Helping harvesters not to spill a drop

A John Deere innovation is designed to help drivers of self-propelled forage harvesters achieve the near- “impossible” task of directing all the forage into the accompanying trailers — while coping with hilly terrain, wet soil and soft ground, lodged crop, obstacles, etc.
Helping harvesters not to spill a drop

The result is John Deere Active Fill Control, which has won a 2015 Agritechnica silver medal for innovation.

A camera on the harvester spout detects the trailer edges, and fills the trailer evenly and without spillage.

The system includes a video screen in the cab, where the driver can monitor the trailer- filling progress, without turning his head and losing view of the crop flow.

This makes the multi- tasking and reacting quickly to changing conditions necessary for a harvester operator much easier, and prevents the loss of hundreds of kilos of forage when the spout is improperly aimed for only a few seconds. The driver can fully focus on machine behaviour, in order to maintain peak performance at all times.

As soon as Active Fill Control is engaged, it will continuously look for a trailer in the camera field of view and fill it automatically, once detected.

After headland turns, the spout will automatically return to the last filling position.

Active Fill Control makes harvesting at night easier, using additional lights to improve visibility of the transport vehicle, while Active Fill Control’s LED spout light package ensures a steady fill, even in darkness.

The same goes for harvesting in varying light, dust, shading or rainy conditions.

The user can select from four fill strategies to suit work style or crop removal vehicle.

Active Fill Control is already available in the US as a factory-installed option.

It resembles the 2009 Agritechnica gold medal-winning 3-D scanner from Claas and New Holland Agriculture, which automatically adjusts the ejector manifold and the flap of the chopper, making it easier for the driver to fill the trailer without spillage.

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