University Teams Gear Up for International Tractor-Design Competition

Tuesday, May 14, 2024
University Teams Gear Up for International Tractor-Design Competition

St Joseph, Michigan, and Peoria, Illinois—Teams from across the US and Canada will gather in just a few weeks to compete in the International 1/4-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition

The event will take place May 31 – June 2 at the Peoria (Illinois) Expo Gardens for the 2024 contest. The event is free and open to the public. 

  • On Friday, May 31, teams will undergo weigh-ins and technical inspections. 
  • Pulling will take place on Saturday, June 1, 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 an 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 2024 competition include: CNH, John Deere, New Holland, Kubota, Agco, Titan, Briggs & Stratton, Danfoss, DSS SolidWorks, Catalytic Combustion, GSI, Kawasaki, Thomson, Linak, Vermeer, Mac Don, RCI Engineering, Igus, Miller, Kondex, Hydro-Gear, Precision Planting, and Medeiros. Other supporters include AC McCartney Farm Equipment, Blunier Implement, Campbell Scientific, Caterpillar, Dewesoft, Electrex, Inc., HarvestMaster, Kelly Sauder Rupiper, 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.