Topcon Agriculture has announced the addition of two new auto-steer functions – ‘Auto Turn’ and ‘Steer to Boundary’ – in version 4.02 of its Horizon operating system for the Topcon X25 and X35 guidance and implement control consoles.
The Auto Turn function enables tractors, sprayers and combines fitted with a Topcon auto-steer system to make fully automated turns at headlands using alternating, infill and single direction infill patterns. The Steer to Boundary function automatically steers the vehicle along a pre-recorded field boundary, using the selected implement’s width settings to ensure complete ground coverage.
“The Auto Turn system assesses machinery geometry and available turning space on the headland to calculate the best turn path,” Richard Reed, managing director of LH Agro, Topcon’s preferred distributor in the UK explains. “It uses the individual implement’s geometry settings to ensure the machine is steered in such a way that it is precisely positioned for the next pass. This makes headland turns completely automated and ensures total accuracy during all phases of each field pass.”
This is not only beneficial when working on recently drilled land where there might not be any visual references, such as tramlines or pre-emergence markers, to indicate where to turn, but can also reduce driver fatigue.
“Both systems also have the potential to reduce soil compaction on headlands as they maintain precise, repeatable wheel placement for each operation, akin to controlled traffic management,” Richard adds.
Steer to Boundary is a standard feature within Horizon 4.02, while Auto Turn is available as a chargeable upgrade at a one-off cost of £875.00.
The Horizon 4.02 software upgrade also enables Topcon’s XTEND function, which allows operators to use their smartphone or tablet as a wireless extension of their console, to be used on the X25 (XTEND is already available on the X35).