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Significant increases in productivity sometimes come in unexpected and obscure innovations. Case in point: Danfoss Power Solutions’ new MultiAxis-Steer in use on farms across Europe.
The Danish company’s technology is rooted in a softwarae-driven electro-hydraulic valve that allows on-the-go independent control of a vehicle’s front and rear axles from the cab. The result is significant improvements in maneuverability, which can save time, fuel and operator fatigue in operations requiring tight turns and repetitive motions.
The system is a 2021 winner of an AE50 award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) for engineering innovation.
Phillip Bolton, commercial sales manager for Danfoss in Chicago, says while some manufacturers have developed their own rear-axle controls, they have had to write their own software to lock out the rear axles hydraulically or mechanically pin the axle.
“We can do all that with standardized software and third-party testing has proven we can accomplish that and still meet the tough safety standards found in the EU,” he explains. The system takes cues from wheel angle and vehicle speed to provide precise vehicle control in various steering modes.
The technology is popular in Europe. Nearly all new sprayers are equipped with the system, Bolton says.
Charged with implementing the system for equipment operating in Europe, Danfoss engineer Yvon Blot says its use on the SAME Frutteto CVT tractor with ActiveSteer has been very successful in vineyards in Italy.
There, grower Lorenzo Menghi has used the four-wheel-steering SAME tractor on his 600-acre operation in…