To have a tractor park in the agriculture business is sometimes a tough deal. You need to plan all the work routes, keep all machines in good working conditions and provide regular maintenance. You should get all the information about the location of the tractor in order to correct its route due to a number of factors. In precision farming, GPS helps much with the latter. However, even the most up-to-date GPS equipment has its inaccuracies that may vary up to 10 cm when tracing the route. It is advised to supplement the equipment with the RTK system to avoid such inaccuracies. When using RTK systems in agriculture, GPS data errors do not exceed a few centimeters. If the RTKs are designed accurately and are placed close enough, RTK solutions for tractors will allow you to reduce the error to 1 cm.
How Does the RTK System in Agriculture Work?
Imagine that you have a tractor with an installed RTK receiver module. The signal from the GPS satellite is transmitted to the base, which processes it. Then, the signal (with the RTK corrections) is transmitted to the receiver installed on the machine or the tractor. As a result, the operator receives up-to-date data that help to plot an accurate route without distortion, as is the case with conventional GPS navigation. The principle of transmitting data from the base to the receiver is a standard cellular Internet connection. If there is good coverage, the signal will be received instantly. Multiple RTK networks are usually used for big farms. Another option is to get an RTK signal from a base set nearby.
Benefits of Using RTK Technology for Tractors
- Economy. Fuel costs are dramatically reduced and efficiency is significantly increased.
- Repeatability. Guarantee of repeatability, that is, maintaining the accuracy of coordinates in the vehicle trajectory.
- Overlap Accuracy. This technology will reduce the overlap by up to 0.33% on all machines.
- Reduction of human factor: driver errors (while laying a route) are reduced to zero, and the operator himself/herself experiences less stress, and, as a result, less fatigue during the work.
Perspectives of Using RTK for Farm
A couple of years ago, only the wealthiest farmers and agricultural giants could afford the RTK. The high cost and low competition for manufacturers of such systems on the market led to the lack of demand for them. However, as prices became more affordable, and the prospects for the development of the precision farming method became evident, RTK became one of the most popular technologies in agriculture. Perspectives of further RTK usage in agriculture:
- RTK networks not only create maps of the area, but also collect information for further analysis and usage in the next season.
- The RTK-module allows you to install automatic steering on a tractor, which also contributes to an increase in the efficiency of the vehicle.
- The advances in mobile Internet technologies, increase of the data transmission speed over RTK networks allow you to process data even faster and develop effective agricultural strategies.
- The equipment also enables the owner of the farm to control the degree of vehicle wear, the employee integrity and the fulfillment accuracy of the proposed plans.
How to Work With RTK Base and Receiver
Buy a subscription to a service pack support from a reliable company and you will get an efficient tool for years. You may also evaluate additional relevant service and maintenance that could be performed remotely. A quick and easy training process will enable your operators to run RTC equipment efficiently and the learning process will be less time consuming as well. You can also expand your subscription options or use only the functions you need or which are useful for your farm. One unit is meant for one tractor, so be prepared to order separate subscription packages and receivers for each tractor in your fleet.