South Dakota State Repeats as 1/4-Scale Champs

Thursday, June 29, 2023
South Dakota State Repeats as 1/4-Scale Champs

Peoria, Illinois—For the second time in a row, South Dakota State University claimed top honors in the ASABE International 1/4-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition. 

It is the third win overall for SDSU: the Jackrabbits won the event in 2018 also. 

Rounding out the top five finishers were, in descending order, Kansas State University, North Carolina State University, Purdue University, and the University of Missouri. Nineteen teams from the U.S. and Canada competed in the 2023 event.

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 an engine and a set of  tires; the tractor is theirs to design and create. A panel of industry experts judges each machine for innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, and other factors relevant to real-world operability. 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.  

Along the way to its championship win, South Dakota State picked up several awards for their tractor design, including craftsmanship and ergonomics.

Best Appearance—Iowa State University
Jim and Darcy Schmidt Family Teamwork—University of Manitoba
Sportsmanship— Pennsylvania State University
Craftsmanship—South Dakota State University
Manufacturability— University of Saskatchewan
Serviceability—Iowa State University
Test & Development—Pennsylvania State University
Safety— University of Saskatchewan
Ergonomics— South Dakota State University
Defense of Design—University of Kentucky
Team Presentation—South Dakota State University
Written Design Report—University of Saskatchewan
Maneuverability—University of Wisconsin–Platteville
Durability—North Dakota State University
Tractor Performance—South Dakota State University
Most Improved—Kansas State University and Purdue University

Sponsors of the 2023 competition include: CNH Industrial, Deere & Company. Also, AGCO, Kubota, Briggs & Stratton, Titan International, DSS SolidWorks, Danfoss, GSI Grain Systems, Caterpillar, Vermeer, Thomson, Claas, Linak, and MacDon. Others include RCI Engineering, Igus, Miller Electric Manufacturing Co., Krone, and DeweSoft..

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