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Acceptance of autonomous farm equipment is growing, given its promise of greater efficiencies for both large and small farms.
The availability of these driverless machines could help no-tillers drive up efficiency even more on farms both large and small. But one barrier to adoption has been the lack of fully commercialized products.
DOT Technology Corp. is one manufacturer on the cusp of releasing its autonomous power platform that enables growers operate seeders, sprayers, grain carts and other implements with a single, driverless tool.
The Canadian company expects limited commercial production to commence in early 2019, but is first testing several machines throughout the 2018 growing season.
“Our goal is to have six machines moving in the field throughout the 2018 growing season,” says Cory Beaujot, managing director of marketing.
DOT’s power platform features a 4.5-liter, 175-horsepower Cummins diesel engine that drives two hydrostatic pumps. Those pumps, in turn, drive hydraulic motors that run each wheels’ planetary gearboxes, giving DOT a smooth operating speed range from creep to 12 mph.
Two auxiliary hydraulic pumps are available for implement operation.
The platform includes four hydraulically activated arms that lift and secure implements to the machine’s receiving and centering dowels. Loading most implements from the ground can take as little as 12 seconds. Transport width is 12 feet, 4 inches for most implements, according to the company.
ALL BY ITSELF. Testing and initial commercialization is underway in western Canada for DOT Technology Corp.’s autonomous implement platform. The Emerald Park, Sask.,…