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Radio-Controlled Tractor
First in the world to market a radio-controlled farm tractor is the Collard Company, headquartered in Bouzy, France. Its new Overtrack 100 represents, so far as we know, the first commercially available farm tractor than can be completely controlled by, radio and laser automatic pilot, allowing you to sit in your farm office and, with the aid of a TV screen, control the driverless tractor out in the field as it plows, disks, plants, sprays or whatever.
"If money is no object, we can have custom-designed working models in production and delivered in a matter of months," sales manager Michel Collard told FARM SHOW. Production models are slated to roll off the assembly line in 1985. They'll be available with complete radio control of the driverless tractor from a farm office (at about $100,000 for a 100 hp tractor) or in lower-cost models which require a human driver but have special radio-controlled conveniences.
For example, in hooking up to a 3-pt. implement, the driver can walk to the rear of the tractor and, by pushing buttons on a hand-held remote radio control, inch the tractor back and steer it, as needed, into position to hook onto the implement. Once hooked, he can push other buttons to raise the implement and activate the pto for a test run to make sure all is okay before climbing back into the driver's seat. Other key features include:
•Hydrostatic power transmission on all four wheels.
•Automatic leveling of the tractor (side to side and front to back) on hills.
•Your choice of steering front wheels only, all four wheels, or "crab" steering.
•Adjustable field travel height of the tractor to ensure clearance of taller crops.
•A reversible cab for reverse operation. The seat base, steering wheel and dashboard all rotate as a single unit.
• Standard front and rear 3-pt. implement hitching, and pto.
The Overtrack 100 can be used with all conventional implements. Its bed can be equipped with a hydraulically-operated dump box to convert the tractor into a truck.
Collard notes that remote radio and laser control features are engineered into the tractor's hydrostatic drive, steering and other components and can't be retrofitted to equip conventional existing tractors for remote control. The tractor on display, powered by a 90 hp Deutz engine, had a maximum driverless control range of up to 1 1/4 miles. However, models slated for introduction early next year will be equipped for longer distance remote operation. Retail cost of the 100 hp Overtrack is right at $60,000, including front and rear 3-pt. and pto, and remote radio control.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Collard C.M.V., Boite Postale N-1, Bouzy, France 51150.

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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #3