AgJunction launched a new Wheelman lineup of simple, affordable autosteering systems.
AgJunction, based in Scottsdale, Arizona (US), specialises in autoguidance. The company has been developing these systems since 1990. Their latest product is the new Wheelman lineup. “Simple, affordable autosteering systems every farm can benefit from”, says AgJunction.
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Wheelman autosteering systems are powered by Whirl and designed to work with new and old equipment alike. Whirl allows farmers to use their existing smart devices (phone, tablet, etc.) as the display. - Photos: AgJunction
Complete autosteering system for $ 3,995
Normally, autosteering systems are rather expensive. Especially for a smaller farm an investment of around 15,000 dollars is hard to earn back. Wheelman Pro and Wheelman Flex autosteering systems start at $ 3,995. According to the manufacturer, for that investment the farmer gets everything he needs: install kit, IMU, smart antenna, universal cable, without additional cost.
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High torque for quick response
The system replaces the steering wheel with a motorised, GPS-controlled steering system. It has high torque for quick response, even with older equipment. Calibration takes 10 minutes with the app AgJunction developed.
Also, the Wheelman Flex can be easily moved and used between other equipment, says AgJunction, further reducing the cost of outfitting a farming operation with autosteering.
Wide Area Augmentation System for correction
The Pro uses a spline design that links to the steering system. Flex uses a kit that attaches to the steering wheel, which is designed to be moved.
Both Wheelman versions use the Wide Area Augmentation System for correction. This longtime service is free as a correction signal for the GPS. With Wheelman, it provides 4- to 6-inch accuracy consistently. A subscription is not necessary. According to the company, the autosteering system works with more than 850 makes and models of equipment.
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The GPS-controlled Wheelman Pro offers high-torque for older tractors, is dust and water proof (IP67 rated) and replaces the existing wheel with a high-grip durable steering wheel. The included guidance dashboard allows farmers to quickly define a repeatable field path and engage the Wheelman system to begin autosteering.
Mobile phone or tablet as display
Both systems are powered by the free Whirl app – available for iOS and Android devices. “Whirl allows farmers to use their exisiting smart devices (phone, tablet, etc) as the display, eliminating the need to buy a custom display, which can easily cost up to $ 8,000”, says Jeff Morris, AgJunction chief marketing officer.
‘Less than 6% of smaller farmers are using autosteering’
In an interview with Western Farmer-Stockman, Jeff Morris of AgJunction said there are large opportunities for affordable autosteering systems. “If you look at farms over 1,000 acres or greater, there are about 200,000 potential customers,” he said. “In that market, more than 80% are using autosteering.” But smaller farmers, those having 1,000 acres or fewer, could benefit from this technology as well. “At that level, less than 6% are using autosteering,” he explained. “That’s a large opportunity. For a smaller farm, the $ 15,000 investment in an autosteering system makes generating a return on investment complex. For 25 years, autosteering has been costly and complex.”
The video below shows the installation of a Wheelman Pro kit