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* Purdue Agriculture

June 11, 2007

Purdue's six-engine tractor wins in student-designed contest

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A Purdue University student team received several first-place awards, including overall performance, and finished second overall out of 30 university teams in the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers 1/4 Scale Tractor Student Design Competition in Peoria, Ill.

This was the highest overall finish ever recorded by a Purdue team.

Faculty team adviser John Lumkes of the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department said the Purdue team took a "no holds barred" approach and was the only team able to design and build a six-engine tractor. Weighing less than 900 pounds, more than half of the tractor's weight was from the engines, he said.

The tractor utilizes lightweight, electric steering; electronic throttle control for each engine; and an electric reverse gear using a Geo Metro automobile starter motor. A joystick and onboard computer steer and operate the tractor, collect data, and maintain safe operation. The tractor also will automatically send messages to a cell phone if safe limits are exceeded and, if necessary, an operator can remotely stop the tractor by calling a cell phone located onboard.

Writer: Beth Forbes, (765) 494-2722;

Source: John Lumkes, (765) 494-1173;

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes,
Agriculture News Page

Note to Journalists: Complete results of the competition will be posted at

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