‘Large Vehicle Alert System’: The answer for combine and forager drivers?
Large farming vehicles – such as combine and forage harvesters – can be stressful to move on public roads.
Unwary car drivers can be caught off guard by the sheer size of such machines, if they round a blind bend at an inopportune moment.
To make the task of moving such machines about that bit safer, Claas has come up with a novel, high-tech approach.
It reasons that large, slow-moving equipment generally has a “bad reputation among non-agricultural road users”.
In fact, says Claas, many car and truck drivers become uneasy when they encounter unwieldy agricultural machines or tractors towing wide equipment on narrow roads or on blind curves – quite apart from the potential for accidents.
In response, Claas has developed its Telematics Large Vehicle Alert System – the first traffic safety system that proactively informs drivers of networked cars on the position and status of agricultural machines on their route.
The location of an agricultural machine is transmitted from the telemetry data – via telematics or via a Claas app – to the assistance (i.e. navigation) systems of cars and trucks in ‘real time’. Using an ‘open data’ standard, Claas says that a broad range of navigation systems can access its data – enabling it to relay warnings to other road users.
This, says the company, enables hazards to be prevented beforehand. It would also help to engender greater acceptance of large, agricultural machines on the road.
The innovation has been awarded a silver medal by an independent expert committee appointed by the DLG (German Agricultural Society) – in advance of this year’s Agritechnica show.
Half-track system with full suspension
Claas has also notched up a number of other awards from the DLG this year, including another silver medal for its Terra Trac (rubber track) system for its Axion 900 Series tractors. It is the first half-track tractor with full suspension.
The system employs hardware and technology currently in use on Claas’ combine harvesters, but has been “specially adapted to meet the requirements of tractors”.
Thanks to its individually-suspended rollers, the crawler track system is said to “guarantee optimum ground contact and a maximum footprint”. It’s rated for travel speeds up to 40kph.