This year’s International Quarter Scale Tractor Student Design Competition (IQS), held at Peoria Expo Gardens June 2nd-5th in Illinois, marks the 18th year that the Aggie Pullers have competed since its 1997 founding. This year, the Texas A&M Aggie Pullers competed against 26 other collegiate teams where students are given only an engine and tires. This allows each team to determine their own tractor’s design and construction. Student competitors must compile a written design report and a team presentation, as well as participate in individual design judging and a performance competition. The performance competition consists of three events: a three tractor pull, a maneuverability course, and a durability course. The criteria used for judging includes categories for innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, safety, sound level, and ergonomics.
The IQS competition encourages students to use their classroom knowledge toward real world application and further enhances their abilities, which ultimately aims to improve students’ practical knowledge and design experience when they enter the workforce. The competition refines students’ skills in communication, leadership, and teamwork, but also serves as a foundation to gaining fundraising, testing, and development experience.
The Texas A&M Aggie Pullers have shown remarkable strides winning everything from the sportsmanship award in 2013 to 2nd place for team presentation in 2015. The team also won 3rd place in the tractor pull and 6th in the overall competition in 2014. Their past models have included a wide variety of designs, with each year’s model adapting to the criteria. Some rumors even suggest that certain restrictions, including the sound level criteria, were implemented as the Aggies continued to push the limits.
Starting in 2010, the Texas A&M Aggie Pullers began to focus on refining other features, leaving the base largely unchanged from previous designs. In 2011, they picked a 31hp engine instead of the newly allowed two 16hp engines. In the following years the team implemented a new continuously variable transmission (CVT), a frame that better fit the CVT, and a new high performance clutch. Though tires must be unmodified during presentations, the pulling competition allows for teams to use different cuts of tires. To that end, the Aggie Pullers have been experimenting with different treads, increasing their efficiency in the pulling competition.
This year’s model includes the previous changes, as well as implementing increased drive line efficiency from its engine to the back tires. Its solid base with the new efficient frame mean that the future looks bright for our young Aggies as they continue to compete in one of the most rigorous ASABE competitions.
If you are interested in learning more about the Texas A&M Aggie Pullers please contact Stormy Kretzschmar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more details about the IQS competition you can visit http://www.asabe.org/membership/preprofessionalsstudents/14-scale-comp.aspx.