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ASABE Announces 20th Annual 1/4-Scale Tractor Contest

Date: Friday, May 05, 2017


Thirty-one collegiate teams from the US, Canada, and Israel will soon be heading to Peoria, Illinois, to compete in the 2017 International 1/4-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition. The competition will take place June 1-4, at the Peoria Expo Gardens. The event is free and open to the public.

2017 marks the competition's 20th year, and alumni have been invited to return with legacy tractors to participate in a display and friendly competition pull scheduled for Saturday evening, June 3.

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.

IQS_ThumbCompeting teams are given a 31-hp Briggs & Stratton engine and a set of Titan tires; the tractor is theirs to design and create. A panel of industry experts judges each machine for innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, safety, sound level, and ergonomics. Teams also submit a written design report in advance of the competition. Onsite, they 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. New last year, the durability course is a timed event comprising an oval course of bumps and loose soil through which each tractor must tow a weighted cart.

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.

A complete list of this year's competitors is available online.

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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