PURPOSE OF ASABE QUARTER SCALE TRACTOR COMPETITION
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE and FUN
Providing students professional experience, education and fun – ASABE, the Society for Engineering in Agriculture, Food and Biological Systems, is interested in doing just that. ASABE organized an International Student Design Competition based upon the concept of designing a 1/4 Scale Tractor. The design competition is arranged to be both educational and fun for the students. There will be five main judging categories: a Written Design Report, a Team Presentation, Individual Design Judging, Maneurvability and a Performance Competition. The performance competition, the highlight of the event, is comprised of a multi-stage tractor pull using a progressive sled. Through involvement in the competition, students will gain practical experience in the design of drivetrain systems, tractor performance, manufacturing processes, analysis of tractive forces, weight transfer and strength of materials. In addition, they will also develop skills in communication, leadership, teamwork, fundraising and test & development.
EDUCATION & DEVELOPMENT
Design Experience and More One of the primary concerns of industry today is that many engineering students (of all majors) are entering the workforce with little or no practical knowledge or design experience. Student design competitions and projects are an important key to help prepare students to be effective professional engineers. In the 1/4 Scale Tractor Student Design Competition, students will be challenged to harness the power and torque of a specified stock engine in order to maximize performance in the tractor pull.
Design fundamentals such as strength of materials, statics and power transfer will be major factors as the students design their frame, drivetrain, hitch, clutch, weight brackets and other parts. Although the size and shape of the 1/4 scale tractor is similar to that of a typical lawn and garden tractor, very few parts will be used directly from a commercial machine.
Not only will students gain practical design experience by participating in this project, they will also obtain valuable experience as they manufacture, build and assemble their own designs. Many a manufacturing department cringes when design engineers simply throw their designs “over the wall” and assume they can be easily manufactured. Through hands-on experience with numerous manufacturing processes, students will gain an awareness of the capabilities and potential pitfalls in the design for manufacturability and design for assembly.
With a project of this size and magnitude, the students’ skills in communication, teamwork and time management will be greatly challenged, and developed through necessity. This project will graduate students who can excel and perform under adverse conditions and pressures, with professional skills valuable to any employer.
(excerpt from http://www.asabe.org/students/tractor/asaecomp.html)