Six Reasons to Track and Monitor Your Agricultural Machinery

Productivity, economy, and security are some of the advantages of using these technologies.

23 December 2020

The systems that allow tracking and monitoring of agricultural machinery were created to meet some of the main demands of agribusiness. Involving precision agriculture and telemetry, which allows remote data transmission, these solutions help improve not only the use of equipment, but also fuels, applied inputs and even the operations team.

For Bernardo de Castro, President of Hexagon's Agriculture division, which develops digital solutions for the field, the entire workflow in agriculture is optimised with this technology. Check out six reasons to invest in tracking and agricultural machine monitoring.

1 - Productivity control

When you have a machine with sensors and monitoring software, you can check numerous telemetry data: tracking the machine's path, time of start and end of the activity, average travel speed, making stops and maneuvers, how much was planted or harvested, and so on.

With this information in detailed reports and graphs, managers are able to track machine performance and control productivity with more assertive decisions, such as changing a given route or reducing downtime.

It is also possible to verify the individual performance of each of the equipment operators, which can help in the efficiency of the team.

2 - Cost reduction

One consequence of controlling productivity is undoubtedly the increase in profits. By reducing periods when machines are not running, reducing fuel costs, and optimising processes, the costs for carrying out operations are also reduced.

"Our HxGN AgrOn Machine Monitoring product, for example, records from second to second the position and the activity being performed in the cultivation and harvest, generating reports on yield, productivity, distance and speed. Along with other precision agriculture solutions, it allows fuel consumption to be saved by up to 10% and the application of inputs by 25%," explains Bernardo de Castro.

3 - Prevention on time

Another reason for monitoring agricultural machinery is to predict the need for maintenance of the equipment. With the help of technologies such as Big Data and records of parts exchanges, average speed in operations and mileage travelled, it is easier to check the health of the machines and schedule the appropriate repairs, avoiding unforeseen events.

Otherwise, if a harvester breaks in the middle of the agricultural process, it will generate a major waste of time and resources. "The tractor and trailer that accompany it will also stop, as will its operators, who will not be able to work until the mechanic arrives," says the President of Hexagon's Agriculture division.

Monitoring also allows you to configure alerts for specific situations, for example, if the maximum speed allowed is exceeded by operators.

4 - Remote management

Today, there are already technologies that allow all of this monitoring in the field to take place at a distance. An example is HxGN AgrOn Control Room, software that allows real-time monitoring of everything that happens during farming directly from a remote command centre.

The solution works based on the transfer of information from the onboard controllers of the agricultural machinery to the control room cloud through 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi or satellite communication channels. As such, managers can make decisions and perform rapid interventions whenever necessary, even when away from the field.

5 - Safety

Knowing in real time exactly where the machines and agricultural production are, ensuring their safety, is also a reason to invest in tracking technology.

HxGN AgrOn Raw Material Traceability, for example, is a solution installed in harvesters, haul-outs, and trailers to track the raw material from its origin in the field to final delivery to the industry.

"In addition to the exact location of all of the production, this type of technology collects information such as the area and the duration of the harvest, increasing the quality and agility of operations and overcoming the lack of infrastructure for tracking loads in the field", reinforces Bernardo de Castro. Human intervention is also reduced, dispensing with manual notes and identification labels of the raw material.

6 - First step to agricultural automation

Fleet monitoring can be considered as merely the first step in the automation of agricultural processes. Today, with the solutions of Hexagon's Agriculture division, it is already possible to use the same devices that monitor the machines for other functions, such as advanced operations controls, application of inputs (fertilisers, pesticides, seeds) at variable rate and automatic steering, for example.

Thus, managers not only have a view of what is happening, but also a guarantee that the maximum performance of each machine is being performed.