The UNL Quarter Scale Tractor X-Team won the International Quarter Scale Tractor Student Design Competition in May. The competition brought students from around the world to Peoria, Illinois, to test their skills at the event hosted by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.
Teams are given a 31-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine and a set of Titan tires. The design of the tractor is up to them. Industry leaders judge each design for innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, maneuverability, safety, sound level and ergonomics. The process gives team members an opportunity to experiment with complex technology that’s becoming increasingly common in the industry.
Along with the practical experience gained, students also develop skills in other critical areas, said Roger Hoy, professor in biological systems engineering and a tractor team adviser.
“They learn a lot about communication, leadership, teamwork, fundraising, and testing and development,” he said.
Support from Timpte, Inc., an industry leader in trailer manufacturing, was critical to the team’s success this year. The team tractor and other equipment was transported to and from competition in a trailer cooperatively designed and built by UNL students and Timpte. Along with materials and services, Timpte has also supported the team through internships and employment.
The UNL team competed against 14 other teams in their division and claimed the top spot over teams from the University of Illinois and Iowa State University. Twenty-six freshman and sophomore students are on the quarter-scale tractor team.
Team captain Turner Hagen said it was great to see their hard work pay off at the competition.
“The team members and I really worked hard and put a lot of time and effort into getting our tractor ready for competition,” he said. “It makes me very proud to be rewarded for that and to bring home first place for UNL.”