The Valtra Pulling Team leads the life of a circus during the summer touring competitions around Europe almost every weekend from May to September. When competitions are held on consecutive weekends in Central Europe, it makes no sense for the team to travel home to Finland in between.
Pekka Herlevi is the grand old man of tractor pulling, having participated almost as long as tractor pulling competitions have been held in Europe. No one else has as many European Championship and Euro Cup medals than Pekka, not to mention the Valtra Pulling Team as a whole.
Pekka’s son Matti Herlevi builds the competition tractors together with his father and also drives in competition. Pekka’s daughter Johanna Herlevi now has two young children at home and together with her husband runs a restaurant in Jyväskylä so she only has time to compete a few times each season. Johanna’s mother Anne Herlevi serves as the team manager and the family’s second daughter Tiina Herlevi works at Valtra, but is not actively involved with the team at the moment.
The team’s mechanics are Pekka Mailas and Matti Kangas. who both work in the engineering department at Valtra and AGCO Power. Pekka is primarily responsible for the team’s transmissions while Matti focuses on the engines. The team’s chief engineer Mauno Ylivakeri is retiring and is being replaced by Kari Aaltonen; both Mauno and Kari have senior positions in the engineering department at AGCO Power.