Providing students professional experience, education and fun – ASABE, the Society for Engineering in Agriculture, Food and Biological Systems, is interested in doing just that. ASABE organized a National Student Design Competition based upon the concept of designing a 1/4 Scale Tractor.
The design competition is arranged to be both educational and fun for the students. There are four main judging categories: a Written Design Report, a Team Presentation, Individual Design Judging and a Performance Competition. The performance competition, the highlight of the event, is comprised of a multi-stage tractor pull using a progressive sled.
Through involvement in the competition, students will gain practical experience in the design of drivetrain systems, tractor performance, manufacturing processes, analysis of tractive forces, weight transfer and strength of materials. In addition, they also develop skills in communication, leadership, teamwork, fundraising and test and development.
Design Experience and More
One of the primary concerns of the industry today is that many engineering students (of all majors) are entering the workforce with little or no practical knowledge or design experience. Student design competitions and projects are an important key to help prepare students to be effective professional engineers. In the 1/4 Scale Tractor Design Competition, students will be challenged to harness the power and torque of a specified stock engine in order to maximize performance in the tractor pull.
Design fundamentals such as the strength of materials, statics and power transfer will be major factors as the students design their frame, drivetrain, hitch, clutch, weight brackets and other parts. Although the size and shape of the 1/4 scale tractor is similar to that of a typical lawn and garden tractor, very few parts will be used directly from a commercial machine.