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Torq’N Tigers show best performance in eight years of competition

The University of Missouri Torq’N Tigers team pose with their tractor, Tiger 8, at the 2011 ASABE International Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition.

MU Engineering’s quarter-scale tractor student team, Torq’N Tigers, has competed in the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) International Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition for eight years, but 2011 marked the highest cumulative score they have yet received.

The competition, held in Peoria, Ill. June 2 to 5, welcomed 24 teams from the U.S. and Canada who designed tractors to participate in pulls of 1000 and 1500 pounds.

The MU team placed first in the 1500-pound pull. The teams were also scored in various categories including manufacturability, craftsmanship, ergonomics, safety, appearance and sound level. The Torq’N Tigers received another first place title in the sound level category, with the quietest exhaust system.

The University of Missouri tractor,Tiger 8, placed first in the 1500-pound pull.

Points are added for each category to determine the overall winner. The MU team placed 13th overall, a Mizzou best in accumulated point totals.

“Each year we identify the vehicle’s greatest aspects and build from those strengths,” president and graduate biological engineering student Brandon Harvey said.

The team worked on the tractor for two years focusing on their strengths from the previous competition — manufacturability and cost effectiveness.

“Our weakness was the drive train — a six-inch clutch that didn’t hold up. This year we chose a 10 1/2 inch clutch,” Harvey said.

The initial work in the process involves choosing a design and garnering the support of donors to provide parts, funding and facilities. The team ultimately chose a two-speed planetary rear-end, changing the drive train components, but maintaining the basic frame.

“It’s a trial and error process. If you change one thing you realize that you may have to fix something else,” Harvey said.

Harvey, who has been a member of the team since his freshman year, said the competition and preparation offers an escape from bookwork and the opportunity to see how things are actually designed, developed and built.

“Hands-on learning is invaluable and you can’t get that experience in the classroom,” Harvey said.

In addition to the applied experience, students are given the opportunity to network and receive constructive criticism from professional engineers who serve as judges.

Newly elected president Del Appleby is excited to start working on the 2012 tractor, Tiger 9.

“We are basing next year’s tractor off of our previous design because it did so well,” Appleby said.

Appleby encourages any engineering and agriculture students to check out the team.

“We are always looking for new members and the opportunities for experience are great,” Appleby said.

For more information contact Del Appleby at dwa8r4@mail.missouri.edu.

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