Geico Tractor

Tractor Pulling Dampers

Eric Rosolowski Educate

If your hobby is tractor pulling or you are a tractor pulling enthusiast, a highlight of Summer is the competition action at the local county fair.  The heart pounding feel and sound of pure torque delights the crowd, but all that power can mean huge problems if you don’t protect the crankshaft with the proper damper.  Here’s three basic tips engine builders need to know.

1.  Weight & Size Matter Most
High torque and a typically longer crankshaft creates greater amplitudes of torsional vibration in diesel tractor engines.  Professional tractor pulling engine builders recommend a Vibratech TVD heavy duty viscous damper. Vibratech TVD is Fluidampr’s parent company.  Their heavy duty dampers are available starting at 11″.   For technical assistance on your tractor build, contact Vibratech TVD at 716-529-1000.

2.  Silicone Stands Up To The Heat
Damping torsional vibration generates heat. Especially in high torque tractor engines. Heat is what undermines the effectiveness of tuned elastomer dampers and leads to routine replacement and rebuilds.  Vibratech TVD and Fluidampr viscous dampers feature silicone and are designed to rapidly dissipate heat for superior damper life.

3.  Safety Rules May Not Require SFI 18.1
Sanctioned tractor pulling and truck pulling rules mandating vehicles be equipped with safety equipment to contain rotating mass failure is not SFI 18.1, or in conjunction with.

SFI 18.1 is a safety specification that dictates damper material strength, construction and durability minimums to prevent high rpm self-destruction. It does not mandate damping effectiveness. To achieve a SFI 18.1 rating, a damper must withstand 12,500 rpm for 1 hour.  If a damper self destructs on a tractor or pulling truck it is certainly not from turning above 12,500rpm – therefore the need for catch baskets.  Be sure to always consult the sanctioning body’s rulebook regarding safety requirements.