Once again, the day began bright and early; we were at the Peoria fairgrounds since our maneuverability time slot set for 8:15 am. Unfortunately, maneuverability did not go too well as one of the hoses in our hydraulic steering system popped off, and we were forced to stop–it turned out the fitting was not tight enough. We were given one hour to find and fix the problem and return for durability.
After we fixed the steering problem, we proceeded to the durability track. Unfortunately, we were unable to get passed the first turn; the bumps proved to be too much for our front axle as it was bouncing over the bumps and preventing steering functions.
Following our defeat, we cheered ourselves up by eating brunch at Perkins.
Later in the day, we packed up our trailer and cleaned up for the awards banquet. At the banquet, we had some past competition participants talk about their experiences, ate food, listened to an experienced engineer give stories and career advice, congratulated the award winners, and took group photos. Design judging and presentation feedback were given to us at the end of the ceremony. In addition, competition results were posted later in the night.
To summarize our results:
- We placed 9th overall
- We placed 6th in Written Design
- We placed 5th in Team Presentation
- We placed 11th in Design Judging
- We placed 13th in Tractor Pulls
- We tied for last in both Durability and Maneuverability
- Amazingly, we also placed 8th in Safety and 3rd in Sound
The full competition results can be found on the 2016 Master Score Spreadsheet
When we got back to the hotel, there was a competition and tractor-year debriefing. We read through the judge’s comments and also talked about what we did, why we did it, and what we can do better. Tomorrow we will return home with great memories and great aspirations for next year’s tractor. It was another great year for this organization and the future is looking even brighter.
This being my final year, I will be stepping down from my electrical and administrative duties to allow new members to rise up to the challenge. It’s been an interesting 4 years (to say the least). I’ve met a lot of people, learned a lot about engineering design and project management, and had a lot of fun doing it. I will definitely keep a watchful eye on this team as an alumni member; I look forward to seeing what they come up with and wish them all the best in the future.