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Tractor talk

08/01/2012 @ 9:59am

As equipment manufacturers continue to enhance tractors with more and more features, how do you even come close to utilizing them all? To maximize your investment, Mitch Kaiser, Case IH, shares his insight on which features are popular among tractor customers and which ones will help you get the most out of your purchase.

1. Cab comfort. “A lot of operators are moving toward more comfort in the cab because they're spending more time in the seat of the tractor,” says Kaiser. “Even though they've been out in the field for 12 to 15 hours, they feel more relaxed at the end of the day.”

Operators experience a better ride on many levels. “The ride's better thanks to full-cab suspension,” he notes. “The cab also has automatic temperature control.”

Not to mention the fact that today's cabs are more spacious than their predecessors. “The latest tractors have a bigger, roomier cab, and farmers feel better when they go back the next day,” says Kaiser. “They don't feel beat down. They think clearer and can make better decisions.”

2. Auto guidance. “We've seen the auto-guidance system continue to be taken directly from the factory on new tractors because it increases the performance of the tractors,” says Kaiser.

Why? Because operators don't have to make as many passes, and they're more accurate when they go through the field.

“They can cover more acres in a day and use less fuel because they're making fewer passes,” he says. Even though auto guidance has been around for several years, more and more customers are adopting it every day to do field operations.

“The auto-guidance age is here,” he says. “If you talk about added features, this is a big one that's come on strong.”

3. Monitor. “With our Pro 700 monitor, you don't have to look at several monitors at one time,” he says. “It's right on the armrest ergonomically placed, and it's the largest touch screen offered.”

With this monitor, Kaiser says you can pull up information on your planter, air seeder, fertilizer, or tractor performance as well as run three cameras into it.

“Now, instead of looking back at the implement all of the time,” says Kaiser, “you can touch the screen and pull up any camera view you want by looking at one monitor instead of three or four placed around the interior of the tractor.”

What's next? “We'll be introducing a new receiver in 2012 that will include GLONASS,” he notes. “It will also bring in more reception – better reception – so farmers won't have any down points in the field.”

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