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App Helps Control Harvest Pain Point
Logistics during harvest can be a major pain point for many growers.
“Specifically, managing grain truck fleets to ensure they get back and forth to the field in a reasonable time is a challenge, especially when elevators get busy,” says Julian Sanchez, Director, John Deere Technology Innovation Center. “Farmers tell us they are often asking themselves, “Where are my trucks? Is there at least one truck on the way back? What are wait times at nearby elevators?”
To alleviate the problem and improve productivity of harvest operations, John Deere has developed the GrainTruckPlus app to help answer these questions.
“The app was launched out of the John Deere Technology Innovation Center (JDTIC),” he says. “At JDTIC, because it sits on the University of Illinois’ campus, we used mostly students to develop and design the first test version of the app. The production version was developed by our mobile software team.”
Features of the app include the ability to:
- monitor your grain truck fleet to and from fields
- create a team to let workers know where the combine, carts and trucks are
- find and view your preferred grain elevators, including contact information and directions
- view estimates of wait times at the elevator
"Imagine if you knew how long it took every fifth truck to get through the elevator,” says Sanchez. “You would have a pretty good idea of how busy that elevator was. We do publish in the app how many GrainTruckPlus users are currently in line, and in the next version release, which will be in app stores by this time next week, we will also publish the time of the most recent estimate (e.g. 24 minutes @ 9:15 a.m.)."
While the app does not support on-farm storage facilities, it is on Deere’s radar. “That is a feature many are asking for already, and we make it a habit to listen to our customers,” he says.