What Is a Tractor RTK System and How to Work with It

Having a tractor park in your farming business is sometimes a die-hard deal. You need to plan all the routs for its work, keep all machines in orders providing regular maintenance. And you should get all the info about where is your tractor driving right now to correct its route due to multiple factors.

In precise farming, it is GPS that helps much with the last thing. But even the most up-to-date GPS equipment has its inaccuracies that may vary up to 10 cm when tracing the route. To avoid such inaccuracies it is needed to supplement the equipment with small but efficient detail that is RTK system.

Usually, when using RTK systems in agriculture, errors in GPS data do not exceed a couple of centimeters. In case the RTKs are designed accurately and are located close enough, RTK solutions for tractors allow you to reduce the correction level to 1 cm.

How Does the RTK System in Agriculture Work?

Imagine that you have a tractor with an RTK receiver module installed on it. The signal from the GPS satellite is transmitted to the base, which processes it.

Then, already with the RTK level corrections, the signal is transmitted to the receiver installed on the machine or tractor. As a result, the operator receives up-to-date data that helps 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 cell Internet connection. If there is a good cover, the signal will get momentarily. As usual, for a big farm, multiple RTK networks are used. But it is also possible to get RTK signal from another base set somewhere nearby.

Merits of Using RTK Technology for Tractors

  • Economy. Fuel costs are dramatically reduced, while operating efficiency is significantly increased.
  • Repeatability. Guaranteed repeatability from year to year, that is, maintaining the exact coordinates of the trajectory of the vehicle.
  • Overlap Accuracy. With this technology, your overlap will be reduced by up to 0.33% on all machine passes.
  • Reducing the human factor: driver errors when laying a route are reduced to zero, and the operator himself experiences less stress, and, as a result, less fatigue during work.

Perspectives of Using RTK for Farm

A couple of years ago, only the wealthiest farmers and agricultural giants could afford to use the RTK. The high cost and low competition in the market for manufacturers of such systems led to the fact that the demand for them was low.

But as prices became more and more affordable, and the prospects for the development of this method of precision farming became more and more obvious, RTK became one of the most popular technologies for implementation in agricultural machinery.

Perspectives of further use of RTK in agriculture influenced this state of affairs much:
  • With RTK networks, you can not only create maps of the area, but also collect information for further analysis and use in the new season.
  • The RTK-module allows you to install automatic steering on the tractor, which also contributes to an increase in the efficiency of each of the machines.
  • With the improvement of mobile Internet technologies, the speed of data transmission over RTK networks has increased and today it allows you to operate with data even faster and develop effective agricultural strategies.
  • Such equipment also enables the owner of the farm to accurately control the degree of wear of the machines, the integrity of the employees and the accuracy of the fulfillment of the given plans.

How to Work With RTK Base and Receiver

Buying a subscription to a service pack in a developing company you get not only an efficient tool that will work precisely for years.

You may also evaluate additional services and maintenance of such a technology that could be performed remotely. A quick and easy training process will enable your operators to work efficiently with RTC equipment and it will take less time to learn how to work with it.

You can also expand your subscription options or use only the functions you need that are useful for your particular farm. One unit is meant for one tractor, so be prepared to order separate subscription packages and receivers for each tractor in your fleet.
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