The University of Nebraska’s quarter-scale tractor team has major bragging rights. They are international champions once again. It’s an honor that’s not easy to achieve. The competition requires not only a lot of strategy, but the ability to implement an idea, which also gives the students a head start in the industry.
“All they get to start with is a 31-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine and two rear tires, along with some rules they have to comply with, and they’re told to go design a tractor,” said Dr. Roger Hoy, who helps coach the team every year at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The push to have a repeat performance in 2020 has already started, with the team coming up with plans and a strategy to win next year’s competition, as well.
“You’re not going to get a lot of respect if you show up with the same exact tractor as you did last year,” said Rylan Dvorak, a team member and a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
As the team works all year to improve on what they were able to accomplish in 2019, Hoy says the students are gaining much more than just a lesson.
“The skills they have to display to be successful are exactly what an engineering team working in industry has to display,” explained Hoy.
Hoy says the students aren’t just willing to put in the work to win, but thought-leaders, and honing in on skills many learned growing up on a farm.
“Ag engineering implies a farm kid,” said Hoy. “So, as soon as they introduce themselves as an agricultural engineering major, it’s just immediately assumed they have the work ethic and high character that farm kids typically display.”
National videographer Russ Hnatusko shows you the quarter-scale tractor team at work and the strategy behind their game plan for their tractor in 2020.