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Technology that can help you back a truck straighter

Technology that can help you back a truck straighter
Here's farm truck technology you could fall in love with pretty quickly.

The Chevy truck Joe Park drives has a state-of-the-art GPS system built right into the dash. It's becoming more common in many models. His happens to be the system in GM vehicles. Park, Trafalgar, is director of the Indiana FFA Center.

Related: Ramping up pickup truck choicesFarm Industry News

Recently, he pulled out a trailer made by Greenfield Central FFA and donated to the Indiana FFA Center so we could get a better look at it. The new technology on his truck came into play when he brought the trailer back and began backing it into the shed where it is stored. Clearance was minimal on each side.

Virtual backing: The combination of a camera and virtual trajectory simplifies backing.

An image of the trailer appeared on the dashboard. Not only that, but an orange outlined box also appeared. It looked like a cross between the imaginary yellow 10-yard stripes TV screens carry to show where a team has to go for a first down, plus some of the illustrator tools they use to show how plays are supposed to work.

All this technology didn't mean Park got it perfectly in the spot the first time. But it did mean when he stopped, he knew it was where he wanted it. And the next time he backs up to hook up, he will know where to stop to lower the hitch on the truck ball, without getting in and out of the truck a half-dozen times to line it up correctly.

See the latest in new farm technology at the 2015 Farm Progress Show, Sept. 1-3, 2015, in Decatur, Ill.

The image was from a camera, located inside the tailgate at an angle so that he can see clearly what's behind him, from the tailgate on back. The orange, dotted-line virtual box illustrated how the trailer was going to move given the current position of his front wheels, if he continued backing in that direction. If he straightened up and moved the wheels, the projected trajectory of the trailer changed.

Pretty neat stuff, huh? Where has it been all my life!?

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