Users of GPS steering systems have come to expect and demand certain features from systems.
Installation: With growers using a variety of heavy equipment brands, simply installing these systems on a rig can be a head scratcher. Says TeeJet’s Stuenkel: “Fast, easy installation and setup continue to be areas where we hear very positive feedback. Our new UniPilot assisted-steering system continues that tradition by offering easy setup and programming — I’ve heard of systems going from in the box to being installed and operational in under two hours.”
Topcon takes that idea a step further, making it seamless for growers to shuttle systems between different machines. “The ability to easily move the system amongst vehicles, both newer ‘steer-ready’ and non-steer ready is a popular benefit,” says Michael Gomes, director of marketing & business development. The AGI-3 receiver/controller and the AES-25 can be easily moved between vehicles in minutes, allowing you to be up and autosteering quickly.”
Trimble also boasts enhanced interconnectivity features for its units.
“Trimble autosteering solutions have been installed on equipment all around the world for many years now, and have developed a proven track record for best-of-class performance and value to the customer,” says Mike Martinez, Trimble market manager. “Trimble autosteer solutions are available for thousands of machinery models and at various levels of affordability, and we continue to add more and more supported vehicle platforms for Autopilot and the EZ-Pilot autosteering solutions.”
Ease of Use: Manufacturers are striving to make these products more intuitive and user-friendly. “The single strongest feature of Topcon systems is ease of use and the ability to get information with a single glance at the screen,” says Gomes. “With our X30 display, users can configure the customizable dashboard to view operating parameters most important to them. The ‘Mini View’ screens enable easy on-screen access to control settings with a single-touch, while never leaving the home screen.”
Leica’s mojo3D has also reportedly been a hit with users for its simplified operating system. “The mojo3D has gained very favorable comments by users that the graphics and screen visibility are second to none,” says Harlan Little, Leica Geosystems ag business manager. “That tied with easily understood icons on the touch screen makes it a great choice for steering and field coverage display.”
Remote Troubleshooting: Long gone are the days of a manufacturer sending a technical person out to the field to service a down system, saving precious field time for growers. “The ParaDyme system includes a cell phone modem and two years of remote service, giving dealers and Ag Leader technicians the ability to dial into the ParaDyme to offer remote service when needed,” says Ag Leader’s Lori Costello. “This provides quick and efficient service to the customer.”
Leica is also offering remote servicing via its Virtual Wrench software.
“Telemetry and machine management using our Virtual Wrench product will continue to enhance our product offering,” says Little.