Category Archives: Competition 2015

Calc. Error

Hey everyone,

We have some good news: we actually finished higher than we initially thought. There was an error in point calculations where we were missing 100 points from the initial weigh in bonus that we had completed. Those 100 points have now been added to our score which brings us up to 9th place instead of 14th!
So we got Top 10!!


Competition 2015 – Update 4

Day 5 & 6 (May 31 & June 1):

Sunday was the last day of competition; the day of the highly anticipated durability event. We were the 3rd team scheduled to pull which made the odds ever out of our favour since the event only allowed 1 pull per team. This gives the opportunity for other teams to learn about the track conditions/pull strategies from the previous teams.

All pulls started off with the bump track, followed up with the sand pit. First few runs went really fast with very common runs; people successfully traveled through the bump track and then got stuck in the sand. We were also able to make it through the bump track but the sand was too loose for our tractor. And so we did not make a single lap. Later in the event, the sand was packed down and tractors suddenly were able to perform in the event–there were some controversies revolving around the packing of the sand and other teams not given consistent sand conditions. Overall, the durability pulls finished early (at around 1:00 pm).

Later in the day (around 6:00 pm), the competition awards banquet started. We didn’t win any awards. But, the food was good, and the presentation by the CAT representative was interesting–perhaps we can use some of those ideas for next year. After the banquet, some of the teams had their usual team photos and we also had an all Canadian group photo. After that, we had our usual competition debriefing and handed out the competition shirts to our members. It was a good year overall. But there’s always room for improvement–the UMATT 2015-2016 year begins today.

Competition Results: 2015_A_Team_Score_Spreadsheet_Prelim

Summary of Results: Overall we placed 14th out of 28 teams (+10 ranks from last year), we scored lower in written reports and presentations than last year, we placed 10th, 11th, and 12th in pulls, and we tied with 16 teams for last in durability.

Some positives to take away from this competition:

+ Penelope 15 still drives!

+ we made it home safely and without incident!

+ we climbed ranks rather than declined!

Alex, AA

In UMATT sled pulls you!

Alex, AA

Competition 2015 – Update 3

Day 4 (May 30): Today was the day of presentations. For UMATT, presentations began around 9:30 am. We had originally intended to have two presenters but one of the primary presenters fell ill, so, our team captain stood alone. Overall, he did a very well to present the features of our tractor–and he finished right on time! At the end we received some constructive criticism as well as positive feedback from the panel of judges.

After presentations, we went back to hotel to change into work clothes and head to the fairgrounds. We ballasted the tractor up to 1000 lbs. with Scott and did three test pulls:

  1. Ballasts in front with cut tires pulled a little over 80 feet
  2. Ballasts in rear with cut tires pulled more than 130 feet
  3. Ballasts in rear with uncut tires pulled around 100 feet

The pulls themselves began around 5:30 pm and ended around 9:45 pm. There were three pulls per team (with some teams having to re-pull or forfeit a pull) Overall, we performed above average with scores of around 180 (1000 lbs), 160 (1500 lbs), and 145 (1500 lbs). Also important, the tractor survived pulls! With that said, our tractor should be in good physical form for durability tomorrow morning.

Since the pulls lasted so long we went back to hotel late and ordered pizza. The pizza took over an hour to be prepared and delivered so some of us played Jenga and watched baseball highlights while waiting.

Alex, AA

Competition 2015 – Update 2

Day 3 (May 29):

The day started out pretty grim but by the end things turned out alright.

We left the hotel by 7:30 am. Half way to the fairgrounds, we realized that we didn’t have the keys to the trailer locks; fortunately, we did have keys to the side door. We ended up stopping near our old hotel–which is now a travel lodge–to split up into two groups; one group to set up at the grounds and the other to get the trailer lock keys so we can get access to the tractor. Upon settling at the fairgrounds, it was apparent that a number of our members were sick. With the exception of Matt, we eventually deduced that the primary cause of the food poisoning was the ground beef some of us ate–Matt is immune. Some were so sick that they were sent back to the hotel to sleep. After things started to calm down, we proceeded to Design Judging.

At Design Judging we started off with Safety. It did not look good when no one was saying anything to each other. However, when the third group, Testing and Development came along things were looking brighter. By the end, we felt confident in presentations for Testing and Development, Serviceability, and Manufacturability.

After Design Judging, we proceeded to sound teching. We passed sound teching on the first try with a nominal loudness of 84 dB–FYI: 94 dB is the maximum for passing teching and below 91 dB gets us some more points. With sound teching complete, all we needed to pass teching was a final weigh in. So, we went over to the scales and passed teching. With this, we are able to participate in the upcoming performance events.

The first performance event we participated in was maneuverability. Overall, we did very well; we completed the course with a score of 25 (out of 100) points–a score many other teams did not achieve.


Another important performance event is durability. Today, we watched other teams and even made our own attempt at the durability course’s sand pit. Of the other teams (that passed teching) we saw, no one made it through the sand; everyone seemed to be spinning out. But for now, we must put the performance events on hold and focus on the presentation scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9 am.

For the past week, a number of us have been working into the wee hours of the night working on putting together and practicing presentations. Tomorrow is the big day (in terms of presenting). It will be a nerve racking experience that you won’t want to miss!

Alex, AA

Competition 2015 – Update 1

It is mid day of May 29, 2015. I have successfully gained access to the internet at our hotel Embassy Suites East Peoria. A lot has happened since we left off last Wednesday. I will attempt to update the events as we go.

Day 1 (May 27):

We departed from Winnipeg around 5:30 am. After a 16 hour long journey through Manitoba, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa, we arrived in Peoria Illinois at around 9:30 pm. We checked into Embassy Suites East Peoria at around 10:00 pm. To our surprise, there was a Steak ‘n Shake right next to the hotel!

Day 2 (May 28):

We left the hotel by 8 am in order to get a head start for teching. When we got to the grounds, we setup tractor for some initial tests including speed, rpm, starter circuit (interlocks), engine kill, and some others. At around 12:30 we got our first 100 points for driving onto the scale, weighing, and driving off–a good start! Unfortunately, we missed “1st time through” due to a 3/8 in. gap in the guarding, a slight discrepancy with the hitch height (off by half an inch), and for not installing the GSL interlock switch. The irony is that we had already thought about these issues back home but believed they weren’t a big deal–lesson for future teams: take small details seriously! Fortunately, we were able make the adjustments to barely pass the first day of teching. Sound teching was held the next morning.

That’s all for now.  Keep an eye out, Day 3 (today) is ongoing and may be updated as early as tonight!

Alex, AA