The latest Gen 4 Machine Sync improves your harvesting logistics by making unloading safer and easier. It creates a wireless network connection between the combine and the tractor pulling the grain cart. This enables the position and speed of the tractor to be exactly synchronised with the combine.
Previously, Machine Sync operators had to coordinate multiple activities to ensure they were unloading the right combine at the right time:
The good news is that Gen 4 Machine Sync simplifies harvest for even the most experienced operators. It reduces the number of tasks required so you can safely unload on the go without slowing your operation. It also takes away a lot of stress, allowing operators to focus on the issues that really matter such as combine performance and efficient unloading.
Machine Sync guides an approaching grain cart tractor to a predetermined “home” position alongside the combine for unloading. Creating different home points for individual tractors gives you the flexibility to use different tractor grain cart and combine configurations (such as cart sizes, tractors, and unloading auger lengths).
Speed and direction synchronisation can begin once the tractor and grain cart enter the area to the left of the combine. This area is known as the operational zone and is displayed in the image above as the orange box. Once the tractor operator engages Machine Sync, the tractor travels towards the home point, and the two machines actively track each other. The combine operator can then control the tractor speed and direction of travel.
The combine operator can engage the unloading auger and fill the grain cart while continuing to harvest. While synchronised, the grain cart tractor follows the exact movements of the combine. To disengage Machine Sync, the tractor operator simply takes control of the steering wheel or manually changes the tractor’s speed.
While the combine and tractor/grain cart are tracking and unloading, the combine operator can make small speed and direction changes to the tractor, moving it back and forth or side to side to evenly fill the cart.
Nudging is a great feature that prevents the combine operator from having to adjust the speed of the combine and slow the harvest. On X and S Series Combines, the reconfigurable keys on the multifunction lever can be used to nudge the tractor forwards and backwards. To use this function on model year 2018 S Series Combines, you need to update the combine controller software to the model year 2019 version.
On S600 Combines, an optional field-installed multifunction control lever with an integrated nudge button is available.
Ask your dealer for additional details.
Gen 4 Machine Sync brings harvest automation to a wide variety of crops, from silage and haylage to potatoes and onions to large and small grains. It provides the position of carts pulled by a John Deere tractor and allows their speed to be controlled from another machine. This means you can use Machine Sync for unloading with John Deere self-propelled forage harvesters (SPFH), combines, and tractors equipped with pull-type harvesters.
For SPFH and pull-type harvesters, Machine Sync can be used to create a U-shaped unloading zone. This gives operators the flexibility to use Machine Sync for unloading on the left, right, or rear of the machine. You can also save up to three home points when using the U-shaped unloading zone configuration, cutting down on the time spent changing or saving your wagon location based on the side of the machine you are unloading on.
Machine Sync lets operators view the position of all the machines in a field and the grain tank fill levels of any combines. This allows grain cart drivers to see which combines need unloading first, minimising wait time for unloading and improving the entire harvest logistics operation.
Machines in a network with an active JDLink™ Connect subscription and In-Field Data Sharing can see the following information:
Sharing coverage maps between all machines operating in the field allows grain cart operators to see what headlands have been harvested and if there are any areas that have been broken through that would allow for a shorter path to the combine.
Unloading on-the-go is a highly skilled task that requires an experienced operator. Machine Sync takes away the stress of ensuring the right position and speed as it is all done automatically. This takes the pressure off harvest operators, particularly when it is difficult to find skilled operators for harvest time.
Machine Sync supports controlled traffic farming where the leader and follower share the same guidance lines. Using the same guidance lines reduces soil compaction as all machines follow the same tram lines. It is particularly useful for harvesting operations as it prevents machines from driving anywhere in the field and compacting the soil.
Once a machine disengages from the unloading operation, it can continue to use AutoTrac™ guidance which ensures it stays on the guidance lines.