Each year the Aggie Pullers team designs, builds, and presents a new tractor at the ASABE 1/4 Scale Tractor Competition. We learn from past years designs and improve each year. Innovation, creativeness, and ingenuity, are key elements that drive Aggie Pullers toward success. Overcoming the design competition rule changes is always a hard task. Reduction in weight, ISO standards, and cutting costs are only a few aspects that the Aggie Pullers must consider in building the tractor.
To check out past designs and competition pictures click on the links to left.
The 2012 design utilizes many design characteristics used in the past combined with many new components that the team feels will help them be more competitive in all aspects of the competition.
The 2011 design utilizes many design characteristics used in the past combined with many new components that the team feels will help them be more competitive in all aspects of the competition.
The 2010 design utilizes many design characteristics used in the past combined with many new components that the team feels will help them be more competitive in all aspects of the competition.
The 2009 rules dropped the weight limit by 50 pounds. The team utilized the same transmission, and thought that 3 engines could compete as well as 4. The electronic steering used in 2008 did not function as desired, so the team reverted back to hydraulic steering while still maintaining an open operator platform. The tractor pulled well in the pulls, but if more weight can be saved, the team decided the 2010 tractor should have 4 engines.
• 5th place overall
• 8th place written report
• 7th place team presentation
• 8th place design judging
• 10th place tractor pull
• 9th place maneuverability
The success of the 3 engine design in 2007 led to few major changes in overall design for 2008. After testing, it was determined that many aspects of the 2007 tractor were severely oversized. This allowed for significant weight reduction. Additionally, an all aluminum-housed 4-speed transmission was utilized, providing enough weight left to add a fourth engine. A major complaint about the 2007 tractor was the operator platform; in order to open up this area, electronic steering was utilized.
• 7th Overall
• Best Side Dish
The 2007 tractor reverted back to some of the original designs, with the exception of the number of engines. The power-as-you-need three engine design coupled to a three speed manual transmission can provide as much or as little power as desired. This was accomplished by having each engine connect to a jack-shaft by way of a pulley or electric clutch. The middle and rear engines have electric clutches, allowing them to provide power only when needed, while the front engine is connected at all times.
The 2006 tractor had many changes from previous years. The most noticeable change was the wheels, which allowed the tractor to have four-wheel drive capability, yet turn like a two-wheel drive. The task of maneuvering this tractor was accomplished by locating the front wheels lower than the rear tires with respect to where they touch the ground. This tractor was known by its loud horns and glaring fenders, which proved blinding during the daytime! Click for more pictures
• 1st Place in Maneuverability
• 1st Place in Side Dish
The 2005 tractor had many new ideas or features put into it. The new ideas or features included a dash that moved, easy access to all controls, and different weight brackets. For this year, the engine was placed behind the operator. An improvement to the facilities was reconstruction of the BAEN Dynometer Lab located in the P&M building.
This year we decided to run hydrostats for the first time. We had a simple system compared to others, yet we were still effective in the pull. The team saw some improvements that needed to be made on ergonomics and planned on improving on those on the 2005 tractor.
•9th Place Overall
•1st Place Meat in Cook-Off
We implemented a new instrument this year to aid in testing our tractor and its performance on the track. This year we designed and implemented a tire tester to determine the best tire pressure to run for a pull.
•1st Place in Safety
•1st Place in Manufacturability
•1st Place in Serviceability
•6th Place Overall
•1st Place Meat in Cook-Off
•1st Place Vegetable in Cook-Off
The 2002 Aggie Pullers Team took the competition to a new level. The International competition was changed to allow four-wheel drive designs, and the team drove into that idea without fear. To help transfer the horsepower to the ground, the 2002 tractor incorporated a CVT in the drive-train. This lightened the overall weight and provided an infinite amount of gear ratios as the tractor pulled the sled down the track. Along with improving the tractor's appearance, the new configuration also improved the team's pulling performance
• 1st Place in the Pulling Competition
• 6th Place Overall .
When designing the 2001 tractor, the Aggie Pullers looked to repeat a first place performance in the pulling competition. The same sheet metal style frame was used; however, the team wanted to improve the aesthetics. They did this by creating a product showing more of a tractor style background. In order to corrrectly design every part of the 2001 tractor was drawn in AutoCAD prior to heading to the shop. An extensive finite element analysis produced amazingly precise specifications for the manufacturing process. Unfortunately, the trip to Moline didn't go as smoothly. The team was forced to stay up all night in the hotel parking-lot, where they fixed the mechanical problems by swapping rear differentials with the x-tractor.
Looking at each component of the competition individually, the Aggie Pullers made improvements in every area of the competition in 2000. As a more experienced group, the team focused on designing a better machine, ensuring its applicability to the design constraints, as well as the presentation of the design process used.
•2nd Place Overall
•1st Place in Safety
•1st Place in the Performance Contest
•1st Place in the Engine Quick-Disconnect Contest
•2nd Place in the Oral Presentation
In the second year, the Aggie Pullers focused on manufacturability and safety as the key design areas needing improvement. The use of aluminum as the chief metal was discontinued due to the expense and difficulties encounted during construction. The frame was found to be the most critical component, as it influences all aspects of the tractor's design and fuction. Taking clues from garden tractors in the past and present, the team designed a dual-channel sheet metal frame that was lighter and stronger than its predecessor. Noting the inefficient use of the 1998 tractor's components as ballast, the frame was extended and the engine moved forward
The 1998 Aggie Pullers team had the unique challenge of building a 1/4 scale tractor without ever seeing a machine up-close or witnessing a pull. They relied on member's experiences with farm tractors and drag racing which resulted in a tractor that was lightweight with a short wheelbase. The team's inexperience led to problems during the competition, having incorrectly set the weight distribution and tire pressure. Although the team finished lower than they had hoped, the experience and knowledge gained during the 1998 design process and competition built a strong foundation for future pulling teams.