Another piece of the automation of the field work jigsaw has just been put in place by Valtra with its latest SmartTurn feature, which automates headland turns.
Available for its fifth generation tractors from this season onwards, it is claimed to "complete the automation of field tasks by automatically turning the tractor in the headland".
Redundant steering wheel
Valtra notes that with the system in operation, the driver does not have to touch the steering wheel at all on the entire field.
This, it is suggested, improves precision, saves time and fuel, reduces overall soil compaction, while enabling the driver to focus entirely on the quality of work.
As with any system of this type, the first stage is defining the boundary of the field and headland, if this information is not already programmed into the Valtra Guide system.
Following on from this, the required turning radius is calibrated according to the type of implement being used and by turning the tractor sharply to the right and left.
The final step is to select between two turning options, which are a U-turn mode or a part field mode.
The first turns the tractor automatically on the headland and returns it to the adjacent undriven wayline.
To do this, the tractor makes a small U-shaped turn in the headland according to its turning radius and implement width. This requires a relatively large headland to accomplish.
With the part-field mode option engaged, the tractor turns automatically in the headland into the third, fourth or further wayline. This requires a smaller headland than for U-turns.
When used in conjunction the company's automated steering system, Valtra notes that it helps ensure a more consistent quality of work. SmartTurn also makes it possible to work safely and accurately in dark, foggy and dusty conditions.
SmartTurn is a new software feature and does not require any mechanical modifications to tractors equipped with Valtra Guide.
Owners of compatible tractors, which will eventually include some earlier fourth generation machines, will be able to purchase the update from their local Valtra dealer.