1/4-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition Back on Track

Wednesday, May 26, 2021
1/4-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition Back on Track

St Joseph, Michigan, and Peoria, Illinois—After a one-year hiatus, the ASABE International 1/4-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition is back on track. 

Teams will gather May 28-30 at the Peoria (Illinois) Expo Gardens for the 2021 contest. The event is free and open to the public. This year’s contest is modified from previous competitions, with several of the components, such as team presentations, taking place ahead of the in-person performance events at Peoria Gardens:

  • On Friday, May 28, teams will undergo weigh-ins and technical inspections. 
  • Pulling will take place on Saturday, from 1 to 5 pm and will be followed at 6 pm by opportunity to take practice laps on the durablility course. 
  • Maneuverability and durability events will take place on Sunday, from 9 to 11 am. 

All times are subject to change due to weather and track conditions.

Sponsored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, the contest provides 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.

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—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 2021 competition include: AGCO Corporation - Jackson, Briggs & Stratton, Campbell Scientific, Case IH, Danfoss, Deere & Company, Kubota, New Holland North America, SolidWorks, Thomson, Titan International. Also, Claas, GSI Grain Systems, Katie McDonald Photography, MacDon, and AGCO Corporation - Hesston, and Linak UA Inc, as well as Igus, Miller Electric Manufacturing Co., and RCI Engineering. Other supporting sponsors include AC McCartney Farm Equipment, Caterpillar, HarvestMaster, Precision Planting, SJ Smith Co, Star Equipment, and Walz Scale.

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