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Cyclone Power Puller members stand behind one of the club’s quarter-scale model tractors
THE A-TEAM: Cyclone Power Puller members Kelly Full (left), Patrick Haight, Adam McDermott, James McCormick and Kelby Paus with one of the club’s quarter-scale model tractors.

Student team to display CY-ger tractor

Cyclone Power Pullers’ CY-ger model is tribute to a classic four-wheel-drive tractor.

The Farm Progress Show will be held in Boone, Iowa, on Aug. 28-30. For more information, see

By Willy Klein

The 2018 Cyclone Power Pullers designed and built their competitive quarter-scale model tractor, CY-ger, as a tribute to Steigers: a model they consider to be a classic four-wheel-drive tractor. They are bringing CY-ger to the 2018 Farm Progress Show for display, Aug. 28-30. CY-ger and team members will be on the south lawn of the Iowa State University Tent.

“It felt right to design and name our first attempt at this type of tractor after the Steigers, which helped popularize the articulated four-wheel-drive concept in agriculture,” says James McCormick, an ISU junior in ag engineering.

McCormick leads the Cyclone Power Pullers A-team, a group primarily made up of juniors and senior students with previous experience in small tractor competition. They were responsible for creating the model that represented ISU at the 2018 competition in Peoria, Ill. It’s a project that gave students a realistic workplace experience where they were judged on innovation, manufacturability, serviceability, safety, sound level and ergonomics.

Electrically powered 4-wheel drive
New configuration requirements and rule changes in 2018 presented new options, so the team took a different approach with their design but stuck with some key elements from previous ISU models.

“We went with the electric drive again this year, even though we had some problems last year,” McCormick says. “Previously, we’ve been the only team at the competition with an electric tractor; we pride ourselves on our innovation.”

This is the third year the ISU team has built an electrically driven tractor for the Peoria competition organized by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

“We are turning heads with our technology this year,” says Kelby Paus, junior in ag engineering and team president. “We missed a few details last year but came to competition prepared this year.”

Performing well in competition
Control changes and updated components positioned CY-ger to be at top performance for the competition.

The ISU team members refer to last year as a learning experience that better prepared them for all aspects of the 2018 competition. This year they came home pleased with their performance: fifth place overall, tied for first on their written report, and with awards in innovation, maneuverability, manufacturability and best appearance.

Klein is a communication specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

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