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Farmers let Trimble GPS technology do the driving

Farming just got easier and more affordable with the introduction of Trimble’s AgGPS® Autopilot DGPS system. The new automated steering system uses Differential Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to guide agriculture vehicles in consistent rows for tilling, spraying and applying fertilizers.

The new DGPS system is a product line extension based on Trimble’s successful AgGPS Autopilot system, which uses real-time kinematic (RTK) GPS technology. The new DGPS system uses the same advanced technology but eliminates the need for a base station and radio connection, making it more affordable for farmers to put their operations on autopilot to improve productivity and profitability.

The driver, with hands-free operation, can concentrate on the task at hand such as material application, rather than driving and the task. Automated steering allow machines to operate more hours in a day with considerably less stress on the operator. This technology breakthrough translates into increased productivity for the farmer through more efficient utilization of tractors and extended working hours.

Trimble’s AgGPS Autopilot DGPS system easily connects to the vehicles steering system to automatically guide it in consistent rows-pass after pass. A lightbar or field computer inside the cab allows the operator to select field patterns and display operating parameters. The in-cab display also is used to guide the tractor on path at the beginning of a row. Once on a row, the driver engages the AgGPS Autopilot DGPS system with the touch of a button to perform and oversee field operations.

At the heart of the system is a high-performance Trimble GPS navigation controller. Attached to the controller is an AgGPS differential receiver (AgGPS 114, 124 or 132 receiver), lightbar and remote keypad. For operators that may need increased accuracy in the future, the Autopilot DGPS system is fully upgradable to RTK-level performance.

The AgGPS Autopilot DGPS saves time and money. It reduces driver fatigue, eliminates guess rows, reduces compaction, and allows around-the-clock operations. Most importantly, the system increases efficiency to lower the cost per acre. The AgGPS Autopilot DGPS system is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2002 through Trimble’s Agricultural reseller network.