Choose Auto Steering Wisely

Avoid buyer’s remorse by keeping several factors in mind when considering an investment in this technology.

“A lot of new products have hit the market recently. We should take the time now and then to consider how those products stack up,” says crop consultant Ryan Eby.

Eby, of Plainsfield, Ill., says that with technological changes comes the challenge of determining what is worth the investment and what isn’t. Eby offers no-tillers these opinions about today’s auto steering equipment options.

Three Types

Eby maintains that auto steering is not an issue of if, but when. Straighter rows, extended hours of operation, reduced skill level requirements and less driver fatigue are only a few of its benefits. But, he says, you need to understand the different options before making that big-ticket purchase.

The three types of auto steering on the market today are DGPS, RTK and OmniStar HP. Each has advantages and disadvantages, Eby says, and it’s only by becoming familiar with each that you’ll know which is the best fit for your operation.

DGPS

Offers accuracy of about 8 to 12 inches, pass to pass.

RTK

Provides accuracy of within 
one inch.

OmniStar HP

Gives accuracy of approximately 6 to 8 inches.

Each of these types has distinct benefits and uses. Here’s how to determine which is best for you, according to Eby.

Spring Applications, Spreading

“If you look at spring applications, you can use DGPS or RTK. For spreading, the same is true,” he says. “You don’t need that finely tuned, 1-inch accuracy for a lot of that type of work.”

Seeding, Tillage

Both the RTK…

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