The day began bright and early at the CAT plant with presentations starting at 8:40 am. Our presenters (Ray and Megan) delivered a solid presentation to the panel of judges within the allotted time. In addition, questions were answered clearly and promptly. Overall the judges liked our presentation and gave valuable verbal feedback for future years.
Later, we returned to the fairgrounds to try doing some practice pulls. However, we were not able to do any practice pulls as there were a series of problems associated with the transmission alignment and engagement. We were able to fix up what we could to make the tractor drive properly again but it was nearly time for the main pulling event. The main pulling event started at around 5:30 pm.
There were three pulls with the following weight classes: 1000 lb., 1000 lb., and 1500 lb. We were 11th in line for the first pull. We hooked up to the sled, throttled up, waited a few seconds for the engine to calm down, and then hammered the lever down to get a top speed of 7.4 mph. Penelope was going strong but suddenly the engine died out and our result was 92.61 ft. For our second pull, we were 17th in line. This time we knew what we had to do to go farther. We throttled up, hammered down the lever, and backed off when the engine was bogging down. With this technique, we were able to go 218.39 ft! We used a similar technique for the 1500 lb pull and got 164.9 ft.
In summary, our pull results were as follows:
11 – 1000 lb. – 92.61 ft – 7.4 mph – 18/22
17 – 1000 lb. – 218.39 ft. – 7.4 mph – 9/21
25 – 1500 lb. – 164.9 ft. – 7.6 mph – 15/20
During the final pull, the announcer mentioned how our tractor looked like a Minion and then played the banana song; the crowd had a good laugh about that.
Tomorrow is the final day of competition. We are second in line for the maneuverability/durability event. It will be an all or nothing event which is equivalent in points to a pull. Hopefully, we can do more than one lap this year with our new design. Finally, we will attend the awards banquet at Embassy Suites to end the day. We will let you know what happens in our next update either tomorrow or Monday.