Stories circulate that once someone tried auto-steering, assuming it is installed right by someone trained to do it, and works as it should, you can't get it away from them. It's true even if they were a skeptic before. One farmer who vowed he would never spend money on such a thing all but guards it at night today.
OK, maybe he sleeps soundly while it's in the toolshed. But he wouldn't want to do without it. First, it's made him more accurate, and saved him money he was losing in spray overlap, even though he thought he was doing a good job before he purchased a tractor with the feature on it.
Second, he's much more rested. That fatigue that sets in about 4 o'clock and continues to drain you down just doesn't happen as quickly or bite a shard when you're not worn out from tensing to guide the tractor and watch everything else at the same time.
Just last week a farmer stepped forward with a different twist on why n one could ever get auto-steering away from him. They would have to fight his wife first. That's because she is convinced that he's more relaxed and less irritable after working in the field all day using auto-steer than he was before. And he agrees that she's probably right.
The secret is having a unit that works correctly, he notes. His first experience was with an add-on unit. While they may work well for some, it wasn't the best of experiences for him. He became more fond of auto-steer once he purchased a newer tractor that was deigned for the system from the ground up, and with the system installed from the factory.
Most tractors and combines today are coming off the assembly line ready for these kinds of electronic adaptations. They may not be ordered or delivered with the feature on, but it's a plug and play type operation to add them. That's a far cry from just a few years ago when it took a trained technician a fair amount of time to retrofit a unit.
This farmer's advice is that if you're thinking about auto-steer but don't have it yet, plan to add it the next time you trade. He feels the same way about combines and yield monitors. The time to step up to a better technology is when you trade up. You will be getting an implement better designed for the new technology that you want to use, and should find it more satisfactory, he concludes