The story of Skinny


The story of Skinny

It begins when Onky and Julie Ankers purchased Major Madness from BTPA member John Orwin of Holmfirth and brought it home to Whixall , Shropshire where it was renamed Skinny.

The first ever Malpas tractor pulling club event was held a few day’s later where Onky had a demonstration pull and after a few attempts he made it up the track , from then on he was hooked !

That winter with lots of help from his good friend and ace mechanic Simon Neame the tractor was stripped to reveal that no 5 piston had melted and damaged the block .Another block was found and rebuilt with modified pistons to alter the compression ratio and a data logger was added to record the exhaust gas temperature . The paintwork was face lifted at this time thanks to Lee Stone .

The first event after the rebuild was the North Somerset steam spectacular at Wraxall , Bristol , Onky  was going well up to the 80 meter marker when a major engine failure occurred  , the resulting well documented fire saw Onky move at a speed never seen before or since as he released his seat belts and leapt off .Everybody rushed  around with buckets of water and extinguishers to douse the flames .This was the start of many problems for the next three years , lots of modifications , alterations and melted pistons later  along with a charge cooler which has proved a great success . From then on a major engine failure occurred at most events which understandabley was very disheartening but at this time lots of people offered help and advice which was greatly appreciated.

During the 2011 pulling season  only  a few events were attended as they took time out because thing couldn’t carry on as they were and increased work commitments for Onky and Simon . Skinny was rebuilt for the Dearnford  Lake pull ,the  last of the 2011 season , where it went really well and claimed a second place on the Saturday night .

To get ready for the 2012 season  it was rebuild time yet again , the clutch has to be taken out for the annual safety  inspection  ( to check for wear , fatigue or cracks ). It was decided to increase the size from a 10” 3 plate to a 13” 3 plate clutch supplied by fellow puller Steve Cox, these required modifications to the input shaft. As usual the rebuild was finished with minutes to spare.

2012 was a much improved year for the Skinny team, with much improved reliability giving Simon a well deserved rest from constant rebuilds. Although it was a very wet season and lots events were cancelled Skinny went really well at the ones attended including two trips to Scotland (Keith and the Black isle).

By the end of the season Skinny was crowned the under 401 prostock champion, this was a major achievement well deserved after the previous year’s disappointments (and a huge pile of melted pistons).

The team also returned from the SWTPA prize giving meeting proudly clutching trophies for ‘Puller of the year’ and ‘Best turned out tractor ‘ .

There are two names on the tractor “Skinny” and “The Old Bitch” , these are in tribute to Onky’s brother and mother  who unfortuatly never witnessed this success .

Onky and Julie would to thank all those who have helped and sponsored them especially Simon and Laura .

Lets hope for a drier 2013 season and to quote BFD  “ Blue is the colour “.......


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