BIGGER DISK HARROW
Pöttinger, the Austrian implement maker, continues to expand its line for 2018 in the United States. The company offered a range of tech at the show — but for the U.S. market, the Terradisc models 8001T and 10001T are among the latest products, and the company’s largest in the line. The machine offers depth control (from the cab), a twin arm system and a choice of rear rollers. You can learn more at pottinger.at/en_us — the tool should arrive by February.
RETHINKING THE TIRE
We're familiar with the Pneutrac tire. It’s got an inverted sidewall design that can offer a range of benefits, including track-like flotation with a rubber tire. The tire was first introduced by Mitas, but the company was acquired by Trelleborg — and the Pneutrac is going forward under the owner brand, and with a market focus. The initial product is headed to orchard and vineyard operations in part because the tire also provides high-performance on slopes. Learn more at trelleborg.com/wheels.
A SMARTER TIRE
Trelleborg also launched the ConnecTire, a system that uses two compact processors — one on the tire and one on the wheel rim. Each processor communicates and shares information to an app, or some other controller, for managing wheel slip and tire performance. The system sends a signal over Bluetooth to an app for improved tire management on your machine. Note the smaller sensor on the tire wall, and the base sensor on the wheel rim: They work together to accurately measure slip. Learn more at trelleborg.com/wheels.
SKF and Lincoln provide lubrication products for machinery. This is a prototype system for automatic lubrication of a machine. It enhances existing auto-lubrication systems with a mobile app to manage the system, a monitor for improved configuration, and it can be programmed for all types of machines. This would be added by an equipment maker — it isn't an aftermarket product — but shows what could be coming to new machinery for easier lubrication. Learn more at skf.com/theformula.
TRACKING HAY TEMP
Stacking big bales of hay is a great method to store them unless the hay starts to heat — and before you can do, anything you have a barn fire. Haytech, from Finnish company Quanturi, is a tool that involves a “connected” temperature monitor spike you pound into the end of each bale. It can transmit temperature data from the barn to an app, and the app can alert you if bales are heating up. There is a U.S. distributor in the works, and you can buy the spikes in packages starting with as few as 25 and up to 500. Learn more at quanturi.com.
SUPER SOIL SAMPLER
Wintex has been marketing soil sampling equipment in the United States for some time. And it’s going bigger. The company has soil sampling tools that can now penetrate down 200 centimeters — or about 79 inches. To get through the tough dirt to collect the sample, the system uses a hammer-like action to push its way through. It then collects into a box for easier sample capture. The company now has a range of tools; visit wintexagro.com for more information.
REAL-TIME IMPLEMENT CONTROL
Geoprospectors launched its Topsoil Mapper at Agritechnica in 2015. The front-mounted sensor can measure soil electroconductivity without ground contact, but the system is now doing more. It now allows for implement control, varying tillage depth based on soil compaction and conditions, so you till only as deep as needed. Variable-depth tillage is gaining traction as a management practice; linking variable-rate tillage with real-time soil condition measurement is a next-level move. The Topsoil Mapper has limited U.S. distribution. Learn more at geoprospectors.com.
Orlaco, a Dutch firm with offices in North America, showed off a range of high-resolution cameras for equipment. The Mirror Eye is a prototype with a purpose. With this system installed, you can get rid of rearview mirrors. Install these in the cab on each post — right and left — and the cameras above, and you’ll have a better view than you get looking left or right to those faraway mirrors on your machinery. The company claims higher visibility versus the traditional approach. You can learn more by visiting orlaco.com.
FANCY SEAT COVER
These next two slides are more of interest on trends than on availability. Grammer is a German seat maker that builds product for many machine original equipment manufacturers in a range of industries. The company’s latest seats offer a range of comfort features, including activated charcoal climate control to provide comfort in heat or cold. The cover you see on the seat can easily be zipped or off as needed for cleaning, or to change your look. The new seats have a range features including Bluetooth connectivity (see next slide). Learn more at grammer.com.
This screen shows results of a new app from Grammer that captures information from a new seat design to measure vibration. European authorities are looking at a standard regarding how much vibration an operator can be subjected to in a given operating window; the seat measures that and provides information through an app. While that standard isn’t being discussed in the U.S., it could come to pass. If an operator has faced too much vibration in a single working day, the seat can alert him or her through the app. Learn more at grammer.com.
INTERESTING MEASURING TOOL
Perkins is a major engine maker with a large installed base of machines around the world. How could you advance tech to provide service recommendations, measure operating hours and more — even for much older machines? How about a smart oil cap that knows when a machine is running or stopped — and based on that information, can report details to an app? That’s the Perkins SmartCap, which is being rolled out for specific engine brands into 2018. The unit works with the company’s MyEngine app, too. Learn more at perkins.com/smartcap. And for more information about the new app, visit perkins.com/myengine.
Getting machinery ballasted right isn’t easy. French company EasyMass offers a range of weight systems, and during Agritechnica it rolled out this wheel-based approach to ballast. A special bracket on the wheel allows you to add and subtract weights easily, and the weights can be lifted by a forklift — or forks on another tractor. The company has other ballast solutions, too. Learn more at easymass.fr.
PRECISION IMPLEMENT CONTROL
Whether you’re bringing back row crop cultivation, or want to maximize your strip-till work, a live hitch may be the answer. LaForge, which makes a range of active hitches, is launching the DynaTrac line — the DynaTrac Ultima is shown here. The line includes three machines, but the Ultima is the latest and can handle big equipment on track. The product is being launched in the United States for 2018. Learn more at fronthitch.com.
NEW VF TIRE PLAYER
BKT has been expanding around the world, and during Agritechnica the company had a significant display. The big news, however, is the Agrimax V-Flecto — the company's first VF-rated, high-flexion tire. This is becoming a competitive part of the farm tire market, and BKT is ready to be part of the action. The tire is designed to operate at lower pressures in the field to reduce compaction and provide a longer tire footprint for improved performance. Learn more about the V-Flecto tire at bkt-tires.com.
What would Agritechnica coverage be without a robot? And we have more coming. This is a unique system with a tool-carrying front that can operate outdoors to sweep, but could be mated with other tools in the future. The small unit and a brush are available now for basic sweeping. A camera mounted high helps guide the unit around predetermined boundaries. This is a prototype, but it shows one example of the many ways automation is creeping into agriculture — slowly but surely. You can see this unit in action at zauberzeug.de.