Farmers’ farewell to fatigue
Better visibility, less fatigue, higher productivity
Soon, though, he will be able to perform the operation just by moving his left hand a centimeter or two. Enter: IDEALdrive.
The new Fendt flagship combine – launched during Agritechnica 2019 – has no steering wheel. Instead, the farmer performs necessary manual steering operations with a left-hand joystick. The result is better visibility, less fatigue, higher productivity.
Goodbye to blind spots
So, if a ditch, stone or other object appears in front of the combine, chances are that the farmer will notice – and be able to reposition before it causes any damage.
A group of six farmers and machine contractors tested the machine on a corn field in Northern Italy this fall. One of them was Giorgio Speranza, a third generation machine contractor with 40 years of professional harvesting experience. He says:
“Your view toward the header is fantastic. You feel much more on top of what happens in front of you. And turning the machine with the joystick is much faster than with a steering wheel. I believe this will help increase productivity.”
Nicer for the body
“I think this will make you less tired and sore after a long day in the driver’s seat. Because the visibility is so good, your eyes will be less tired too,” he says.
The farmer Andrea Sandrini, another member of the group, was equally enthusiastic about the solution – but for other reasons. Only 24 years old, sore joints and tired eyes is not yet a concern of his.
“The visibility is very good and you sit comfortably. But I am more impressed by the speed you can now turn with at the edge of the field. With the joystick, it takes just a few seconds. So you save time at every turn. And for me as a farmer, every second counts. I never know when the weather turns bad and I have to postpone harvesting,” he says.
Take it to the road
The solution lives up to the EU machinery directive and its safety standards for agricultural and forestry ma-chinery driving on the road. It will also be ISO 25119 certified.
Read more about the Flex-Steer™ solution here
So, the farmer can take his Fendt IDEAL combine with IDEALdrive straight from field to field and drive back to the farm or machine storage when the work is done.
“In our view, the Danfoss solution is clearly the best on the market right now – both in terms of how it functions technically and the benefits it offers for the farmer sitting in the cab. Working with Danfoss on the project has been a very positive experience,” says Brandon Montgomery, Senior Marketing Manager, AGCO.
He adds that the solution, with its high digitalization and safety levels, marks yet another step toward a future where fully autonomous combines harvest our fields.
The Fendt brand is owned by global agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO. More info about Fendt and AGCO here
Facts:Backed by science
The Fendt IDEALdrive joystick steering solution is supplied by Danfoss under the brand-name Flex-Steer™. The solution allows safe on-road joystick steering operations for different off-highway machines, including combines, sprayers, wheel loaders, and motor graders.
An electric motor inside Danfoss’ JS1 joystick counters too abrupt movements. The feature is called force-feedback and helps the farmer perform safe and productive steering operations. Machine reactions to joystick movements also softens as speed increases. This feature, known as variable steering ratio, further enhances safety and comfort.