Smart Tractors


It used to be that the no- frills workhorse tractor was made into the deluxe model with the addition of an umbrella to shade the driver. Now, as farmers spend upwards of 15 hours a day preparing their crop acreage, the insides of tractor cabs take on office-like functionality.

These Smart Tractors are intended to take the monotony out of field work all the while making farmers increasingly effective as well as improved managers of seed and chemical compounds. Farming which would always depend on a powerful back, has become much more reliant on the farmer's thought process.

Take for example the use of radar, that was just an option not too many seasons ago. Radar attached to tractors is installed beneath the frame and is devoted to precisely determining speed over the ground.

Any person who has driven an automobile on ice and observed the speed indicator increase briskly as the vehicle fails to go anywhere, realizes that dashboard instruments can be fooled by rapid wheel rotation on slippery surfaces. In the farm tractor, those inaccuracies are brought on by tractor tires sliding on soil, otherwise called slippage.

A quantity of slippage is important to get the most efficient pulling force from your tractor while producing the minimum strain onto the drive train, manufacturers state. Too little slippage indicates an excessive amount of weight, compressing the earth and lowering gasoline or diesel fuel economy. Overmuch slippage makes it so the farmer also wastes gasoline or diesel fuel and also wears out tire tread and results in the application of too great a quantity of chemicals on the ground.

With water table contamination caused by farm chemical substances becoming more of a public health concern, farmers currently have environmental as well as bottom-line considerations involved as they manage chemical application.

Take a typical scenario of a farmer with 1,700 acres in central Iowa. A good tractor back in the 1990's was the John Deere tractor model 4455 that had radar available as an option. In the mid 1990's, the radar option was also popular on the John Deere 8560 with articulated four-wheel drive and which retailed in the$ 87,000 range.

By entering in the broad measure of the equipment that he's towing onto the in-cab electronics and using the radar pointed at the ground, the farm tractor operator obtains immediate feedback regarding the area he has taken care of as well as his work pace. He is able to calculate the time it'll require to finish the field, and he is also able to correctly measure off the acreage he lets remain fallow in accordance with federal government farm programs.

The synergy of the equipment additionally makes it convenient to trouble-shoot motor problems, and design modifications make possible more convenient access to the engine compartment. The modern gadgets necessitate new competencies among farmers and farmhands.

By mapping crop acreage according to their yield expectation and soil qualities, satellite based methods used with intelligent tractors are allowing farmers to alter applications of seed, chemicals and fertilizer in real time, ie. mid field.

The integration of Global Positioning Systems units, the GPS in so many cars, has been designed to make it less difficult for farmers to operate tractors pulling enormous implements as they weed fields without ruining cash crops.

As farms grow more expansive and global economies get more competitive, thus holding down the prices farmers receive for their crops, such modern technology as smart tractors becomes an essential mechanism for maximizing productivity.

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