More and more users are going back to mechanical substrate care in viticulture, partly thanks to the debate about the systemic herbicide, glyphosate. The most efficient way to work is by using implement combinations consisting of intermediate axle and rear attachments. Accurately steering in the narrow vine tracks, while constantly controlling and steering the intermediate axle implements on both sides and operating another implement at the rear, requires utmost concentration to avoid damaging the vines or wiring.
Mechanical weed control with a unique system
At Agritechnica 2019 and together with Braun Maschinenbau GmbH, Fendt will unveil a unique all-in-one system that makes it much easier to drive equipment combinations (especially with intermediate axle attachments), increases the quality of work and enables complex combinations that were previously not navigable.
The system takes control of the tractor implement combination and allows the tractor to be automatically steered as well as automatically and constantly adapting the equipment to the environment. This increases the appeal of mechanical weed control in the substrate, but also increases the efficiency of the substrate and mulch work.
Relaxed and fatigue-free working
The entire system is based on a Fendt 200 V/F Vario, which houses a Braun intermediate axle frame with two-sided vertical lift and various implements. At the rear is a mulcher, also from Braun. The Braun VPA (Vineyard Pilot Assistant) system collects and passes on the steering data. The system consists of a laser, a gyroscope, the VPA control unit and a terminal.
The laser scans the environment and detects the soil contour, vines and stakes, among other things. The gyroscope, a rapidly rotating gyro that rotates in a moving bearing, picks up the tractor's 3D position. The information from the VPA system is sent to the Fendt 200 V/F Vario via the ISOBUS interface. The tractor performs the steering commands and automatically drives exactly in the middle of the vine row. This communication between Braun's steering system and the narrow gauge tractor works exclusively with the Fendt 200 V/F Vario. The information is also sent to the intermediate axle implements which are then independently controlled in height and width. The implements work at an ideal distance from the vines, which improves the quality of work and minimises damage. The implement attached to the rear is adjusted in its width according to the scanned information. The system is activated at the beginning of the row, when the intermediate axle implements automatically take up their ideal working position. This is also a safety feature, so that the implements do not enter their working position unintentionally. Using row-end recognition, the intermediate axle implements automatically go into park position at the end of the row.
With this all-in-one system from Fendt and Braun Maschinenbau GmbH, active intervention by the driver is only needed at the headland. In the vine row, all the driver has to do is control the system, making the work much more relaxed and fatigue-free. The machine also drives almost twice as fast compared to journeys without the system – at around 8 km/h. There are further benefits to using complex implement combinations. The lower number of cross-overs not only saves time and resources, but also compacts the ground less. The components of the implement combination can also be used individually or in other combinations, of course. Use an intermediate axle with an attached sprayer, for example.
The VPA system for controlling the equipment is now available, the complete functionality including tractor control can be purchased from Spring 2020.