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Hitch Connects PTO-Powered Implements Without Leaving Cab
“With all of the automation on farms today, it’s incredible that you still have to climb down out of the cab to hook up PTO-powered equipment and hydraulic lines,” says Romain Ribo, CEO of Tracto-Lock. “That can be impossible for people with disabilities or for people who don’t have the necessary physical strength.”
  Ten years ago, this line of thinking lead Ribo to begin work on a system to connect a farm implement, hydraulic lines, and PTO without leaving the tractor cab.
  After 2 years of field testing, the resulting Tracto-Lock will soon be available for commercial purchase.
  A universal “male” configuration that fits with all makes and models mounts on a tractor, and a matching “female” version is attached to an implement.
  “Whether you have a 60’s tractor or a brand-new one, as long as it has a 3-point lift, our system can be installed,” says Quentin Derouck, Tracto-Lock sales manager.
  To make the necessary connections, a multi-coupling system automatically connects the hydraulic lines while the matching elements of the PTO allow its connection without manual intervention.
  Each unit weighs approximately 285 lbs. and can be easily removed in less than 5 min. by a single operator using a handling machine like a skid steer. While daily moving of a Tracto-Lock from implement to implement would be inefficient, moving it seasonally from ground tools to harvesting equipment limits the investment of multiple units.
  There’s a simply designed wired cab-mounted remote control. “Our technology is quite low tech and just about mechanics,” Derouck says. “We know the challenging environment on farms and that sensors, cameras or other technologies don’t always work well.”
  Future capabilities are to make autonomous tractors truly autonomous by having them hitch to various implements without human involvement.
  The Tracto-Lock is manufactured near the company’s headquarters in the southwest of France and is scheduled for a France-based marketing launch in 2024. The company hopes to deploy its equipment in the U.S. in 2025.
  The projected cost of the Tracto-Lock components will depend on if the equipment requires a PTO or hydraulic connections, but to equip a tractor and an implement with both capabilities, the total price will be approximately $10,000.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Quentin Derouck, Tracto-Lock (ph +33603110970; Quentin.derouck@tracto-lock.com; www.tracto-lock.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #3