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May 23, 2002

Purdue Quarter Scale Pulling Teams gear up for national contest

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's American Society of Agricultural Engineers Quarter Scale Pulling Teams will travel to East Moline, Ill., to compete in the fifth annual National Quarter Scale Tractor contest May 31 through June 2.

"There will be a lot of unique designs with the new four-wheel drive option," said Mark Morgan, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering and team adviser. "Some will work well; some will be total failures. That's part of the fun and the learning process."

Purdue is sending a regular team and a junior team to the contest to compete against 34 regular and 15 junior teams from across the United States, Canada and Malaysia.

The regular team's task was to develop a tractor from the ground up in two college semesters using only parts from within the department, donated by sponsors or gathered by members. Purdue's junior team modified the two-wheel drive tractor that placed 13th in the contest last year.

Students compete in four areas: written design, team presentation, static judging and a multistage tractor pull. New rules for 2002 have made the contest more challenging. Four-wheel drive tractors will be admitted for the first time, replacing the two-wheel drive limit previously enforced. The four-wheel drive tractors will compete in a maneuverability competition, another new addition to this year's contest.

Teams also will face the challenge of having a new pull height that leads to an essentially horizontal chain position.

"Normally, the chain would be hooked to the sled at the bottom," Morgan said. "It's like hooking a weight to a rope and dragging it with your arms; both horizontal and vertical forces are required to pull the weight. With the pull height at the new position, it's more like tug-of-war; there's less downward force and less traction. It tests the balance and how much weight the four-wheel drive can pull."

To compensate for this new element, the team installed a special transmission that continually changes to maintain a constant speed on the engine. This keeps the tractor running at maximum efficiency.

The purpose of the contest is to give students the opportunity to gain practical experience in design, performance, manufacturing processes, analysis of traction forces, weight transfer and strength of materials, as well as test their marketing, leadership and communication skills.

Purdue's sponsors are Poseyville Farm Sales, Larry and Lola Huggins, Weasler Engineering, Lafayette NAPA Auto Parts, Cycle Crib, Douglas Wheel, Badlands Off-Road Park, Dependable Rubber, Vincennes Implement Sales, Custom Tire Cutting, Bumb Farms, Tri-State Tractor Pullers Association and ARB Corp. Ltd.

Writer: Mindy Reef, (765) 494-8402, news_students@aes.purdue.edu

Source: Mark Morgan, (765) 494-1180, mmorgan@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu; http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/

Related Web sites:
Purdue ASAE Quarter Tractor Web site
National ASAE Quarter Tractor Web site

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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