A HIGH-TECH system that allows a harvester driver to automatically control the positioning of a tractor and chaser bin while unloading on the go is set to revolutionise grain harvesting.
New to the market this year, John Deere’s Machine Sync system allows the header to control the tractor and chaser bin, automatically lining it up alongside for unloading while the harvest continues.
“The harvester operator can request on his screen that he requires to be unloaded by chaser bin,” said Vanderfield precision farming specialist Chris Bond, Toowoomba.
“On the chaser bin tractor the operator can accept that to unload.
“As long as the tractor is within several hundred metres the tractor will automatically take off across the paddock to the header.
“The combine changes the speed and the steering of the tractor and brings it to a point beside the combine.
“Once lined up alongside, either operator can then crib the machine forward or backwards.
“If the header goes around a gentle corner the tractor will follow that path at a set distance.”
Mr Bond said the system created a level of precision control that allowed relatively inexperienced drivers to operate the tractor without the risk of wavering off line or colliding with the header comb.
“One way to look at it is as an insurance policy. At this stage it is about $12,000 to set up one tractor and machine, but it is a good insurance policy against a $120,000 front and a loss in downtime,” he said.