New Holland's T5 Auto Command tractor range has won ‘Machine of the Year 2019’ in the medium tractor category at the recent SIMA 2019 show.
Aimed at maximising baler productivity and reducing costs, the system controls the towing tractor's speed automatically, producing optimum feed rates for the baler, reducing fatigue for the operator and reducing fuel costs.
In practice, the system helps eliminate the bane of any baler operators' life -- differing crop yields in the same paddock, which results in inconsistent swaths and the need to constantly adjust forward speeds to maintain maximum output.
The system is controlled via the ISOBUS system and sets out to maintain a capacity set point measured using charge sensors in the baler's feeder channel, with any variance in signal used to adjust the tractor speed. The system features a choice of operating modes called Charge Control or Slice Control.
The former uses a paddle sensor in the feeder channel to measure crop density and the time taken to fill the channel; the latter measures the thickness of the bale slices to maintain a regular number of slices for any particular bale length. The system can work as slowly as 1km/h, which might be the case when following large wide swaths from the largest headers; the system will 'drop out' at any speed slower than this and hand control back to the driver.
From the operator's perspective, there is no need to monitor speed or capacity graphs, so there are fewer interventions, resulting in less fatigue and consistent maximum daily outputs – the latter showing in tests to have been around 9% more than can be expected from a tired driver.
Tests also confirm that the optimum control of load and speed yields about 5% fuel saving and cuts downtime otherwise caused by unexpected blockages.
The Intellicruise system is currently compatible with both Standard and CropCutter models in the range and needs a tractor fitted with the latest Class III ISOBUS control system such as the New Holland T7 Auto Command.