Truck-Pull Tips from Phil Pfister

Active Southern West Virginia (Active SWV) is a non-profit organization working to remove barriers to physical activity in Nicholas, Fayette, Raleigh, and Summers counties by providing free physical activity programs in communities, parks, schools, local governments, and workplaces. This Truck-Pull Series is a way to fundraise to support these free program costs. Additional donations and sponsors are always welcome.

Phil Pfister, the World’s Strongest Man 2006, is a native West Virginian who offered his expertise in planning these events and providing some great tips for those participating.

What is a Truck-Pull?

It’s literally tying a rope to a truck and teams of people work together to move the truck a pre-determined distance in the fastest time. Trust us, there’s more strategy in this than you might think (and we can help with those tips too)! Teams of 6 people will hold onto a large diameter rope attached to the front of a fire truck. The team will be facing the truck pulling backwards. Think of this as tug-of-war but with a truck as your competition. The truck will be idling out of gear and the brake will be released when the start signal is given.

Tips for a Strong Pull from Phil

  1. Have fun! These events can get competitive, but keep the teamwork attitude and supporting each other.
  2.  Be healthy and safe by staying hydrated, only pulling what you are comfortable with, asking questions if you have any concerns.
  3. Practice, practice, practice with your team, if at all possible. Get together and determine your order of team members.
  4. Put your largest person as the anchor at the farthest point from the truck and your tallest person closest to the truck.
  5. Keep your feet in contact with the ground as much as possible while pulling. Lean away from the truck while pulling.
  6. Keep tension on the rope.
  7. Select good footwear for traction on the surface. Possibly bring a few pairs of shoes to find the best traction the day of the event.
  8. Consider using gloves and try them at your practice, but usually the best grip is without gloves.
  9. The anchor person can wrap the rope around their hips one time.
  10.  Pay attention to the excess rope to not get tangled or tripped by the rope on the ground.


Active SWV Truck-Pull Series 2020
Nicholas County – March 14th Mt. Nebo St. Patrick’s Day – register here
$25 per person with 6 person teams, $150 per team
Fayette County – July 3rd Fayetteville 4th of July parade
$50 per person with 6 person teams, $300 per team
Summers County – TBA
$50 per person with 6 person teams, $300 per team
Raleigh County – TBA
$100 per person with 6 person teams, $300 per team

Youth teams are $60 for 6-10 youth under the age of 16. Parents must be present to sign a waiver of liability.

*First place teams receive half price entry into the next series event. Examples: the 1st place teams from Nicolas County can enter the Fayette County Truck-Pull for $150 total (instead of $300 per team). The 1st place teams from Fayette County can enter the Summer County Truck-Pull for $150 total (instead of the $300 per team). The 1st place teams from the Summers County can enter the Raleigh County Truck-Pull for $300 (instead of the $600 per team).


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