Tractor pull goes amazingly wrong


Originally published at:


Wow now that is an engine failure!


The engine was possessed! It was still running after it plopped out’a the truck.


And I thought that time the car I was driving threw a rod was bad :fearful:


Coal-rollin’ videos always make me think of our descendants watching them from some sort of Atlantis in utter disbelief (even knowing they illustrate a symptom, not a cause).


So what causes such a catastrophic failure like that?


Torque. All the torques cause a failure like that.

More seriously: Everything. Some smallish failure leads to a catastrophic cascade of failures that ends with the engine exiting the truck. I’d guess something downstream seized, and the resulting shock loading let the engines MASSIVE torque redirect it’s attention to the engine mounts.


One factor may be the increased fuel and decreased air intake needed to ‘roll coal’. I can see how that might cause off time detonation when run at high RPM.


was the driver ok? that looks like it hit the cab. : o


Better video:

Driver was reportedly fine.


One possibility is hydrostatic lock caused by unburnt fuel or escaped coolant in one or more cyclinders. This can result in the engine tearing itself apart.


The only time I have personally worked on a vehicle that did something like that, the driveshaft and U-Joints were damaged, and a vibration started, then began feeding on itself. The engine mounts and exhaust manifolds broke away. and the engine sort of came through the side of the engine bay.


That engine is sick and tired of causing climate change.


I know it’s funny to make fun of tractor pulls as redneck drag racing (well, actually it kinda is, but I digress) but it’s actually pretty incredible from an engineering perspective.

These “tractors” are often insane machines (some with multiple engines) putting out thousands of horsepower in an attempt to pull a sled (itself a pretty slick bit of engineering) weighing some 30 tons a few hundred feet.

It’s just completely ridiculous and over the top, and pretty damn awesome.


I didn’t see anything go amazingly wrong. I saw one of those “rolllin’ coal” jackasses get some instant karma.


Let’s take a page from the NTPA website about the Super Semi and Pro Stock Semi racing classes:

Stock semi engines themselves weigh 1-2 tons. This particular engine had to have been pulling thousands of foot lbs of torque. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the tremendous rotational force of the engine just ripped it completely out of its engine mounts and through the hood. Pretty spectacular failure.


The scootenfroody in this is very strong.


FTA (emphasis mine):

Wow, what a winner. I mean, clean air? Psh. That’s for pussies.

FWIW, the vehicle in the OP is quite obviously modified for motorsports use, which makes up a tiny fraction of the world’s emissions to the point where the EPA doesn’t enforce this at all (as long as you’re not driving on public roads). “Rolling coal” on public roads is just a great way of advertising what a asshole you are.


I betcha that truck regrets smoking 4 packs a day now, huh?