Tractor pulling champ visits Shell tech center in Houston

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Larry Koester is a four-time national tractor pulling champion.Larry Koester is a four-time national tractor pulling champion.

Larry Koester, four-time national tractor pulling champion and advocate for Shell Rotella, recently visited the Shell Technology Center Houston on his way to the city’s annual Livestock Show and Rodeo.

“In tractor pulling, our engines have four times the horsepower of a NASCAR race car. As we pull a heavy sled down the track, the load on the engine is so great that the oil is the only thing you have to keep the engine cool and running. This is why I’m here—to better understand the science that makes us a winning team, as well as to connect with researchers on our future engine oil needs for the sport.”

Koester has a compelling personal story: After losing both legs below the knees in a tractor accident on his farm more than 20 years ago, he redirected his energy and became a tractor-pulling champion.

At STCH, Koester and his team—including family members who are champions in their own right—had the opportunity to observe extensive engine oil testing, see how customer oils are blended and visit the Tribology Lab, where scientists study the principles of friction, lubrication and wear.

In their racing, the Koesters use a modified version of one of the Shell Rotella T series of products, built from the same technology that goes into premium Rotella heavy duty engine oils.

“Our family has been in the trucking industry for 79 years,” said Koester. “You find out through experience what kind of oils and greases really work to extend the life of your equipment. I’m glad we were able to learn about the technology and innovation that makes Shell Rotella the right product for us, and I look forward to more meetings like this in the future.”