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Teams Collect Honors at 20th 1/4-Scale Tractor Contest

Date: Friday, June 09, 2017

Peoria, Illinois—Always a respected competitor, Purdue University finally made it to the top of the podium to claim its first-ever win in the International 1/4-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition.

The Boilermakers took top honors at the 20th annual event, held recently in Peoria, Illinois. Enjoying its own best-ever finish, South Dakota State University claimed runner-up position. Rounding out the top five were, in descending order, the University of Nebraska, Oklahoma State University, and Kansas State University.

In addition to taking home the Detra-Wehner traveling trophy, the Purdue team received a plaque and $1500. All other top-five finishers also received plaques, plus cash awards ranging from $1200 to $500.

Awards were given to the winners of numerous judging categories, as follows:

BEST APPEARANCE – University of Saskatchewan

JIM AND DARCY SCHMIDT FAMILY TEAMWORK – Montana State University

SPORTSMANSHIP – Montana State University

CRAFTSMANSHIP – McGill University          

MANUFACTURABILITY – McGill University     

SERVICEABILITY – McGill University     

TEST & DEVELOPMENT – University of Nebraska

SAFETY – Kansas State University

MANEUVERABILITY – Purdue University

ERGONOMICS – Oklahoma State University

SOUND LEVEL – Ariel University

INNOVATION – Oklahoma State University (Air Bag Suspension System)

WRITTEN DESIGN REPORT
First place – University of Saskatchewan
Second place – University of Kentucky
Third place – Kansas State University

TEAM PRESENTATION
First place – Kansas State University
Second place – McGill University
Third place – University of Nebraska

TRACTOR PULLS                
Winner, First Hook – University of Missouri
Winner, Second Hook – University of Missouri
Winner, Third Hook – South Dakota State University

DURABILITY AWARD – Oklahoma State University

OVERALL TRACTOR PERFORMANCE (Maneuverability, Durability, Tractor Pulls)
First place – Purdue University
Second place – South Dakota State University
Third place – Oklahoma State University

MOST IMPROVED – Oklahoma State University (moved 16 places from 2016 competition)

Sponsored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, the competition is unique among student engineering-design contests, providing a realistic 360-degree workplace experience. It is a popular recruiting event for many sponsors, who find among the participants practiced, high-achieving prospects with strong technical, communication, and leadership skills honed by competition experience.

Competing teams are given a 31-hp Briggs & Stratton engine and a set of Titan tires; the tractor is theirs to design and create. Judges evaluate each machine for innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, safety, sound level, and ergonomics. Teams also submit a written design report and must sell their design, in a formal presentation to industry experts playing the role of a corporate management team. Finally, machines are put to the test in three performance events—three tractor pulls, a maneuverability course, and a durability course.

Through involvement in the competition, students gain practical experience in the design of drive train systems, tractor performance, manufacturing processes, analysis of tractive forces, weight transfer and strength of materials. They also sharpen critical “soft” skills—communication, leadership, teamwork—as well as gain experience in fundraising and test and development.

Sponsors of the 2017 competition include: AGCO, Briggs & Stratton, Case IH, Danfoss, John Deere, New Holland Agriculture, SolidWorks, Titan, RCI Engineering, Caterpillar, Campbell Scientific. Also, Katie McDonald Photography, Claas, and Thompson. Other supporting sponsors include Central City Scale, Igus, Miller, GSI, and MacDon.

ASABE is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food, and biological systems. 

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