New Holland, along with its sibling, Case IH, made hay during the Farm Progress Show with its robotic tractor prototype. The machine, which includes a cab, means farmers can drive the robot tractor to the field first, then turn it loose. Case IH will have that option in the future too. The more conventional look to the New Holland robot doesn't dim the fact that the company has the tech.
This is a T8 tractor from New Holland that's outfitted with the autonomous package developed in cooperation with Automated Systems Inc. Bret Lieberman, how runs the New Holland brand for North America, noted during a media event that with the New Holland PLM system in a tractor, about 90% of the machine's functions are already automated today, moving to a fully automated machine is just filling in that 10% "gap."
Dan Halliday, global PLM marketing manager, notes that there will be opportunities in the future to put this tech in other tractors, and that it may be possible to "upgrade" an existing machine with the technology. Note this is a working prototype, yet the tech is a few years away – but Halliday comments that it may be possible in as little as three years.
Round baler, tractor talk
Last year New Holland introduced IntelliBale, which utilizes the latest ISOBUS level that allows two way communication, and control, between implement and tractor. The first iteration was a system that worked with a BigBaler model that when engaged allows the baler to speed-up and slow down the tractor based on the size of the swath going into the system (there's more but that's the gist of the tech). Now that comes to round balers for 2017 – the Roll-Belt models, first introduced two years ago, will get the ISOBUS 3 tech.
In a round baler, the system takes on one of the key tasks for an operator: final bale making. When the chamber is full, the baler stops the tractor and starts the process of wrapping the bale, then it opens the baler and kicks out the bale. The baler does not, however, restart the tractor up the windrow. That's for the driver, a safety precaution, yet for a 10- or 12-hour day of baling this can reduce fatigue, and also allows even inexperienced baler operators to do the job.
The new tech will be available on the 450, 460 and 560 Roll-Belt Round Baler models and works on T6 and T7 AutoCommand tractors and T7 Full Powershift models with electronic park break.
New big baler
New Holland is going big with its new big square baler, boosting density by 10%, explains Seth Doman, hay and forage marketing segment leader, New Holland. "Usually this class of baler would create a bale that is 1,250 to 1,300 pounds in size, now it makes a baler with 1,500 pounds of material," he says.
The 3-foot-by-4-foot baler has a baler chamber that's 31.5 inches longer, too. And that increased density offered depends on field conditions, but does mean more crop in the bale which boosts productivity. The system also uses a double-knot system for that higher bale density with lower knotting strain.
The baler also features IntelliCruise ISOBUS 3 precision that regulates tractor ground speed to maximize baling capacity and uniform bale density. It also has SmartFill feed flow indicators that tell operators in real time which direction they should drive over the swath for even bale formation.
New track option
New Holland made a big splash with its high-idler wheel track system for the T9 tractors a few years ago and it's been a popular option, but that design came at a price premium to the market. For 2017, the company is offering a second track option called SmartTrax II – and it'll be available with Standard Track and Deep Traction Lug options.
Dan Valen, cash crop marketing segment lead, New Holland, explains that customers wanted the track option from New Holland, but were challenged by the price. The new Standard Design will cut the price for tracks on a T9 by about $30,000, Valen says.
Both the Hi-Idler track and Standard track modules are available with the Agricultural lug tread or the new Deep lug tread for added traction on the T9.600, T9.645 and T9.700 models. The Agricultural lug tread has a tread height of 2 inches, the Deep Lug treat has a height of 2.6 inches – for wet conditions or in loose or softer soils. Both track beltes are designed with a 6-inch treat spacing for improved traction in wet or soft ground.
For more information visit newholland.com/na.