In the heart of the Mallee, where dust mingles with the echoes of roaring engines, a living legend thrives—Flat Stick. Named by Marj Hynam, this green powerhouse is entering its 4th decade in the world of tractor pulling, carrying a rich history woven with the dedication of generations.
The story began in 1982 during a severe drought when Kevin Hynam and his father, Frank Hynam, came together to build the first iteration of Flat Stick. Frank, renowned for his resourcefulness in scavenging parts and obtaining bits and pieces from farm clearance sales, played a pivotal role in the initial builds, keeping the cost down to a mere $600. His hands-on approach extended to the second build in 1990, where his knack for acquiring crucial parts at clearance sales became a cornerstone of the tractor's identity, even utilising the A-frame C-section wedge from the pull of a Connor Shea Air Seeder as the chassis rails, a purchase made at a clearance sale.
As the years unfolded, the torch of Flat Stick's legacy passed to Murray Hynam. In 1990, at the age of 19, Murray undertook a monumental rebuild, dedicating a month off farm work to breathe new life into the tractor. What ensued was a 33-year journey of continuous tractor pulling, marked by unwavering commitment and resilience.
Murray became the backbone of the Flat Stick team, participating in almost every pull since. His commitment extended beyond the tracks; he served as an ATPA executive, holding the president position for four years, and generously shared his advice and guidance with newcomers to the sport.
Through personal and professional challenges, tractor pulling, and Flat Stick remained constants in Murray's life. Repairing, rebuilding, painting, cutting tires, polishing, servicing—the countless hours invested in keeping the green tractor operational are a testament to his dedication.
As Murray's legacy transcending generations, he passed on his skills to his son Luke and daughter Reba, and Bec, Murray's wife, continues to provide unwavering support and became an integral part of the Flat Stick journey.
Flat Stick's four decades are not merely a celebration of a tractor; it's a narrative of dedication, passion, and familial bonds that have fuelled its journey. As the green giant continues to conquer tracks, it carries the echoes of Frank, Marj, & Kevin's contributions, Murray's unwavering commitment, Bec's steadfast support, and a legacy that spans four remarkable decades—a testament to the indomitable spirit that propels it forward in the world of tractor pulling excellence.