It’s not just operators of the biggest tractors who deserve high-tech solutions – Argo Tractors’ mechatronic advances are aimed at orchard and field efficiencies.
Look after the operators by giving them a comfortable and convenient place to work and tools that make their lives easier, more productive and more satisfying. That is the philosophy behind the Advanced Driving System, a combination of digital technologies, developed by Landini for the Rex 4 Series.
This new line of 70-112hp tractors, designed mainly for top fruit, orchard, vineyard and horticultural work, builds on previous ‘Rex’ families with new and improved features including front axle suspension for a smoother, more comfortable driving experience and better traction. More transmission options include two- and three-speed powershift, and a choice of up to four-speed pto systems with ‘power’ and ‘economy’ gearing for different tasks.
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Landini Rex 4 tractors also feature an all-new cabin, the ‘operations centre’ for the Advanced Driving System, where a touch screen terminal supplements standard instruments. “This is designed to leave the operator free to concentrate on implement functions, while the tractor ECU takes care of driving, recording hours of operation, fuel consumption and service requirements, which is a World premiere in speciality tractors,” says Antonio Salvaterra, Marketing Director.
The cab itself is an interesting design – not least because it has a flat floor, so the operator no longer has to straddle the transmission tunnel. It also has carefully thought-out positioning of control levers, switches and instruments, and with the new CAT4 option, operators are protected when spraying from potentially noxious chemicals by an advanced airflow management system.
This allows the operator to select a standard filter in the cab roof when performing routine tasks before changing with just the flick of a switch to carbon filtration and positive cab pressurisation when spraying. In other cabs, filters must physically be changed but the pragmatic Landini solution for CAT4 standards makes it easy to obtain maximum protection and to preserve the life of the costlier carbon filter by isolating it when not spraying.
This ‘practical convenience’ approach is also evident with the proposed Advanced Driving System, which received a Technical Innovation Award at the EIMA 2018 international machinery show in Italy. ADS employs mechatronic technologies to assist operators with steering that automatically returns the front wheels to straight-ahead after a headland turn and progressively increases resistance with speed on the road to reduce sensitivity at the steering wheel.
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The operator’s workload is reduced by a memory function that records the optimum front wheel position to counter sideways forces when working on sloping land and ploughing in-furrow, while a multi-function “all-in-one” joystick controls up to seven electro-hydraulic spool valves for optimal efficiency handling complex machinery. In addition, operators can easily manage implement settings from a single terminal as the monitor configuration automatically changes according to the functions used.
For enterprise managers, the Landini Fleet Management online monitoring and documentation facility provides a daily log of working hours, field work and servicing registers, and real-time remote diagnosis – all helping with troubleshooting and maintenance scheduling, and maintaining a record of a tractor’s workload, efficiency and service history.