How do you ‘turn’ yours? See the new Fendt solution…

Automatic guidance and steering systems have sometimes struggled to master the troubled ‘headland turn’.

Even those systems that do promise a workable solution are typically limited to simple headland manoeuvres – for example; enabling a tractor or harvester to complete a ‘pass’, turn in a generously-proportioned arc and start the next ‘pass’.

Fendt reasons that this is not always practical. The company says that some jobs require a tighter or different type of turn.

A spokesperson explained: “All available systems for automatic turning currently execute the manoeuvre when moving forward and are, therefore, ideal for drawn [trailed] implements.

Image source: Shane Casey

“The current turn types do, however, have their limits in practice. The keyhole turn needs a large headland to drive on after turning. When performing a U-turn, the headland can be much smaller, because rows are bypassed, but then the implement cannot finish the row in a straight line.”

Image source: Fendt

“Our new Variotronic Turn Assistant now also offers a reverse turn in two different versions – the Y-turn and the K-turn. These two turn types, with a direction change, have a number of advantages in practice.

“Firstly, an automatic turn can be executed even on smaller structures. Automated turns are also an option for three-point mounted implements – if you need to finish a row in a straight line.”

According to Fendt, the driver enters all relevant parameters on the operator’s terminal – including the required turn type and the headland size. The system works in conjunction with ‘headland management’.

Fendt says that the Y-turn is common. On entering the headland, the sequence starts automatically. The machine brakes and reverses; reversing is done automatically via cruise control. The machine then runs “seamlessly” back into the next ‘pass’.

The K-turn is a “special type” of reverse turn; it’s better suited to turning on slopes (enabling a tractor with a rear-mounted implement to climb while reversing, for example).

The benefit, says Fendt, is that even relatively inexperienced drivers can drive precisely and identically – without overlapping or errors.