As combines get rolling this fall, one of the measuring sticks for an efficient harvest is maximizing the performance of those six-figure machines. Proper calibration of yield monitors is the cornerstone to recovering meaningful data, but farmers increasingly want to keep a closer eye on combines, grain carts and semis.
Adoption of fleet management and telematic tools are gaining traction on operations and talking with a group of strip-tillers at this year’s National Strip-Tillage Conference, our tech-centric discussion touched on use of equipment tracking to better evaluate up and down-time.
Kerry Knuth, Mead, Neb., strip-tiller notes that he’s been utilizing fleet tracking from Farmobile to monitor semis hauling grain and time their arrival back to the farm.
“We’re harvesting soybeans and we’re hauling it 45 miles away and it’s not always easy to get a hold of our semi drivers,” he says. “I never know what the line’s like at the elevator and they never tell you when they’re coming back.
“If I’m cutting parts of the field that I can take my time on because it might be 2 hours before they get back, I want to know. But I told our drivers up front, it’s nothing against you. I’m not trying to see if you go off the beaten path or stop and get a pop or something. I just want to plan.”
For Knuth, it’s a matter of increasing efficiency, especially this time of year. Being able to coordinate a smoother harvesting process is one less thing to worry about on his 2,200 acre operation.