Team Wins ASAE 1/4-Scale Tractor Design Comp. Again!

The results for the international ASAE Quarter-Scale Tractor Design Competition are in - the UT Biosystems Engineering team won the Performance award and the Manufacturability award. The team from UT competed in the international event with 25 other University teams (twenty-two US teams, two Canadian teams, and one team from Malaysia) in the Quad Cities area of Illinois and Iowa, and placed SECOND OVER-ALL in the competition.

The tractor designed by the UT Biosystems Engineering team pulled 210'-7" in the second 1050-lbs class - the longest pull in the performance competition. The team's tractor "full pulled" in three of the four performance events. Although the performance competition is the most visible part of the contest, it comprises only part of the over-all placing. Students also submitted a Written Design Report, gave a Team Presentation, and had their machine judged for workmanship, manufacturability, and design safety by panels of practicing engineers.

Although the size and shape of the Quarter-Scale tractor is similar to that of a typical lawn and garden tractor, very few parts are used directly from a commercial machine. Students employ design fundamentals such as strength of materials, statics, and power transfer to design their frame, drive-train, hitch, clutch, weight brackets, and other tractor parts. Not only did the students gain practical design experience by participating in this competition, they also gained valuable experience in manufacturing as they built and assembled their own design.

Industry managers today are concerned that many engineering students of all majors are entering the workforce with little or no practical knowledge or design experience. However, students in the UT Biosystems Engineering program are encouraged to participate in local, national and international design competitions as a means of gaining practical, hands-on design experience. In the Quarter-Scale Tractor Design Competition, students are challenged to harness the power and torque of a specified stock engine in order to maximize performance in a tractor pull.

The UT Biosystems Engineering Design team was comprised of three seniors: Carl Hudson (team captain), Will Pinson, and Andy Waters. Other Biosystems engineering students assisting in fabricating the tractor and participating in the fourth international Quarter-Scale Tractor Design Competition were as follows: Junior Ledbetter (driver), Paul Troutt, Russell Goodman, Rob Comer, and Gary Jenkins. The students were advised and accompanied during the May 31-June 3 event by Dr. Bobby Bledsoe and Dr. Willie Hart.

Corporate sponsors for the international event are:
  • Briggs & Stratton
  • Case IH
  • Caterpillar
  • Cub Cadet
  • Deere & Company
  • New Holland
  • Bridgestone/Firestone
  • Campbell Scientific, Inc.
  • The Grasshopper Company
  • Midwest Super Cub
  • Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation
  • Snap-On

Local team sponsorship for the UT team included the following:
  • Honda of Alcoa-Alcoa, TN
  • John Deere North American Agricultural Marketing Center-Lenexa, KS
  • Mapco Express Convenience Stores-Nashville, TN
  • Rydol Lubricants-Maryville, TN
  • Tennessee Farm Bureau-Columbia, TN
  • Three Rivers Antique Engine and Tractor Club-Harriman, TN
  • University of Tennessee College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
  • University of Tennessee Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Information on the UT Biosystems team can be found on the UTK Quarter-Scale Pulling Tractor website. For highlights of the 2001 ASAE Quarter-Scale Tractor Design Competition go to and for information on the competition rules and sponsorship go to ASAE Quarter-Scale Tractor Design Competition.

George Grandle and Willie Hart
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