frame supplanted the ProTrac to allow Mr. Hutcherson to run with four engines starting at 7,200-lb., making him the first to achieve that distinction upon "The Pig""s debut. By the end of that machine's third campaign, it had achieved six Grand National Modified titles: the 7,200-, 9,200-, and 12,200-lb. of 1981 and the 5,200-, 7,200-, and 9,200-lb. of 1982 (along with five regional championships in that span). For the first three titles, Mr. Hutcherson was named the Modified Puller of the Year; during the last three, he earned the Hooker of the Year Award as the sport's most prolific puller in national competition.
1984's edition of "Makin' Bacon Special" ran the gamut from two to five engines aboard an Engler chassis with Banter crossboxes and became a fixture on the indoor winter pulling circuit. Along with the Modifieds, Mr. Hutcherson also competed in the formative years of Two Wheel Drives with the "Super Scooter" Dodge Rampage which eventually, like his Mods, assumed the colors of Carhartt sponsorship.
Surviving is Jill, Mr. Hutcherson's wife of 54 years, their daughter Kim and her husband Sean, their
son Joe and his wife Jeanne, his sister Carol Ann Armstrong, seven grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The whole team also wishes the whole family a lot of strength to cope with this terrible loss.

Monday, March 30, 2020

R.I.P Nicolai Karstensen

On Saturday evening, the 21st of March 2020 I received a sad and shocking message on my smartphone from Karsten Christensen member of the Danish Tractor Pulling Organization that Nicolai Karstensen, 47 years old, member of the DTP and the Black Russian Pulling Team from Oster Ulslev in Storstrom unexpectedly passed away in the night/morning of the 21st March 2020.
I can not remember exactly anymore where I have met him for the first time, but I think it was at the Euro Cup in Brande, Denmark 2015. He was always a funny guy who was honest, direct and humorous. When I was at the Euro Cup rounds in Brande and Allingabro or the European Championship in Brande, Nicolai always had something to tell like what is new in the danish pulling sport and he always had a funny joke to tell.
I remember last year at the Euro Cup round in Allingabro, Denmark I got from him the nickname ''Krümelmonster'' (in English cookie monster) because I have usually on every pull a box with cookies in my bag. Around 4 months later I was back in Denmark for the European Championship in Brande and the first question from him to me was ''Krümelmonster how are you?''. It was always funny on the tractor pulling events with him in the past!!
Nicolai worked in the Danish Pulling Organization ''DTP'' as a Jury member on the Danish Championship pulls in Denmark. He also was a team member of the ''Black Russian Pulling Team'' which competed in the 3.5t / 7700lbs modified with a turbocharged Transmash V12 tractor for many years and now currently building a new turbocharged Transmash V12 tractor for the 5500lbs / 2.5t light modified division. 
One is sure, the tractor pulling sport has lost another great buddy and we will sorely miss him in the future. Nicolai will always in the mind of the people and will never be forgotten.

Our thoughts are with the whole family and the Black Russian Pulling Team.
We wish his whole family and Black Russian Team a lot of strength to cope with this terrible loss.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Bernay cancelled!

The French Championship opener and the 2nd round of the Euro Cup in Bernay, France is cancelled due to the current COVID-19 situation in France. The organization ANTP also has announced the pull will not rescheduled in 2020. This means that the tractor pull circus will only return to the small French town in the Normandy again in 2021.

The official statement of the ANTP:

For obvious reasons, our event cannot take place on Saturday, June 6, 2020.
We now give you an appointment on Saturday, June 5, 2021!
People who have already purchased their tickets can keep them for 2021 or will be reimbursed on request at the point of sale.
In the meantime, take good care of yourself and those around you.

for further information, check here:

or check here:

Friday, March 27, 2020

Q & A with Justin van Echtelt

Justin van Echtelt, 25 years old from Werkhoven in the Netherlands. Justin is the son of the Silver Bullet Pulling Team founder and owner Martin van Echtelt from Houten in the Netherlands. He drove the super stock called ''Silver Bullet'' and the limited super stock called ''No Surrender''  during the last years. What are you doing in your normal life?
Justin van Echtelt: I’m a car /light truck mechanic by a company somewhere in Houten (NL). What do you like to do in your free time, except Tractor Pulling?
Justin van Echtelt: Working!! ;)
I have a original Ford 5000 restoration project.
And drink some beers with friends or go to barn party's. What do you like about Tractor Pulling?
Justin van Echtelt: Everything! It's not only pulling! It’s a special culture for a whole year. I learn a lot during this motorsport, so during my school time, I learn my teacher about repair engines. (LOL) What was your first Tractor Pulling event?
Justin van Echtelt: I can't remember that haha! I was a Baby! What is your favorite Event / Pulling track?
Justin van Echtelt: Every event has a special thing! I like farm stock events like Staphorst (NL).
My favorite events are Lochem (NL) and Bernay (F). When and where do you have driven a Pulling Tractor for the first time?
Justin van Echtelt: My first run with No Surrender was in Staphorst (NL) 2012. What was your biggest success?
Justin van Echtelt: Füchtorf (GER) 2017 with the Silver Bullet, fastest start with the lower wheel speed! Which Pulling classes do you like too?
Justin van Echtelt: Pro stock, super stock, limited super stock, 2.5t light modified and farm stock. What was your biggest disappointment?
Justin van Echtelt: Eext (NL) 2016 with Silver Bullet. The tractor went off, not a bang or something under the hood. After an inspection at home, we found out the whole engine block was cracked and the season was over for us. Which things must be changed in the future of the Tractor Pulling sport?
Justin van Echtelt: I think it's not better to broadcast too much tractor pulling on tv. It's nice to watch pulling on tv but I don't think it's better in the future. What are your plans for the future in Tractor Pulling?
Justin van Echtelt: To get our latest pulling project done, and make nice runs at nice places in Europe with our new tractor. What was for you the most important moment in the sport?
Justin van Echtelt: The maiden run with our first limited super stock tractor ''No Surrender'' in Zwolle (NL) 2012. What was your favorite Pulling Tractor project in the workshop during a winter?
Justin van Echtelt: Our latest Ford 7810 silver jubilee limited super stock project, the new Silver Bullet. Something you want to say? 
Justin van Echtelt: Everybody thinks about everybody in this terrible time on earth!
Stay safe! Thank you for your time and good luck for the furture!