Friday, 15 December 2023 13:55

Large square balers go high tech

Written by  Mark Daniel

A few option for New Holland’s BigBaler range offers the potential for greater productivity, bale quality, fuel efficiency and operator comfort by automating key baler and tractor functions.

Manually operating a Big Baler demands a continuous operator focus, particularly around steering adjustment to follow the swath, plus observation of swath density and crop flow to prevent overloads and blockages, while continuously adjusting tractor speed to match conditions.

In addition, to produce consistent bales, the driver must observe the bale fill indicator and correct the tractor steering accordingly, while also monitoring bale slice numbers and weights.

By proactively automating tractor steering according to the swath path, and speed adjustment with regards to swath volume, the IntelliSense ™ bale automation relieves the driver of these demands. At the heart of the system, a LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensor, mounted at the front of the tractor cab roof, emits a laser pulse ahead of the tractor which is reflected off the swath. From here, the system will automatically adjust the steering to follow the swath, alongside forward speed according to the baler’s plunger load sensors, ensuring even filling of the chamber.

Able work in daylight, at night and dusty conditions, the system is said to deliver bale quality, fuel savings and increased operator comfort for long working days. The swath cross-section measured by the LiDAR is also used to govern tractor speed control, reducing it when necessary to avoid overloads, and increasing it in thin swath areas, significantly increasing productivity.

IntelliSense™ offers two assisted baling modes which can be used combined or independent from each other. Feed rate mode regulates the maximum speed and the number of slices per bale, with a lower number equating to thicker slices and a higher throughput. The Swath Guidance mode uses the tractor’s SmartSteer technology, allowing hands-free driving whenever a swath is detected ahead of the tractor. This ensures the swath enters the centre of the pick-up, adjusting as necessary according to the plunger load cells to ensure a perfect bale shape.

IntelliSense™ is available on all PLUS models from end of 2023 onwards and all HD models from year 2020. It can work with all New Holland T7 LWB, T7 HD and T8 AutoCommand tractors equipped with Class 3 ISOBUS unlocked for steering and speed control. Differential GPS provides a sufficient signal, without the need for RTK accuracy.

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