Monarch Tractor is a bit like the Tesla of tractors; a new tractor manufacturer that immediately focuses on a complete electric drive system and can work autonomously.
Monarch Tractor began in 2018. The California-based company designed the vehicle to increase labour productivity and maximise yield to support farmers’ existing operations. The company claims it is the “world’s first fully electric, driver optional, smart tractor integrated on a single platform”.
What is most striking according to the supplier ?
The Monarch Tractor is 100% electric and has zero tailpipe emissions. The average diesel tractor alone produces roughly 14 times the CO2 emissions as the average car. When a Monarch Tractor replaces a diesel tractor, it’s equivalent to removing the emissions generated by 14 gasoline passenger cars. Our projections suggest the Monarch Tractor can directly reduce 1% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through electrification, while regenerative practices enabled by the Monarch Tractor can reduce 4% of global GHG emissions.
How does the robot tractor navigate and plan its work and paths?
The Monarch Tractor can be pre-programmed and assigned various tasks. It also utilises smart learning, and can be trained to carry out tasks through example. Additionally, while running autonomously, the operator can use Monarch Tractor’s interactive automation features, including Gesture and Shadow modes to have the tractor follow a worker on the job.
How are implements operated and controlled by the robot tractor?
The Monarch Tractor can work with farmers’ current implements as well as the next generation of smart implements. With a standard category I/II 3-point hitch and hydraulics current implements can be controlled by the tractor. Sensors and imaging are processed to provide critical data points that can be used for real-time implement adjustments as well as long-term yield estimates, current growth stages and other plant/crop health metrics. Utilising machine learning, Monarch Tractor is able to digest this data and provide long-term analysis of field health, improving accuracy the longer it runs.
What are the safety features?
The Monarch Tractor is packed with safety features including roll and collision prevention, vision-based PTO safety and 360° cameras to keep operations running smoothly and employees safe, day or night. The Monarch Tractor has vision systems that allow it to stop at a moment’s notice if an object or someone/something enters its path and continue once the path is clear, making it the safest compact tractor.
The Monarch Tractor comes with troubleshooting and repair guides built right into the onboard tablet and web app, as well as remote support so farmers can identify and fix problems quickly.
What kind of work can the robot tractor do autonomously?
The Monarch Tractor does everything a traditional tractor does (ploughing, cultivating, harvesting, etc.). While running traditional operations Monarch’s sensor suite also provides scouting, mapping, data collection, and analysis. It was also built to power the next generation of smart sprayers, weeders, and other data-driven implements. This allows the farmer to work on something else on the farm, or if an employee wasn’t able to come in to work, the tractor already knows the path and can run the course and collect the data in real-time, sending it to the farmer’s mobile device instantly.
Can you switch off autonomous mode and continue as a manned tractor for difficult work/circumstances?
The Monarch Tractor can be controlled manually or autonomously. The Monarch Tractor utilises the latest autonomous hardware and software technology to provide driver-assist and driver-optional operations. The tractor also has pitch and roll alerts, GPS detection and more to recognise if it is stuck or in a dangerous situation and notify an operator for support.
How many units are currently in the field and where?
Initial customers are on the west coast from Oregon down to California.
Technical specifications – Monarch Tractor
|Company name and nationality||Monarch Tractor, USA|
|Product name||Monarch Tractor MK-5|
|Type / models||N/A|
|Type engine / max. horse power (p.t.o.)||Electric motor technology from the automotive industry 70hp peak, 40hp continuous|
|Autonomous solution Isobus compatible?||Yes|
|Transmission type||Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) 9F/3R|
|Minimum and maximum speeds manual (mph/ kph): / in autonomous mode (mph/kph)||0 kph /0 mph – 27.5 kph/17 mph in both modes|
|PTO speeds back||540 RPM|
|PTO speeds front||N/A|
|Back 3-point hitch lift capacity (lbs / kg)||1,000 kg|
|Front 3-point hitch lift capacity (lbs/ kg)||N/A|
|Hydraulic system (open / closed center)||Closed center|
|Max hydraulic flow rate ( lpm / gpm)||60 lpm/ 16 gpm|
|Max tire size (rear/front)||Standard tyre option: 11.2-24 (rear), 7.0-14 (front) (Max tyre size: forthcoming announcement)|
|Total weight (lbs/kg)||N/A|
|Dimensions length, with, high (inch, cm).||Length 137.8 inch/350 cm|
Width 44.1 inch/112 cm
Height 86 inch/218 cm
|Fuel tank or battery capacity: (l/g or kWh)/for minimum operating hours||4–5 hrs charge time at 220 V|
|Operator or driver nearby required (yes or no)||No|
|Price (in €/US$)||Sell: $58,000 USD for 2WD; $68.000 USD for 4WD|
As a service: N/A
|Countries the product is for sale/rent in 2022||USA|