TOP 5 mistakes that farmers make when buying tractor GPS systems. Let’s learn from them.

To save costs on materials and make field operations faster, more and more farmers are looking to buy GPS systems for their tractors.

That is great news, as tractor GPS systems do not only provide the above mentioned benefits to farmers but also create a lot of opportunities for doing business in a new more sustainable way. Tractor GPS allows you to get a precise position in the field, and precision allows to: do precise soil sampling, use drones, precise spraying, precise seeding and eventually use robots on your fields. That’s how farming will look like in the near future!

We encourage farmers to get their GPS system ASAP, as it will take some time and effort to get used to it and start benefiting from it. But before ordering your system, let’s talk about some common mistakes that farmers usually make – and, if you are aware of them, you will be prepared for them.

There are different types of GPS systems. We will be talking about manual guidance systems and autosteer systems. So here are the five common mistakes that we don’t want you to make:

1. Choosing a system with a terminal

Tractor GPS systems were first introduced to the market last century in the 1990’s. Well known brands have created great high-end products that revolutionised the industry and paved the next step of precision agriculture solutions for farmers. The only problem with them was their high cost. Such GPS systems are working mostly on terminals (screens with built-in software).

One disadvantage of terminals is that they are expensive (around 3500-5000 EUR). And in case of damage, you will need to pay again the same amount.

The second big disadvantage is that many of such terminals are closed. So they are not able to connect to other equipment and systems. They don’t receive updates. Therefore they become obsolete very fast. So if you go to the terminal we recommend checking connectivity and updates.
You can also consider smartphone based tractor navigation solutions that have the following benefits:
  • Lower cost of the system, as the most advanced tablets with case and holders, would cost you a maximum 800-1000 EUR. More affordable tablets can be purchased at 200-300 EUR.
  • Receive new functionality and improvements with new app updates.
  • Can be remotely serviced and supported
  • Can be used on many machines without additional costs.

2. Don’t count costs of getting RTK accuracy

When receiving an offer for a GPS system we recommend you to consider it’s full price including subscription for RTK accuracy, modems and software unlocks. As without RTK, it is not possible to do the most important operations that bring most of the savings and benefits such as planting and inter-row cultivation.

RTK accuracy allows you to own one system for all operations as well as explore all precision farming applications.

3. Choosing a system without RS232 port or Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection possibility

Such a system will not be compatible with other equipment and it will not be able to upgrade in the future and connect with other equipment that you might need later.

It is better to look for a system that works on batteries and has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection ports. As it will save you a lot of time to start using the system and when you change it between the machines.

4. Choosing a system without terrain compensation

Check if the system has a built-in terrain compensation as cabin shakes on hilly fields can create very high accuracy deviations so instead 1 cm accuracy, your actual accuracy can become 20-30 cm which is not enough for some operations and will make the system useless.

Terrain or tilt compensation algorithms calculate those deviations and help the steering system to keep the tractor on the line with high precision.

5. Not buying the system ASAP

This is your biggest mistake. As you are losing money every day. From the feedback of our customers investment into the tractor GPS system pays back in one season. You can see an example of savings calculation in this article.

“I save 50 litres of fuel per one field operation and is doing every operation 15 minutes faster on average, that gives me an additional 10% of productivity”, – says one of our customers.

“Buying a tractor autosteer system was the best decision in my life. No, actually marrying my wife was the best, and buying FieldBee was the second best”, – says Jan Lausen farmer from Germany.

Are you ready to make the best decision of your life too?

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4 thoughts on “TOP 5 mistakes that farmers make when buying tractor GPS systems. Let’s learn from them.

  1. Hello, Iam writing from Argentine, I am interested in your product.
    Do you have any dealer in my country?.
    In case your answer is negative, Are you interested in have one?
    keep in touch
    Cristian

    1. Hello! Here is a list of dealers – https://www.fieldbee.com/find-a-dealer/
      We will contact you via email for more detailes.

  2. Some Dutch industries offer Dutch language for information.

    1. Hello. We have plans to add more languages. Stay tuned!

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