Total Friction was built over the winter of 2004/05 by Andrew Harper and Steve Cox. It made its first appearance at the North Somerset Society Show, Wraxall, Nr. Bristol at the opening pull of the tractor pulling season.
The sledge design includes a stable platform from which accurate and repeatable results can be obtained. Safety and ergonomics are a high priority in the design.
All safety systems work on a dead man principle, all settings are made outside of the cab, and so the operator cannot make any changes once the sledge is set. Major priority was to build a light and efficient sledge to cope with the lighter classes, but also to stop the heavier classes. To accomplish this many new innovations have been employed.
Transport and set up time are also a priority, as a new weigh bridge is also included on the sledge offering the complete package to any promoter wishing to put on a pull.
the malpas Sledge (aka 'The Radish Planter')
The Malpas Sledge provided the backup to 'Total Friction' at Bristol (Wraxall) in 2010 and is scheduled to be there this year.
A full description of the Sledge and it's special features will be posted on the site as soon as possible...
These photos were taken last year. This has nothing to do with the technical features of this Sledge, however, even though I was aware of the Sledge, Chris George brought it to my attention because he felt the engineering design and principles were worthy of a much wider audience. Sadly Chris passed away before we were able to analyse the relative merits of the original design.
Over the past few years, the Malpas Sledge has changed quite radically, with the operator now being housed in a cab at the rear of the Sledge.
The reason the Sledge got it name is because when it first made it's appearance in a field near Malpas the puzzled locals asked 'Tiny' Probin what it was and mischievously he told then it was a radish planter! Try as they might they never saw any radish seedling sprouting up on the track...
Total Overload has been involved in tractor pulling for many years, originally being constructed by the Midlands Club and used for their events. Manufactured in line with European guidelines, and updated over the years, the sledge then passed hands to the Pembrokeshire steam society and was used for their events in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, under the ownership of the Mason family.
After the demise of the show, it passed into the hands of the independent pullers, owned by James Slater and then was purchased by Darren and Richard Angel in 2007 in which it underwent a complete overhaul to aid in ease of movement, and to make the sledge more efficient, as well as to comply with undated safety regulations. So far the sledge has appeared at two SWTPA events, at Bristol and Croeslan.