John Deere has long been an ardent supporter of digital technology, albeit in the form of massive data collection rather than direct driver aids such as TIM (tractor attachment management).
What farmers should do with all the information received remains to be seen, with little indication so far that it is making any serious inroads into farm management practices, despite much trumpeting of its potential.
Back to the operator
Perhaps a lack of customer enthusiasm has prompted the company to focus on helping the driver operate the machines more efficiently, rather than clogging the farmer’s computer with streams of numbers.
John Deere just announced that its AutoTrac automatic driving system will be available for all AEF-certified TIM systems.
Farmers and contractors using multi-brand tractor fleets can now use AutoTrac TIM activation for Gen4 universal displays.
This means the control system can be used on all tractors with TIM control, regardless of manufacturer.
Existing solutions for controlling machines in multi-brand fleets include AutoTrac Universal 300 and Reichhardt Greenfit.
The new AutoTrac TIM system is an add-on system that is fully integrated with other products, the main advantage of which is that no additional steering wheel or controller components are required.
It’s claimed to be a simple solution for farmers and contractors with mixed fleets who want a versatile guidance system.
To run AutoTrac TIM, they need an AEF-certified Gen4 universal display (4240 or 4640) with AutoTrac activation and a StarFireTM 6000 or 7000 receiver.
Many manufacturers are now equipping their tractors with an AEF TIM interface. John Deere has unlocked its steering system for use with other AEF-certified tractor systems from other manufacturers through ISOBUS.
Details on machine compatibility with John Deere AutoTrac TIM can be found in the AEF database.
Plus, if your machine (regardless of brand) is equipped with a JDLink modem, data exchange with a John Deere Operations Center is wireless and free of charge.
This allows work processes to be set up, scheduled, tracked and analyzed on a single online portal, allowing customers to use precision farming features such as prescription maps.
Once created, they can be sent directly to tractors in the field using John Deere AutoSetup.
More than just data collection
John Deere says that by allowing other systems to integrate with its own, it has shown that openness to other manufacturers plays an important role in the application of digital technology.
In the past, John Deere has expressed a desire to use its own digital architecture to keep customers from buying other products.
This move also suggests that they have come to the realization that trying to keep a closed store is counterproductive, and a one-size-fits-all system is much more likely to gain acceptance in everyday agriculture and promote greater digital adoption and sustainable agriculture.