We have tested seven different tractors brands on how they work with Isobus and prescription maps. Along the way, we had some struggles and error. In this last part: errors and (our way of) fixing.
This is the third and last part of a big Isobus-test with seven different tractor brands. Earlier we focused on the basic Isobus-functions, and in part two we described the differences between the tractors when it comes to working with a prescription map. In this third part: the errors we had and how we fixed it, since it might be helpful for those who experience the same issues.
The seven brands participating in this test (see also box: about this test)
First ‘problem’ we had, that in Massey Ferguson, after a few days, the implement somehow didn’t load in the terminal anymore after starting the engine. That was fixed by deleting the implement profile in the Isobus menu so it loaded the machine in as a new implement – keep this trick in mind if you ever run through the same problem.
If you ever try to find an IsoXML-prescription map in a John Deere-terminal: make sure it is in ‘Isobus Documentation Mode’. You find this switch in the ‘Work Setup-menu’ and then the ‘Advanced’ menu layer. Normally, the John Deere reads and writes in its own ‘language’, but for an IsoXML-file you need the Isobus language.
In only New Holland, somehow the AB-lines did not come with the imported data file which has the prescription map in it. We could not solve this. New Holland says that this issue will be solved in the next software update.
If you use a McCormick with Topcon-screen: be aware that you do not use the prominently displayed USB-port below the McCormick-terminal. You cannot import the data file via this USB-port; there is a USB-port under a screwable cap at the back of the Topcon-screen.
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We could not seed with the Valtra, because the both screens rebooted the moment that the seeder started seeding. After the test, the engineering department from Valtra and Grimme worked out the problem. As it turns out, the Grimme Matrix requests a ‘buzzer’ sound from the tractor when the seeder is being lowered on the ground. The Valtra SmartTouch-screens are programmed to give a ‘buzzer’ sound of maximum 2 seconds and the Grimme asked for a longer sound. This is what caused the crash, each time we started seeding. Valtra will solve this issue in the next software update. For whoever experiences the same issue, before the update comes: you are able to work around this if you disable the buzzer sounds in the Isobus UT-settings.
When we started to work with the McCormick, everything worked as expected (it operated the Grimme and showed the prescription map). But when we actually went seeding, few days later, we could not operate the hydraulic valves of the planter anymore because of an error. The fuse box behind the rear front wheel was not waterproof and the water corroded the Isobus fuses.
In Deutz-Fahr, when we entered the field and wanted to start seeding, the prescription map on the GPS-screen was flickering and the seeding rate went from 0 to 555.000 pills per hectare every few seconds. When we activated the map, it showed the error ‘ECU not synchronizing’. We solved this problem by going into the Task Controller Set Up-menu and via the button ‘Clear Pool Cache’. After this being cleared, things worked well. Make sure you select the ‘VRC’-function (variable rate controller) in the implement-menu and that you activate the section control via the button left-below.
In both Claas and New Holland, you should remember that you have to manually select the products and fill in different rates. New Holland is the most difficult. Here you need to go to ‘Product Library’ which is in the Data-menu (this is called ‘Materials’ in Trimble). For a new product, you need to fill if it’s a seed, a plant, or what else form. But also a ‘Application Rate 1’, ‘Application Rate 2’, Min Application Rate’ and a ‘Max Application Rate’ and a ‘Step Size’ (or ‘Rate Increment’ in Claas). While all the data is in the prescription map, you still have to fill in these manually – but note, that if you do not fill in any data, it will not seed according to the map.
In Trimble, you have to assign the filled in Materials to ‘Channel 1’.
Also in New Holland: you do not only have to select the map layer called ‘prescription map’ in the GPS menu. You also need to go into the settings of this particular layer where you can select the colors shown and the amount of different values, but here you need to tap the below box called ‘background’ and change ‘none’ into ‘prescription map’ and then it actually works.
First: Make a support for the Isobus-cable. The ‘+’ and ‘-’ for the power supply are on top of the connector and the weight of the thick cable pulls it down. A simple strap can prevent an error (only McCormick has a solution off-factory).
And second: A driving speed of 3,6 km/h is the same as 1 m/s. Try using that driving speed if you set the delay times for the section control, because it makes it easier to measure to do these settings.