Kondex Supports ASABE Quarter-Scale Tractor Competition.

For the last 15 years, Kondex has sponsored ASABE’s (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers) International Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition, an event that tasks college students with designing and manufacturing a small-scale tractor over the course of the school year. The 2015 event included approximately 25 teams from the U.S., Canada, and Israel, with the majority of students pursuing careers in agricultural engineering.

At the start of the year, each team receives a set of tires and an engine. The rest of the project is defined by the group, including design, sourcing parts, manufacturing, and budgeting. Schools can either enter as an A-Team, one that builds a new tractor to compete with for the first time, or X-Team, one that modifies a tractor entered in one previous competition.

In addition to the manufacturing aspect, each group must promote their tractor as a prototype design of a leading agricultural machining company. This calls for various written and verbal presentations on the product design, market readiness, safety, cost strategies, and more. These criteria are reviewed by a panel of judges before the tractors face performance critiques. Three tractor pulls, a durability test, and maneuverability course are the final assessments of each machine. The University of Kentucky took first place in the A-Team, while the University of Nebraska ranked highest for the X-Team.

“This event provides the real-world engineering experience needed to prepare students for what they’ll be doing after graduation,” said Kondex Product Development Manager Andy Theisen, who has judged this competition for the last three years. “It’s not just about manufacturing. The students are taught to understand business application, product development, budgeting, and meeting deadlines – concepts best learned firsthand.”