Late spring for the past 16 years the sounds of tractor pulling and the excitement of student competition is taking place in Peoria, Illinois. This is the time for the American Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineers annual International Quarter Scale Tractor Student Design Competition. This competition requires a team of student engineers to build a 31 Horsepower quarter scale tractor and document and present the market research, testing and development and then participate in a live tractor pulling demonstration. It is pretty intense competition which brings students, faculty, agricultural experts and engineers from all over the world. The American Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineers (ASABE), the organization that sponsors the event, is an international scientific and educational organization that is dedicated to the advancement of engineering in the food, agriculture and biological industries.
Each team in the competition starts with an engine and tires and then relies on donations from sponsors to help design and build the rest of the tractor. A high level winning team can have a budget of over $25,000, which includes travel costs and the latest equipment. The average teams run their projects between $5,000 and $10,000. The college teams get judged on many categories including safety, testing and development, tractor pulls, team presentation, safety, ergonomics, sound level and many more. The overall winner of the 2013 competition was Kansas State University. There were also individual awards given out for the different categories that were judged. The winner takes home a trophy, a plaque for their university or college, $1500 and a $2000 scholarship sponsored by CNH.
AKE Safety Equipment was a Gold Sponsor for the 2012-2013 University of Florida Quarter Scale Tractor Team. AKE Safety Equipment donated a STOP-FYRETM fire extinguisher to the team to have in the cab of the tractor. The team finished 26th in the competition due to some mechanical issues with their design. They had created a unique 2-seater tractor, but unfortunately, the tractor lacked weight that was needed to pull during the tractor pull. However, the team did win the 2013 Teamwork Award, which is for the team who has worked the best together under difficult circumstance. With the start of the new school year, a new team at the University of Florida will be coming together for the 2014 competition. AKE Safety Equipment was very happy to be able to help this set of future agricultural engineers in this great competition!