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Technology Tune Up

04/15/2013 @ 11:26am

As you get ready to head back to the field, there are some important things to consider when it comes to the technology you use for fieldwork.

"Often times farmers could be looking at several months since they last used their display, so it is a good idea to get the display out and take it for a “test drive” before they get to the field to check over a few things and get familiar with it again," says Adam Gittins, HTS Ag General Manager, Harlan, Iowa.

To get the most value possible, Gittins shares three important things to think about as you browse the screens of your display.

1.  Have you updated or changed any equipment since last year?  "A different tractor could need the GPS measurements updated so your shutoffs work correctly, and a different implement could be a different length from the tractor, or even a different width if you traded up to something larger," he says.

2.  Are you still farming the same fields?  "If you have rented or bought a new farm, you will need to add those names into your display," Gittins notes. "If you have let any ground go, you may want to remove those names from your display."

3.  Do you recall any issues from last year?  "Maybe there was a small problem that you intended to fix after the season last year and haven’t got around to.  Now is the time to take care of those items," he says.

In addition, the company developed the Spring pre-season checklist below.


Displays:

  • Copy all data off the display, and make a backup of the display
  • Update Display firmware
  • Check the date and time in the display
  • Test functionality of speaker (don’t want to miss an important alarm)
  • Update list of farms and fields (if any changed from last year)
  • Update configurations (if you changed any equipment from last year)
  • Double check calibration of touch screen
  • Update Modules when connected to implement
Planters:
  • Check all cables for wear and pinch points
  • Inspect Implement Switch(s) for functionality
  • Ensure ALL connections are properly seated at modules and extensions
  • Check connections and terminals for corrosion
  • Visually inspect clutches for any obvious wear
  • Make sure clutches turn on/off
  • Clean Seed Tube Sensors with a seed tube brush
  • Verify hydraulic flow to motors is set correctly (if using hydraulic drives)
  • Verify Gear Ratio of the drives (if using hydraulic drives)
  • Make sure motors run smoothly with seed meters engaged 
  • Calibrate Seed Meters
Sprayers:
  • Fill tank with WATER
  • Enter a Manual Ground Speed
  • Enter a Target Rate
  • Turn master and boom switches on – make sure the correct valves turn on
  • Make sure sprayer can build pressure
GPS/Steering:
  • Make sure GPS unit receives signal
  • Renew or update your subscription if you are using OmniSTAR or RTK
  • Verify output of unit - correct Hz and Baud rate for your operation (5Hz, 19200 recommended or required for most operations)
  • Make sure GPS measurements are entered correctly
  • Remove old guidance patterns
  • Verify steering system performance by engaging on a line

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