Torq ‘N Tigers win five performance categories at international event

June 10, 2021

Torq 'n Tigers members pose behind their team's tractor.

Members of the Torq ‘N Tigers team at the competition in Peoria, Illinois.

Mizzou’s Torq ’N Tigers team took first place in five categories at the 2021 International 1/4 Scale Tractor Student Design Competition.

Members of the team design and build a tractor each year for the competition. This year, they placed first in durability, low hook 1100-pound class, high hook 1100-pound class, low hook 1600-pound class and high hook 1600-pound class. They won five of the six in-person events held. They also participated in eight virtual categories against teams from across Canada and the United States.

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) put on the competition. The contest included submitting a written report in advance and making a formal virtual presentation to industry experts. In addition, the team’s tractor went through various performance tests, such as durability and maneuverability.

Club president Andrew Aufdenberg, a senior from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, drove the tractor during the durability round.

“It was rough. They’ve got parking barriers buried four to six inches out of the ground, and the other part of the oval course was a sand pit,” he said. “I caught my breath in the sand pit, and then bounce over those barriers. The tractor must be built tough to make it over those (barriers). I officially made 15 laps, but just finished five seconds short of a 16th lap.”


A man drives a tractor down a steep mechanical incline.

The tractor’s brakes being put to the test at the competition.

“We graduated several seniors and lost a lot of experience from the team when we picked up again in the fall,” Aufdenberg said. “We were left with a young team and also had some supply issues with vendors or sponsors due to COVID and us not getting parts.”The club made several changes to the design of the tractor started by club members last year. They installed a completely new front-end suspension, turned its motor around for improved serviceability and improved its turning radius. The team did have some challenges in completing these changes.

One of the benefits of participating, according to faculty sponsor Professor Leon Schumacher, is to have representatives from companies like AGCO, John Deere and Case at the event.

“People who are doing the judging almost always are from companies that are part of ASABE,” he said. “Students comes away with an idea of what it’s like to work in industry, and what’s it like to work with their peers.”

About the Torq ‘N Tigers

Aufdenberg has enjoyed his experience being in the club while at Mizzou. There have been hands-on opportunities for him and his team to design, fabricate and build tractors while also collaborating with students from other MU colleges.

“It’s great hands-on experience,” he said. “One of the most rewarding things, I think, is that we draw stuff up on SolidWorks, and then we go out in the shop and build it. You can really see where your designs go from concept all the way to holding something to test. And it’s your responsibility to see it through the whole way.”

Team members primarily come from the College of Engineering and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR), but all students are welcome to join. Students who attended the competition were:

  • Andrew Aufdenberg, mechanical engineering
  • Daniel Bingham, agricultural systems technology
  • Trace Chambers, agricultural systems technology
  • James Fischer, agricultural systems technology
  • Ethan Gutz, agricultural systems technology
  • Josh Hellebusch, mechanical engineering
  • Thomas Kabrick, mechanical engineering
  • Andrew Slater, mechanical engineering