How would you like to be able to steer your tractor or sprayer or planter so that no matter how many passes you make each one is almost exactly on line with the initial trip across the field?
Trimble says that kind of accuracy will be possible with the new EZ-Guide-Plus System it introduced at its headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., on Jan. 9. The lightbar guidance system combines the latest in graphic LCD and GPS technologies — the Ag GPS and EZ-Guide Plus — according to Trimble.
Its representatives say the system allows operators to manually steer tractors, sprayers, fertilizer applicators, air seeders and large tillage tools with typical pass-to-pass accuracy of 1 foot or better. Its new lightbar technology provides operators with intuitive and accurate guidance in bright or low light, wind and dust, fog, rain or even snow.
“EZ-Guide Plus is a true breakthrough in lightbar guidance,” said Alan Townsend, vice president and general manager of Trimble's Field Solutions Division. “It's the first affordable system to combine crystal-clear guidance LEDs and a sunlight-readable LCD screen — all with the slimmest profile of any lightbar on the market.
“Because its controls are easy-to-use and its display simple to follow, the EZ-Guide Plus helps reduce driver fatigue and allows extended working hours when necessary during peak seasons,” added Townsend. “This is truly an economical solution to enhance in-field productivity — just eliminating ‘guess rows’ is a great productivity booster.”
Townsend says Trimble's EZ-Guide Plus can be installed in field equipment in just a few minutes. Operator training takes just a few minutes more. Components include a 35-LED lightbar with integrated graphic LCD display and survey quality antenna.
The EZ-Guide Plus lightbar guidance system can be controlled with just three buttons. The lightbar screen walks the operator through a simple set-up procedure for each field, then displays a map showing current position, the path to follow and other guidance text information.
The system provides the operator with a variety of real-time information, including offline distance, swath number, speed and field area. It also outputs NMEA position data to other equipment such as yield monitors, planters and field computers.
The EZ-Guide Plus system provides the flexibility needed to be efficient in any terrain. It can be programmed for straight, curve, headland or center pivot guidance patterns. The graphic LCD screen displays intuitive turn and curve guidance, and it automatically advances to the next swath during turns for all patterns.
With a manufacturer's suggested list price of $2,795, the EZ-Guide Plus system is fully upgradable to grow with the user's precision farming needs, including as-applied mapping, soil sampling, flow control, variable-rate management and other functions. The system can also be upgraded to Trimble's Ag GPS Autopilot for automated steering on a wide variety of vehicles.
The system is expected to be available in February 2004. For more details, visit www.EZ-Guide.com  to view an interactive demo of the EZ-Guide Plus system and to locate a dealer. For more information call 800-259-6501 or contact a local Trimble, Ag Leader, Case IH, New Holland or HARDI Inc. dealer, Townsend said.
e-mail: [email protected]