"Tracked Tractor" Runs By Remote Control

While working a show in Canada recently, FARM SHOW editors spotted a photo in one of the exhibits of a new-style "driver-less" remote-controlled tracked tractor that's made in Finland. The exhibit where the new-style tractor was spotted was for Accutrak Sales Ltd., a new company that was introducing a new automatic guidance system for field work that was developed at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan.

According to company president Tim Flaman, Accutrak is a navigational system that guides tractors over fields without overlaps and allows variable application of chemicals and fertilizers to match field requirements. Accutrak had been approached and is working with Kone Sampo, the Finnish company that developed the new "driverless" tractor, to adapt the guidance system to the tractor.

FARM SHOW contacted Kone Sampo in Finland to get more information about the tractor and although complete details on the first-of-its-kind tractor are not yet available, company president and designer of the tractor, Mikko Sampo, says, "It's not just a new tractor but represents an entirely new field cultivation system. There's nothing else like it in the world."

He explains that the tractor -- which will be available with either tracks or wheels -- can be programmed to completely till a field automatically without any control by an operator. It's powered by a 6-cyl. Kubota engine with a maximum speed of about 8 mph (the wheeled version is powered by a Perkins diesel and has a maximum speed of 24 mph). Features front and rear 3-pt. and pto and a hydrostatic drive system that's controlled by a computer module. Navigational aids are set up around the field to be worked -- something like a laser-guided terracing or tiling machine -- and the tractor is programmed to work the field.