Meet the Bear Essentials

bears

The Bear Essentials Team competes in tractor pulling events internationally with their tractor Ice Bear. The project started in February 1996 when Mike Simmons, a well known competitor on the UK tractor pulling circuit, approached Valmet with a proposal to enter the UK Pro-Stock Championship. Valmet had run Super stock tractors on the European circuit for a number of years and were very much involved in the sport. Ray West, Managing Director of Valmet UK, agreed a joint venture with Mike to form Ice Bear Pulling Team.

The team then set about sourcing and assembling all the main components. A complete rear axle unit was found in Cornwall off an accident damaged tractor. This was the start of the team’s great journey. In April the team found a damaged cab in Sweden and shipped it over. An engine duly arrived from the factory in June, and finally a set of bonnet panels was located in Ireland in September 1996. Over the following winter and spring all the special parts that were required were manufactured.

Ice Bear duly arrived on 17 May 1997. Success came within a year as British champion, and the tractor was developed further each season with upgrades to both the mechanical layout and exterior look. The team added a second tractor, Baby Bear, in 2005 to form the new Bear Essentials Pulling Team.  Both of these machines competed in both the UK and European circuits up until 2014. Former team member Gareth Jones now drives this second tractor, renamed Diesel Dragon, but mainly in UK competitions.

Since 2015 the renamed Bear Essentials Team has refocused its efforts to further increase power and performance with Ice Bear.  Over the years the tractor has changed almost beyond recognition, and it was totally rebuilt in the winter of 2015-2016. Ice Bear now sports in excess of 2000 horsepower, some of the latest specialist racing parts, a new white livery and the Valtra fourth generation T Series look.

Mike has been crowned UK Pro-Stock Champion 5 times with Ice Bear, which also came in 3rd at the European Championships at Great Eccleston in 1998 and 4th in 2016. The team’s highest finish in the Euro Cup series so far has been 6th overall, but the team has high hopes for the coming seasons!

Bear Essentials Pulling Team

Mike Simmons

mike

Driver

Andy Miller

andy

Driver

 

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