Taking The Wheel

Introducing a new aftermarket auto-steering system that will save producers time, money and a whole lot of effort.

The AES-25: currently, the most accurate electric steering system in the world.

The AES-25: currently, the most accurate electric steering system in the world.

For producers looking to retrofit their equipment with automatic, satellite-assisted steering, the time has come. Through an agreement with Topcon, the leading supplier for AGCO Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) components, Massey Ferguson is making available the AES-25 Accurate Electric Steering kits for use on a wide range of tractors and combines, as well as other equipment, such as self-propelled windrowers and harvesters, and sprayers.

According to Marlin Melander, product marketing specialist for AGCO ATS, these auto-steering systems allow equipment operators to reduce fatigue, increase field operating speed and reduce overlap, which, in turn, saves the customer money in terms of fuel, seed, fertilizer and other inputs. “Auto-steering just makes the work so much easier and efficient,” he says.

The AES-25 kit consists of a replacement steering wheel, equipped with an extremely quiet, direct-coupled, high-torque electric motor interface that replaces the original steering wheel. The AES-25 works in conjunction with the Topcon System 150 positioning system, which is also required, to electrically turn the wheel in response to the appropriate GPS signal. Depending on the signal source, the system provides pass-to-pass accuracy down to 0.8 inch (2 centimeters).

Meanwhile, the Topcon System 150 monitor provides a “visible road” that illustrates the vehicle’s path in the field, as well as automatic coverage mapping. Together, the systems offer fast, accurate steering response in both forward and reverse with full terrain compensation.

“In essence, the AES-25 provides the convenience of electric steering with the performance of a hydraulic system on machines that have not been outfitted with a “guidance-ready” option from the factory,” Melander explains. “In fact, it’s currently.”

In addition to providing more efficient operation, the AES-25 is also much easier to install than its hydraulic auto-steering counterparts. “Installing a hydraulic steering system can take hours to complete and be a very messy job,” he says. “Replacing the steering wheel with the AES-25 kit takes a fraction of the time and allows the system to be easily transferred between machines.”

AES-25 kits are available for all Massey Ferguson 6400, 7400, 8400 and 8600 Series tractors, as well as Massey Ferguson 9005 Series combines and most Hesston by Massey Ferguson self-propelled windrowers and swathers. Your Massey Ferguson dealer can also order kits for several self-propelled forage harvesters, and most competitive late-model track and wheel tractors.