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Teams Prepare for 2014 1/4-Scale Competition

Date: Friday, May 23, 2014

St. Joseph, Mich. and Peoria, Ill. --Twenty-nine teams from colleges and universities across North America will vie for prizes and global recognition for their design innovations in the 17th Annual International ¼-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition, sponsored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). The event will be held May 29-June 1, at the Expo Gardens in Peoria, Ill.

The teams have spent the 2013-2104 academic year designing and building utility or recreational pulling tractors that they will present and demonstrate at the competition. Each team is supplied one 31-hp Briggs and Stratton Vanguard Big Block Engine, with the option to run two 16-hp Briggs & Stratton engines and a set of Titan tires; they are responsible for acquiring all other components of their machines. All tractors run on a 10% ethanol fuel blend sponsored by the Kentucky Corn Growers' Association.

The ¼-Scale Competition is unique among student engineering-design contests in that it provides a realistic "360-degree" workplace experience. Industry experts judge each design for innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, maneuverability, safety, sound level, and ergonomics. Teams also submit a written design report in advance of the competition, and onsite they must "sell" their design, in a formal presentation to judges playing the role of a corporate management team. Finally, machines are put to the test in a performance demonstration comprising of four tractor pulls.

Last year Kansas State University took top honors, edging out runner-up University of Kentucky, 2012 champion. Rounding out the top five teams in the 2013 contest were, in descending order: Modesto Junior College, Université Laval, and Penn State University.

The ¼-Scale Tractor Competition is a popular recruiting event for many sponsors, most of whom have hired engineers from among the teams, finding practiced, high-achieving candidates with strong technical, communication, and leadership skills honed by competition experience. These students will soon be designing the equipment that companies will be manufacturing, dealers will be selling, bankers will be financing, and producers will be using in their operations.

The top teams will be honored Sunday, June 1, at 6 pm, at an awards banquet held at The Grand Hotel, in Peoria. Additional awards will also be presented:

Campbell Scientific Award: Representatives from Campbell Scientific select the Best Use of Test Methods or Data Acquisition in the Development of a Prototype.

Craftsmanship Award: Manufacturability judges recognize the highest craftsmanship in tractor fabrication. Appearance Award: Judges and the field of competitors select the best overall tractor appearance.

Sportsmanship Award: Competitors vote for the team that exhibits the highest standards of sportsmanship in all events with other teams.

The Jim & Darcy Schmidt Family Teamwork Award: Competitors vote for the team that works best together under difficult circumstances during the events or for overall teamwork exhibited during the competition.

Innovation Award: Design judges choose the recipient based on the most innovative concepts incorporated into the team's tractor design.

CNH ¼ Scale Scholarship: A scholarship will be awarded to one outstanding member of each of the top three teams who is a student pursuing an undergraduate degree in agricultural engineering with an emphasis in machinery design. The teams will receive $2,000, $1,000, and $1,000 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The teams and they're advisors will choose the individual students.

Corporate sponsors for the ASABE 17th Annual International 1/4-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition are AGCO, Briggs & Stratton, Case IH, Caterpillar, Deere & Company, New Holland, SolidWorks and Titan International. Additional support is provided by Campbell Scientific, Inc., Central City Scale, Claas, GSI Grain Systems, Katie McDonald Photography, igus Inc., Manitowoc Crane, Miller Electric Manufacturing, and RCI Engineering.

Participating Teams

California Polytechnic State University
Ferris State University
Iowa State University
Kansas State University
Lamar University
McGill University
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Modesto Junior College
North Carolina State University
North Dakota State University
Oklahoma State University
Penn State University
Purdue University
South Dakota State University
Southern Illinois University
Texas A & M University
The Ohio State University
Université Laval
University of Florida
University of Illinois
University of Kentucky
University of Manitoba
University of Missouri
University of Nebraska
University of Saskatchewan
University of Tennessee - Martin
University of Wisconsin - Madison
University of Wisconsin - Platteville
University of Wisconsin - River Falls


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