University of Nebraska- Lincoln students competed in the 2019 International Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition May 30-June 2 in Peoria, IL, and ultimately claimed the international title.
A-Team Captain Zak Kurkowski said the competition lasts over the course of an entire year. Each team is initially given a 31-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine and a set of Titan tires. From there, aside from modifying the engine, the teams build and design the tractor as they choose.
Kurkowski said his team started planning the design and build in summer and early fall with the goal of having a running tractor by Christmas break. Although they didn’t meet that goal, he said the tractor was driving and ready for the final touches by spring break.
At the competition in Illinois, the tractor is put to the test in three main performance categories: a tractor pull, a durability course and a maneuverability course. The tractor is also judged on design features, including safety, manufacturability , serviceability and ergonomics. The team is also required to give a presentation and submit a written report.
This year’s A-Team focused the tractor’s design around durability – a category Kurkowski said has been troublesome in previous years.
The UNL X-Team, which is made of freshmen and sophomores, also competed in Illinois, claiming second place in their division. The X-division is tasked with taking the previous year’s tractor and making changes and improvements.
Kurkowski is a Grant, Nebraska, native and a May 2020 graduate of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He currently works as a design engineer for AGCO Corporation.