In our previous blog Smart Farming: A Brief History, we introduced the evolution of Smart Farming technology and told you how agriculture is becoming increasingly smart. In this blog, we set out why it is important to future-proof your next Valtra tractor, and exactly how to do it.
Even if you are not already considering Smart Farming, there are several reasons you should invest in future-proofing technology. Buying now and avoiding paying more later makes sense for the canny farmer. By insuring your next Valtra tractor meets the basic requirements for future Smart Farming you can:
- Increase flexibility and future options
- Ease into Smart Farming with later upgrades
- Increase the range of implements and work you can do
- Maximise future profit
- Protect your investment and the second-hand value of your tractor
- Immediately benefit from many of the features of SmartTouch
Valtra SmartTouch armrest
What future-proofing means
To take full advantage of the benefits of Smart Farming your tractor needs to be able to do four basic things: know exactly where it is, steer itself, communicate with your implements, and collect and transfer data. To do these things your tractor relies on specialist technology. Without it, your tractor will never be smart. Some of this technology can be retrofitted after purchase. However, things like the steering components can only be fitted during the manufacturing process. By choosing to have some basic kit added to your tractor when you buy it, you enable it to be fully smart in the future. We call this basic level of equipment ‘Valtra Guide ready.
The difference between Valtra Guide ready and full Valtra Guide
Full Valtra Guide hardware includes everything you need to work in Smart Farming. It includes a satellite signal receiver and autoguidance controller, housed in a box on top of the tractor, as well as steering equipment and the SmartTouch terminal, which are found inside the tractor. Valtra Guide ready hardware includes only those parts that are within the tractor itself.
The basic requirements you need to future-proof your next Valtra tractor
Valtra Guide ready hardware refers to the three basic pieces of technology– the steering controller, the steering valve, and the SmartTouch interface. The CAB ECU Steering controller is the unit that processes steering information and sends the commands to the PVED-CC steering valve that does the physical steering. The SmartTouch terminal is the brain that calibrates, sets up, and controls the system, as well as storing all your field data such as waylines, worked areas, and field boundaries etc. Although this does not give you full Valtra Guide capabilities, from this basic set-up of just three components it is possible to expand your set-up later and start Smart Farming. Without it, you cannot.
Speak to your dealer about Valtra Guide ready
Why future-proof your Valtra tractor
As you might imagine, items like the steering valve and SmartTouch interface are fitted during the assembly of your tractor. From this Valtra Guide ready set up you can always choose to purchase the full Valtra Guide hardware later. Valtra Guide ready hardware is cost-effective when purchased with your tractor. Many local dealers have incentives and campaigns to encourage purchasing Valtra Guide ready hardware. Speak to your dealer to find out exactly how much it will cost for your tractor in your local area.
Retrofitting autoguidance hardware to any tractor is virtually impossible. It involves taking apart a significant portion of the tractor to fit the equipment. Therefore, this is not an option supported by Valtra. Smart Farming technology and benefits are evolving all the time. Valtra Guide utilises Fuse technology, meaning it works across entire farm fleets and all operations and is compatible with management software. Without Valtra Guide ready hardware, you risk missing out not only on current Smart Farming benefits but also on future advantages and benefits of Smart Farming.
Future-proofing your tractor by making it Valtra Guide ready also helps protect your investment. You might not be looking to get into Smart Farming right now. However, when you come to sell on your tractor, it will be more attractive to potential buyers if it is easily adaptable to Smart Farming, maximizing its potential secondhand value.
Make a smart decision
If you are looking to get into Smart Farming in the future, it is well worth investing in a future-proof tractor that can grow with you and your farm. On the other hand, even if you are not looking to start Smart Farming now, you may want to consider protecting the resale value of your investment and opt to include the technology that will make your tractor more attractive to future buyers. Either way, it is worth asking your dealer about making your next Valtra tractor Valtra Guide ready.