August 9, 2022
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South Dakota State University 1/4 Scale Tractor Team Wins National Competition

PHOTO: The SDSU 1/4 Scale Tractor Team wins the 2022 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International 1/4 Scale Tractor Student Design Competition held in Peoria, Illinois. Front row (left to right): Levi Wicks, Ted Carlson, Paul Schlotman, Jarrett Wildman, Parker Aase, Brenda Pratt Row 2: Mark Hague, Phillip Black, Luke Schemm, JJ Dooyema, Brian Langum Back row: Doug Prairie, Isaac Knobloch, Andrew Mairose, Ty Grone, Jayden Estebo, Collin Endres

Brookings, S.D. – The South Dakota State University 1/4 Scale Tractor Team was recently named champions of the 2022 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International 1/4 Scale Tractor Student Design Competition.

“Winning this competition is a huge honor and is a great reward for all the long nights and weekends spent working on the tractor,” said Luke Schemm, ¼ scale tractor team co-captain. “We had a very young team this year, but many freshmen stepped up and played an important role with the team’s success. With the exciting ending of this season, the team will have lots of momentum leading into next year.”

This year’s team competed against 24 teams from across the United States and Canada.

At the beginning of the school year, each team is given a 31-hp Briggs & Stratton engine and a set of Titan tires, which they design their tractor around. The team meets several times a week throughout the school year to discuss the tractor design, select components and build the tractor. During the spring semester, the team put in additional hours to prepare the written design report and formal presentation.

This year, the team focused their design goals on a substantial redesign of the operator station and turning the transmission 90 degrees to allow for easier access to get on and off the tractor.

At the competition, tractors are judged by a panel of industry experts based on innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, safety, sound level and ergonomics.

The tractor is first evaluated in a technical inspection process where industry engineers seek to ensure the tractors comply with competition safety and design rules. The tractor is then put to the test through a maneuverability course, durability course, and a tractor pull. Additionally, the team gives a formal design presentation explaining various aspects of the tractor’s design to industry judges.

“From an engineering standpoint, this competition gives five key learning opportunities for our future careers: design, technical writing, testing, manufacturing and marketing,” said Ty Grone, ¼ scale tractor team co-captain. “This competition prepares us, coming out of college to move into industry with those skills.”

The 2021-2022 team included:

  • Luke Schemm, agricultural and biosystems engineering student from Pella, Iowa
  • Ty Grone, agricultural and biosystems engineering student from Wayne, Nebraska
  • JJ Dooyema, agricultural and biosystems engineering student from Luverne, Minnesota
  • Andrew Mairose, agricultural systems technology student from Kimball, South Dakota
  • Parker Aase, precision agriculture student from Owatonna, Minnesota
  • Sam Meyer, agricultural and biosystems engineering student from Mapleton, North Dakota
  • Collin Endres, construction management student from Alexandria, Minnesota
  • Levi Wicks, mechanical engineering student from Austin, Minnesota
  • Jayden Estebo, agricultural and biosystems engineering student from Redwood Falls, Minnesota
  • Jarrett Wildman, agricultural systems technology student from Farmdale, Ohio
  • Sydnee Huber, agricultural and biosystems engineering student from Pipestone, Minnesota
  • Phillip Black, agricultural systems technology student from Gibbon, Minnesota
  • Mark Hague, agricultural and biosystems engineering student from Highmore, South Dakota
  • Ted Carlson, agricultural and biosystems engineering student from Janesville, Minnesota
  • Isaac Knobloch, agricultural and biosystems engineering student from Rock Rapids, Iowa
  • Logan Turgasen, agricultural systems technology and precision agriculture student from Richland Center, Wisconsin
  • Justin Werner, agricultural systems technology student from Hanover, Pennsylvania
  • Cole Heacock, construction management student from Milaca, Minnesota
  • Paul Schlotman, agricultural and biosystems engineering student from Sioux City, Iowa

“The 1/4 scale tractor competition gives students the opportunity to apply theories they have learned in the classroom and see the results of their efforts,” said Kasiviswanathan (Muthu) Muthukumarappan, interim department head of the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department and Distinguished Professor. “It is really a competition that replicates the work the students will be doing post-graduation in their career.”

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