Steering made easy
John Deere has introduced ActiveCommand Steering (ACS™), a new steering technology that makes the tractor easier to drive by adjusting the amount of effort required to turn the steering wheel and the number of steering wheel turns. It also helps prevent oversteering and provides improved line-holding ability. Deere officials say operators will drive with more confidence, comfort, and control.
Optional on 2011 8R Series wheel model tractors only, a dynamic road-wheel offset control uses a gyroscope to sense the tractor’s movement and automatically makes small adjustments. For example, "a pothole steers the tractor to the right or left," says Chad Hogan, marketing manager for the 8 family of tractors. "With ACS, the gyroscope recognizes the pothole and corrects the steering automatically." Operators will keep the tractor straight in their lane with minimal effort -- even at transport speeds of 31 mph (50 km/h).
Variable-ratio steering changes the amount of effort required to turn the wheel based on conditions. Operators make fewer turns of the wheel during headland turns for enhanced comfort, and slightly more turns of the wheel during transport for improved control. Variable-effort steering changes the resistance of the steering wheel in respect to ground speed for light steering effort at slower speeds and higher steering-wheel torque during transport speeds. "Traditional steering systems provide some steering slop," Hogan says. "With electronic ActiveCommand Steering, we completely eliminate slop." The system eliminates drift, as well, "so on the steering wheel, 12:00 is always 12:00."
Additionally, John Deere was awarded a 2009 gold medal for their ACS technology at Agritechnica, a leading agricultural equipment trade fair held in Hannover, Germany.
As part of the unveiling of ACS, John Deere has partnered with Agriculture.com to develop "Steer Your Deere," a Web-based game allowing users to navigate a John Deere 8R Series tractor down an obstacle-strewn path. Along the way, you'll have the chance to acquire ACS, immediately noticing easier steering ability. You'll generate income for travel time, overtime and bonus items, but you stand to lose some for uncontrolled driving. Rocks, hay bales, and logs abound.