A University of Nebraska-Lincoln quarter scale tractor team placed second overall at the recent International Quarter Scale Tractor Student Design Competition in Peoria, Ill.
The X team consisted of Robert Olsen, Micha Bolin and Ethan Mosul. Roger Hoy, director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Tractor Test Lab, was advisor.
The UNL A team placed fourth in the tractor pulling competition.
The second-place X team consisted of freshman and sophomores who improved the tractor built by last year's A team. "Last year, there was an issue with the brakes," says Hoy. "The X team was able to improve braking capacity by about 33 %."
The X team competed in three competitions: presentation, design report and pulls.
John Deere and Caterpillar are among sponsors of the event.
"The companies are fun to work with," Hoy adds. "They are the people that would have been students here 5-20 years ago. It is really a chance for the students to see what they might become in a few years."
Olsen, a junior in the UNL Department of Biological Systems Engineering, served as X team captain. He had worked on the tractor during 2011-2012 school year when he was on the A team.
"I liked how the competition allows students to get experience in the real world," Olsen says. "On the X team, you are working on continuous improvement, which is what you are going to be doing in the real world."
Olsen used his previous experience with the tractor to teach his two teammates. "The other members of the X team hadn't been to competitions," he adds. "I'm there to leadthem to be able to solve the problems that I knew the tractor had. I knew the tractor would perform the pulls really well."