There were those who thought GPS-based auto-steer would be a fad. Try to get it away from someone who has run a tractor with auto-steer – good luck!
One farmer says the main advantage for him is because he has hands-free time to use his cell phone and coordinate other activities while making a long pass across the field.
In one day, he was planting corn, his wife was doing vertical tillage in a field two miles away, a neighbor was planting soybeans with his tractor in the same field two miles away, his father was field cultivating ahead of the planter in the field where he was operating, the chemical dealer needed to know when to come refill his tanks on his supply trailer parked in the field, and his mom needed to know what time and where to bring lunch.
Related: Auto-steer Can Relieve Tired Hands
"I was able to keep everything moving and made sure everyone knew what was going on because I could contact them on the phone," he says. Even while an employee was spraying burndown in a field more than five miles away, again at the same time, the farmer was in contact with all of them because he could use his cell phone while the tractor drove itself.
Cutting down on fatigue is another advantage we've heard several times already this spring. It's especially valuable the older farmers get, and the more aches and pains they have.
In terms of full disclosure, one farmer said he missed having something to do, mainly grab the wheel and drive, but he didn't seem to mind when he got a phone call and could answer without stopping the tractor or risking crooked rows.
Auto-steer is here to stay. The genie is out of the bottle!