Auto-Guide satellite-based steering systems from AGCO Global Technologies can now be installed on select high-horsepower AGCO DT Series tractors, including the DT180A, DT200A, DT220A and DT240A. The precision automated navigation system joins other AGCO tractor systems designed to improve operator productivity and achieve maximum power and efficiency.
“Auto-Guide, when combined with our other technologies, helps boost operator productivity,” says Todd Stucke, general marketing manager, AGCO tractors. “Just as our optional headland management system makes turns at the ends of rows efficient and easy on operators and equipment, the steering assistance from Auto-Guide reduces operator fatigue from constant steering adjustment and allows the operator to concentrate on field operations. Fieldwork can now be completed as effectively at night or in low visibility as in daylight hours.”
Auto-Guide also boosts equipment productivity. Like the AGCO PowerMaxx CVT (continuously variable transmission), Auto-Guide offers an immediate return on investment in equipment and labor.
“PowerMaxx CVT with its infinite speeds keeps the engine and transmission operating at peak fuel and operational efficiency,” says Stucke. “Auto-Guide reduces and can effectively eliminate wasteful skips and overlaps to maximize crop inputs, fuel, labor and land use.”
The complete Auto-Guide system consists of the Auto-Guide Ready kit, a cab-roof mounted TopDock unit and an in-cab Auto-Guide terminal. Once installed, the Auto-Guide Ready kit is a permanent part of the tractor. It consists of the Vehicle Interface Unit and all needed hydraulics, cabling and brackets. Both the TopDock and the Auto-Guide terminal can be moved between other Auto-Guide Ready products from AGCO Corporation.
Components inside the TopDock include a GPS (global positioning system) antenna, the Steering Controller/receiver and the Dynamic Measuring Unit (DMU). The antenna is designed to receive L1 and L2 GPS signals, OmniStar differential GPS data signals, as well as the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) correction signal.
“Auto-Guide can be adopted in a step-by-step approach,” says Stucke. “Once a kit has been installed, the other components can be added immediately or at a later point. Accuracy levels can also be upgraded, as new levels of accuracy are desired. If reducing skips and overlaps are a concern, sub-meter accuracy may be sufficient, but if zone-till, banded application and pass-to-pass application are desired, centimeter accuracy will be needed.”
Changing from sub-meter accuracy to decimeter accuracy requires only a software upgrade and subscription to a service or establishing a Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS). Centimeter accuracy can be obtained with additional software and an FM receiver. A tripod-mounted, portable RTK (Real Time Kinematic) base station is also needed.
The steering controller/receiver gathers and analyzes position information received by the antenna, machine position and movement information produced by the DMU, tractor operations information from the terminal and information from the optional FM data radio to steer the tractor.
The terminal console allows the operator to store and retrieve information and serves as the operator interface with the Auto-Guide System. The color monitor stores and displays multiple waylines, sets of two points and pathways between them, as well as implement and vehicle widths.
The key to rapid acceptance of these sophisticated technologies, says Stucke, is how operator and equipment friendly they are. Equally important is their reliability. “Auto-Guide has already been installed in thousands of units within the AGCO family of products,” explains Stucke. “Now our high horsepower AGCO tractor customers will experience the benefits of this proven satellite-based steering system technology.”
For more information on AGCO DT tractors, visit www.agcocorp.com.