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Rules
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GNCTR 2019 Toboggan Weight/Welding Notice (September 30, 2018)

Hello participants of the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race 2019.The following letter is a special notice with relation to very important rule changes being implemented for the 2019 GNCTR Competition. These changes include modifications to the maximum design toboggan weight and new design and construction requirements for superstructure joints.

For the GNCTR 2019 competition, the design weight of the concrete toboggan has been readjusted back to 300 lbs. This weight change is a 50 lb deduction from the design weight prescribed at GNCTR 2018. The design weight of concrete toboggans was set at 300 lbs for many years and it is the goal of the GNCTR 2019 OC to once again challenge the competitors’ design abilities and creative thinking in solving practical engineering problems.

We understand this will result in modifications to toboggan design to meet the new criteria. Because of this, the points deduction penalty for overweight toboggans has been adjusted such that teams are not penalized as severely for toboggans that are overweight. However, if a team’s toboggan measures over the maximum allowable weight (listed as 445 lbs), the offending team will score zero in the design aspect category for the toboggan. This is non-negotiable, as the committee feels toboggans over this weight represent a lack of respect or care for the competition and do not show adequate engineering capabilities.

The OC also recommends that teams understand the enclosure requirements of the toboggan and consider them throughout the design and construction of the toboggan. Note that aesthetic components included on the toboggan for the technical display event but would not otherwise be included on the toboggan (i.e. during race day) will not contribute towards the measured design weight of the toboggan. The toboggan will be weighed in the form that it is to be raced in.

Additionally the GNCTR 2019 OC has noted that one area of significant design and construction negligence in previous years has been the design and construction of superstructure joints. We feel that the safety implications of overlooking this are significant and can no longer be ignored. To ensure that adequate engineering design and construction of joints is completed, the 2019 OC has chosen to include joint design and testing requirements in the required technical submissions. Adequate joint quality assurance must be provided in the form of testing, certification, or other proposed process that would be reviewed by the OC.

In hopes of mitigating the impact of these design changes on a team’s budget, the OC has reached out to the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) to generate a partnership that would help teams work with local welding shops, in the form of sponsorship or technical/professional guidance, and thus permit the use of materials that are lighter weight but are traditionally much harder to weld (i.e. aluminium).

The GNCTR 2019 OC believes that changing the weight limit back to the 300 lbs maximum, coupled with more in depth review of the superstructure connections, will result in more innovative and creative designs which are both safer and better designed. The weight reduction is not about cutting corners but rather promoting a type of thinking and problem solving that students foster throughout their academic careers and will need to harness when working in an engineering profession.

As usual, please reach out to the OC with any questions or comments you have. We look forward to seeing what designs teams dream up at the competition and how they perform at race day!!! 

Sincerely,

Your 2019 GNCTR Organizing Committee