From our first meetings with farmers, we realized that farmers are currently having very difficult times. They work hard and are having a lot of issues to manage. One of the hardest jobs that they are exposed to is actually driving a tractor in a field. This work requires a lot of concentration and makes farmers tired very fast. They start to make a lot of mistakes and those mistakes cost a lot of time and money.
We found out that although there are already precision farming technologies on the market available from the mid-90s, only 3-5% of all tractors worldwide are equipped with such systems. Why? Because they were too expensive for small and medium farmers and very complex.
We highly acknowledge the importance of farmer’s work, as they produce food for all of us – the people who live on this Planet. The number of people is growing, while the number of farmers is decreasing. More and more farmers are forced to sell their legacy farms. Young people do not want to continue the family business. Family farming is in danger!
As an IT company, we see that now is a great moment when technologies can really help.
2 years ago we’ve decided to undertake a challenge and create the first affordable tractor navigation system that all farmers could use. Farmers from more than 30 countries have supported our crowdfunding campaign and helped us to develop our product – the FieldBee. Thanks to them we are able to officially launch the product this year.
So to pursue our goal and to make precision truly available to all farmers we keep in mind that our products should be:
- Affordable. But not cheap. Read how we tackle this task
- And easy to use for everybody
This article addresses the second point of our mission. And here how we are making tractor GPS and RTK systems really easy to use.
FieldBee does not require installation
You don’t need to actually do the installation that was required with “old” type systems.
But you need to do the initial set up: connect FieldBee to the app, set up WiFi and to pair it with RTK base station or RTK NTRIP provider if needed.
We estimate that the initial set up should take 1-2 hours. To make it as fast as possible, we recommend that you read the >>FieldBee user manual<< beforehand. We know that reading the manual may seem like a waste of time, but it can actually save you time…and some nerves too!
The first thing that you need to do is to identify which of the three modes of using the FieldBee suits you best. Once you do this, follow the manual accordingly.
We have created a special setting app >>>> the FieldBee toolkit app <<<
that will assist you in making settings. We are we are making regular app updates in order to make FieldBee setting up faster and easier with each iteration.
Setting up the Wi-Fi
The biggest issue that our customers are facing to date is
If you are using the RTK system, you will need two Wi-Fi access points:
- The first Wi-Fi access point is for the FieldBee GNSS receiver (GPS antenna that goes on the roof of your tractor). Here the most convenient method is to use a shared hotspot from your smartphone or tablet. We recommend using a tablet for tractor navigation so that you can use your smartphone to receive phone calls and read our posts on Facebook :). Don’t forget about a data card for your tablet.
- The second Wi-Fi access point is for the RTK base station. There are two options for this depending on the way the base station is mounted:
- If you decide to install the base station on the roof of a building, you need to be sure that the Wi-Fi access point is close to the roof and the signal is strong enough. It might be handy to use a Wi-Fi repeater.
- If you use the base station on a tripod in the field, you should have a separate mobile Wi-Fi spot for it that works on batteries.
You can always contact our [email protected] to ask about recommended additional equipment and tips on how to solve your particular issue.
The good thing about the initial setup of FieldBee is that you need to do it only once. No complicated installations on the tractor are required. And it is really easy to switch the FieldBee from one machine to another.
Working with FieldBee Tractor Navigation app
In the beginning, some people may experience difficulties using our tractor navigation app. Some may even have trouble with registration. Our advice: start small, go step-by-step, play more and more with the app and you will get used to it.
And please don’t hesitate to contact our support team whenever you have a question! Each question helps us to improve the app for you and for the rest of the farmers who are working with it.
To help you get used to the app, we have created How to videos that you will receive via email once you have registered.
Remote worldwide support
This is a great thing about the FieldBee tractor navigation system – there is no need for us to be in your country/city to help you with solving your issues. We do it over the Internet.
This helps us to keep the price on our products as low as possible.
And here how it works. For example, we noticed that Gregor, a customer from Germany, was not using the FieldBee. So we asked him “What’s up Gregor? Do you need help?” We set up a time, got remote access to his phone/tablet and configured FieldBee for him. Now he is a happy customer who is driving perfectly straight lines in his fields!
We are making affordable but not cheap products. That is why FieldBee comes with a two-year guarantee.
And as our goal is to make 100% of our customers satisfied with our products you will have 30 days to return the product and to have a full refund.