Friday, December 01, 2017

Q & A with Patrick van Strien

Patrick van Strien, 43 years old from Nieuwendijk in the Netherlands. Patrick is one of the founding members of the International Tractor Pulling website called ,,´´ and the ETPC website called ,,´´. In the past, he also made the videos and pictures for those websites. Currently Patrick is a Team member of the Dutch Mini Modified Team called ,,Gompie´´ and he´s helping the Team with the electronics, motor tuning and CAD design. What are you doing in your normal life?
Patrick van Strien: I am a co-owner and founder of an IT company called ,,BizBloqs´´. We build and implement workflow based Warehouse Management Systems for small and medium businesses. What do you like to do in your free time, except Tractor Pulling?
Patrick van Strien: Besides the busy work and Tractor Pulling, I try to spend time with my wife and 2 children. In the summer I work in my big garden. Mowing the grass (on former Garden Puller) and taking care of the fruit and vegetables we grow ourselves. Then if possible, I continue work on our house that is over 100 years old. We rebuilt most of it ourselves about 10 years ago and it’s never finished. What do you like about Tractor Pulling?
Patrick van Strien: Two things I like most: Knowing so many people from all over the world. Sharing knowledge and just having a good time. Second, of course, I very much like the technical things we all try to accomplish. I always think: “That’s all we can do with it”, but after a while we see new improvements and keep getting better at it. Looking at old pictures and videos, you realize how much this sport is making progress. What was your first Tractor Pulling event?
Patrick van Strien: That must have been somewhere in the 80’s when my dad took me to “Papendrecht” in the Netherlands. It was one of Gerrit Alting’s events I think. I was very young back then and don’t remember much. Sometime later I went to the Flevohof (NL) and Meerkerk (NL) with my school friends. That’s when we got “hooked”. What is your favourite Event / Pulling track?
Patrick van Strien: That must be Made (NL). That’s nearby where I live. It is so very big that you never get bored. On the other hand, I very much like Füchtorf (D). It was my first foreign event. Just one track, but still everything’s there. That makes it very a pure event. When and where do you have driven a Pulling Tractor for the first time?
Patrick van Strien: That was at Füchtorf (D). Sascha Mecking and me had 2 Garden Pullers. We drove a “Super Stock“ alkyburner and a lawnmower. The lawnmower is still mowing grass in my backyard. Later on we built a Minipuller that we got to the track at Anholt (D). Unfortunately it never made real pull. What was your biggest success?
Patrick van Strien: That was not really on the track, but besides the track. From 1993 to 2003 I did a lot of video and writing for my own website. Later on I have built the ETPC and pullingworld websites and made them a great success.
With the Gompie Team that I am in now, it was becoming European Champion in 2005. Which Pulling classes do you like too?
Patrick van Strien: I must say I like something of every class. They all have something that makes them unique and interesting. It can be the super tuned single engine on a Super Stock, or the roughness of an Unlimited Modified. Over the years I have worked with all kinds of Teams when I was building dataloggers and go to know what is special about every class. Now that I am in a Mini tTeam for a while, I must say this is the most challenging of all and I like that the most. What was your biggest disappointment?
Patrick van Strien: In Tractor pulling, there are many disappointments that you have to deal with. If you try something new, it’s always destined to fail. I guess it was my own mini that we had put so much work in, that didn’t get to pull as most disappointing. Which things must be change in the future of the Tractor Pulling sport?
Patrick van Strien: I think a challenge is to keep the sport interesting for everyone. It’s hard for associations and teams to separate their own interests from that of others. What is good for you, might not be good for everybody else. On the other hand, it does not hurt you to listen to someone else’s opinion and think it through together, before you say no (and didn’t really listen). At least talk about it and tell others why you didn’t go with it. Communication prevents a lot if rumors. What are your plans for the future in Tractor Pulling?
Patrick van Strien: For now, keep working with the Gompie Team. I have a good time with them and I like trying the impossible with that machine. What was the most important moment in tractor pulling for you?
Patrick van Strien: I can’t really name one special moment. I think the most important moments is when something you’ve worked hard for works out. That is something simple like making a good run when you didn’t expect it to happen. It can be your own, or somebody else’s result that makes you “feel the moment”. What was your favourite Pulling Tractor project in the workshop during a winter?  
Patrick van Strien: I think my most favorite is going to happen this winter. We’re building a new Tractor and for the first time, I did a lot of CAD work for it. We really hope to make a good step forward now we are using these tools. Something you want to say?
Patrick van Strien: I’d like to thank the pullingworld crew for doing this interview with me. It feels like my own son is asking his “old daddy” to talk about himself. It feels respected and it’s nice to look back and relive those memories. Thank you for your time and good luck for the future !   

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