Photo credit: Katie McDonald Photography

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One of the primary concerns of industry today is that many engineering students 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.

Through participation in the International 1/4 Scale Tractor Student Design Competition, students are challenged to harness the power and torque of a specified stock engine in order to maximize performance during a series of performance challenges.

Design fundamentals such as strength of materials, statics and power transfer will be major factors as the students design their frame, drive train, 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.

Not only will students gain practical design experience by participating in this competition, they will also obtain valuable experience as they manufacture and present their own designs. Many manufacturing departments cringe when design engineers simply throw their designs "over the wall" and assume they can be easily manufactured. Through hands-on experience with numerous manufacturing processes, students will gain an awareness of the capabilities and potential pitfalls in the design for manufacturability and design for assembly.

With a project of this size and magnitude, the students' skills in communication, teamwork and time management will be greatly challenged and developed through necessity. This project will graduate students who can excel and perform under adverse conditions and pressures, with professional skills valuable to any employer.

Celebrating Our 21st Year!
The International 1/4 Scale Tractor Student Design Competition is unique among student engineering-design contests in that it provides a realistic 360-degree workplace experience. Teams of students are given a 31 hp Briggs & Stratton engine and a set of Titan tires. The design of their tractor is up to them. A panel of industry experts then judge each design for innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, safety, sound level, and ergonomics. Teams also submit a written design report in advance of the competition, and on-site, 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.

The Durability Course is a timed event through an oval course of bumps and loose soil while towing a weighted cart. Teams will compete in the timed event by individually completing a quantity of 8 laps on an approximately 250 ft (76 m) course in less than 12 minutes. A single lap consists of 80 ft (24 m) of rough conditions, and 80 ft of loose soil conditions. The remainder of the course is flat dirt. The rough track is created using a random array of bumps no taller than 2.5 in (64 mm), and the loose track is created using 8 inches (203 mm) of sand depth.

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. In addition, they  also develop skills in communication, leadership, teamwork, fundraising and test & development.

The Awards
The competition concludes with an awards banquet where the top five overall finishers are announced, along with a multitude of awards for various category winners. The top five finishers receive plaques and cash awards as follows:

1st - $1,500
2nd - $1,200
3rd - $900
4th - $700
5th - $500 

 

Competition Sponsorship


 

Sponsorship is more than just a demonstration of a company's investment in the community or a show of their commitment to educational development. Corporate sponsorship is an investment in a company's future.
 

Students who participate in this design competition and others like it, are highly sought by major corporations because they will accomplish the following:

  • Receive hands-on experience in both design and manufacturing processes;
  • Learn how to manage, finance and document a design program from start to finish;
  • Learn how to communicate professionally with peers, industry and professional engineers through fundraising and competition events;
  • Enhance team building skills as they design, build, and test their tractors; and
  • Develop time management and multi-tasking skills as they balance their rigorous school load with the demands of an in-depth design project.

Sponsorship is an excellent way to identify and establish contacts with some of the most highly skilled engineering students in the country, students who are already interested in the machine systems. As you may know, these students take most of the standard mechanical engineering coursework, but specialize in agricultural applications such as off road machinery and lawn & turf equipment.

Also, as a sponsor, you will receive immediate promotional benefits as listed in the sponsorship chart.  

Interested in a becoming a sponsor? Please contact Mark Crossley.

Thank You to our Sponsors

Platinum Level - $8,000 cash or in-kind donations


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AppIndTech


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Silver Level - $3,000-$5,499 cash or in-kind donations


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Bronze Level - $1,500-$2,999 cash or in-kind donations


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Site Level - Up to $1,499 cash or in-kind donations


AC McCartney Farm Equipment
HarvestMaster
Kelly Sauder Rupiper LLC
Kondex Corp.
Martin Sullivan Inc. 
Precision Planting 
SJ Smith Co. 
Star Equipment
Walz Scale