After four long days of competition that included everything from comprehensive technical reviews of finished machines, design reviews through a series of stations for everything from safety to ergonomics, mock marketing presentations to "management teams" and finally the tractor pull - we have a winner.
Kansas State University has won the 2011 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International 1/4-scale Tractor Student Design Competition. The team's machine was a solid puller - winning both hooks in the 1,000-pound class, and acquitting itself well during the 1,500-pound class.
The winning team's attention to detail in their final machine was so good, it was the only one to pass through tech inspection the first time - with no "re-do's" to their machine before entering the pull. And the team was the 2011 Written Design Report Winner - this award is given after judges review their final design document outlining their tractor's tech and design specifications.
With the operator in front, this electronically steered, four-wheel-drive machine from Kansas State was the overall winner for 2011.
And that consistent performance with their machine in the pull - which netted K-State top honors as the overall Tractor Pull Winner, was the tipping point that gave the team and its purple tractor top honors in the 2011 competition.
Here's the list of top five overall winners for the 2011 competition:
Fifth Place: University of Manitoba
Fourth Place: University of Saskatchewan
Third Place: Purdue University
Second Place: University of Kentucky
First Place: Kansas State University
The K-State tractor used a single 31-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine as its power source, and used a four-wheel drive design with a forward-mounted operator station for its design. The forward-weight configuration and the way the machine was geared to operate gave it the edge in the pull
But as I've noted in the past few installments, this is more than a pull - this is a student design competition and K-State's other wins in key design and report areas helped add up to the win.