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Hello from Western Massachusetts


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Just wanted to say hello and give fellow members a little bit of background.


My personal background:


I’m a 40 year old male that works 3rd shift as a Clinical Engineer (Biomed) at a local health system, has a side business doing lawncare (which is decreasing as I get older), and have a passion for the sport of truck pulling.  I’ve been truck pulling for 22+ years but have been a fan of the sport as far back as I can remember.


I was a member of Truckpullers.com under its last iteration, and was excited to see Chad not only bring it back to life but breathe new life into it as well and make it better than before.  I offered to become a staff member of the site in order to help where I can and to bring a unique perspective to it.


My pulling background:


I’ve been around the sport for a long time, but started to compete competitively about 18 years ago with my 1980 K20 which started with a 350/TH350/NP205 and 3.23 gears (rare).  Needless to say I did not do so well at first, but I had a blast and kept at it.  Now several different motor/tranny and gear combinations later it competes well with area competition (with several points championships).  From 2006-2009 I also competed with my 2006 2500HD Duramax/Allison in the street diesel class.


Thanks to friends, I’ve also been able to pilot their Superstocks and 4WD Modified trucks and have even won with those.  I have yet to pilot it down the track but I have moved a 2WD Modified with a blown aluminum HEMI around and was an awesome experience.


Up until recently I was heavily involved in our local club (and slightly involved in others).  I’m the only club member who over the years has been President, Secretary, Treasurer, Tech Inspector, Sled Operator, Announcer, Contract writer, Hooker, Flagger, Roller operator, Hone operator, Sled Mechanic, Track Prepper, etc.  I have reached out to other local organizations (traveling as much as 6 hours round trip during the week to meet with other clubs) in an attempt to work towards common rules, worked with Insurance companies who provide policies to pullers and event organizers, met with advertisers, fair board members, local city officials, promoters, fire officials, EMT’s, all for the behind the scenes organization that needs to take place to put on a pulling series over the years.


I have an intimate knowledge of our sled and others as I was involved in tearing ours down over the past few years.  A few years ago I and a few others from our club put in new double C framerails, which required removing 98% of every component, nut, bolt etc. from the sled, and then reinstalling (with improvements).


I’ve found that there are pullers that know a lot about truck pulling and setting up a truck, but very few pullers fully understand what it take to run a club, a series, or even a single pull.  I thought I did years ago after competing and helping, but I found out shortly that I knew less than 50% of what it takes, especially the time and headaches to do it correctly, and the additional time and headaches it takes when something goes wrong.


Having as global perspective has helped me to objectively look at things (which doesn’t always come into alignment with my fellow pullers), and has led to many local (and non-local) clubs to ask for my input (both publicly and privately) and help avoid potential pitfalls


Up until recently I had not had much experience with tractor pulling, but I’ve been exposed to more of it recently and learning little by little (picking it up much more slowly than I did truck pulling).


I hope to add something unique to this site, and my personal goal is to help grow the sport across the Northeast (further if it makes sense and is possible) by sharing what I’ve learned here as well as hoping to share my experiences to help others.  I feel that the stability of the sport is best achieved with a strong base, and I feel that needs to be done starting at the ground level.  We saw a huge boom when diesels started becoming popular (and there were good reasons for it), and now it’s slowing down and severely declining in some areas.  I’m hoping to show why the booms and declines have occurred with gas and diesel pickups over the years and use that to promote entry classes and create a sustainable future for pulling and bring pulling closer into the mainstream.


I’m looking forward to interacting with people on this site and meeting as many of you as I can at the pulls.


I’ll be at the Keystone Indoor pull in PA this March if anyone wants to meet up and talk trucks (or just shoot the sh#@).


Christopher Balise


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Forgot to mention, I've been lucky enough (mostly for work trainings and family visits) to have visited 42 of the lower 48 states and have spoken to truck pullers in each of those states as well as have been able to attend events large/small.  I've gotten to see and discuss how groups do things differently and see how things work or don't work for particular groups.  It's amazing what you'll hear when people see (via your license) that you're from another part of the country and "not a threat".  I've probably learned just as much from other regions, as I have from my own local clubs.

 

One thing that was tough back in the day was trying to locate pulls and groups in other areas of the country (especially prior to sites like this).  The site Calendar if updated correctly will be a great tool for those that find themselves in a different part of the country looking to see a pull or two.

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