“Based on feedback we hear at our training sessions and trade shows, assisted steering will be a very big product for 2010,” says Kristin Tilus, marketing coordinator. “GPS guidance has been out and adopted by a good percentage of the market, and now those people are looking to add steering to their operation. Assisted steering has been refined and simplified to the point that growers are increasingly comfortable with the technology and understand the benefits and ROI they can get with assisted steering.”
Data management is another topic that gets a lot of discussion, she adds. “Growers and operators collect a lot of data, and then struggle with moving it around and managing it,” says Tilus.
Raven is introducing Slingshot this month, which will revolutionize the way end-users receive correction signals and manage data. Slingshot is a suite of products, all centered around wireless connectivity in the cab. Slingshot RTK will deliver RTK level correction signal at unprecedented range, and eliminate typical RTK network infrastructure issues, as well as line-of-sight limitations. It works on any major carrier in North America, as well as existing CORS networks. Slingshot Online offers remote support in the cab, vehicle observation tools, and data transfer capabilities that will deliver the ability to transfer data instantly between machine and office. Slingshot Online is backed by the AgX software platform, so the data much simpler to transfer and much more streamlined in the way it is managed.
Raven also carries SmartSteer and SmarTrax assisted steering systems. SmartSteer assisted steering takes the stress out of driving and helps improve operating efficiency and performance.
“This assisted steering system is designed to keep you straight on the line all day with convenient hands-free driving,” says Tilus. “It even corrects for roll, pitch and yaw through 3-D terrain compensation. SmartSteer’s near-silent direct mechanical gear drive eliminates slippage and delivers more accurate steering through the field from start to finish.”
Finally, the company’s SmarTrax hydraulic-assisted steering enhances high-speed operation and offers faster line acquisition and correction for changes in soil condition and implement pull, says Tilus. “A greater range in correction allows for ‘harder’ turns when necessary.”