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Pack Pullers take seventh place in International ¼-Scale Tractor Competition

The Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering Pack Pullers student team finished in seventh place overall out of 29 college and university teams competing in the International ¼-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition, sponsored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

The Pack Pullers’ tractor also won the “Best Appearance” award, and the team earned sixth place in vehicle maneuverability and seventh place in team presentation competitions.

Eleven of the team’s 15 student members traveled to Peoria, Ill., for the competition: Jordan Boyette, Clay Campbell, Spencer Davis, Ed Godfrey, Randall Godfrey, Steven Hall, Daniel Myers, John Norwood, Kevin Schachter, Jermayne Smallwood and TiEra Worsley.

Dr. Grant Ellington, assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering, advised the team. He said he was very pleased with the work done by the students and others who gave support for the team.

All of the students who competed in the competition spent the 2012-2013 academic year designing and building their tractors. Each team is supplied one 31-horsepower Briggs & Stratton Vanguard Big Block Engine, with the option to run two 16-horespower Briggs & Stratton engines and a set of Titan tires. Each team is responsible for acquiring all other components of their machines. All tractors run on a 10 percent ethanol fuel blend.

The International ¼-Scale Tractor Competition is unique among student engineering-design contests in that it provides a realistic “360-degree” workplace experience, according to Ellington. Industry experts judge each design for innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, maneuverability, safety, sound level and ergonomics.

Teams also submit a written design report in advance of the competition, and onsite they must “sell” their design in a formal presentation to judges playing the role of a corporate management team. Finally, machines are put to the test in a performance demonstration comprising four tractor pulls.

– S. Stanard