“It’s got to be 35-years at least,” said the Medicine Hat, AB. based puller Friday afternoon ahead of the first day of competition at the Yorkton Hyundai Thunder in the Parkland Truck & Tractor Pulls presented by Yorkton Home Hardware.
Hunter told Yorkton This Week it was just sort of a natural step for him.
“I’ve always been in motorsports ... I thought it (pulling) was a pretty interesting sport,” he said, adding he liked that families often travelled to events together.
So Hunter got a modified mini rod, and started pulling.
“I like the way they perform,” he said of the minis.
While many in the sport start with one unit, and seem to add a second and then more to their line-up, Hunter said he has never felt the lure of driving multiple units.
“I’ve always concentrated on one unit,” he said.
Today, the mini is gone. Hunter’s ride now is a two-wheel drive truck that he began with in 2000.
“The body is all fibreglass,” he said, as he began detailing the truck, which has a 572 cubic inch Ford motor putting out 2600 horsepower, and 2000 foot pounds of torque.
“A planetary rear end helps keep it together,” he said, adding it would tear a normal rear end apart with the power it generates.
Hunter built the truck too.
“I used to have my own mechanical business,” he said.
Keeping the truck working at peak performance is now more fun for Hunter than the pulls.
“It used to be both, but I like the tuning part of it more now,” he said, adding it’s always a case of trying to have everything at the top level ahead of a show to give the unit the best shot at pulling well.
And, generally the truck has done just that -- pull well.
Hunter has taken the truck stateside into Kentucky, and across the Midwest where events attract 40 to 50 trucks in his category. While a win has not come, he is happy to have a couple of second place finishes.
In Yorkton Hunter said he’ll likely be pulling against six or seven trucks in his class, and some Canadian shows will see 10, or 12.
In a normal, non-COVID-19 year, Hunter said there are 12, or 14 shows he would attend in Canada, but added the number is less this year, with the Yorkton event the last on the schedule.
So why after 35-years, and his share of success, does Hunter stay with pulling?
“I’ve always liked doing it, and I like the travel too,” he said, adding he has a motorhome that pulls his truck trailer.
“The people you meet,” are also a big part of enjoying the sport, concluded Hunter.