Wider availability for GPS systems

GPS guidance packages are getting more accurate if manufacturers are to be believed.

Last year John Deere announced the arrival of its real time kinetic (RTK) system with a claimed accuracy of +/- 2cm.

This, along with the firm’s previous two versions of its AutoTrac technology, can now be fitted as an after-market extra.

It fits Deere platforms built before the advent of GPS, such as 6000-series units.

Deere says the technology will also be available for fitting to Case MX models, namely the 185hp to 285hp units, while other brands will be added in due course.

This decision to fit the system to other brands’ tractors is most likely driven by the Case brand strength in the North American market.

Setting up Universal AutoTrac is claimed to take around 45 minutes where the existing steering wheel is replaced with a specially designed version, which uses an electric motor to operate the steering.

Deere currently offers three levels of accuracy ranging from +/- 30cm to +/- 2cm, although the retro kit is thought to decrease accuracy by between 4cm and 6cm.

Updates for the AutoTrac system are to be released every two months and Deere says that by June the setup will be available for a range of machines including tractors from Same Deutz-Fahr, Case, New Holland, Massey Ferguson and will be also made to fit Claas Lexion combines.

System pricing will be in the region of 3600 for the steering control box while the cost of the total unit – including the basic display unit – will be closer to 10,000.

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