GREATER EFFICIENCY is what the Challenger Auto-Guide™ system brings to Challenger MT700/MT800 tracked tractor owners. Developed and built in the same top-notch tradition of all Challenger features, this hands-free steering guidance system increases a farmer's productivity by decreasing operating time, input costs and operator fatigue, explains Doug Daws, general marketing manager for Challenger MT700/MT800 tractors. “Producers can do the same amount of work in less time with Auto-Guide.”

This system provides the level of accuracy to virtually eliminate skips and overlaps when seeding, spraying or applying fertilizer, Daws says. “The tractor can operate accurately at higher speeds, even in fog or darkness.”

He sites Challenger field trials where, all other things being equal, simply flipping on the hands-free steering allowed a farmer to disk 42% more acres in an hour, while using 32% less fuel per acre. A similar test with a ripper resulted in 53% more acres covered per hour, using 31% less fuel per acre.

“Having to hold that straight line in the field, by watching mechanical markers or lightbars, also takes its toll on the operator,” Daws says. “But with hands-free steering on the straightaways, the driver can be much more relaxed, get less tired, and do a better job of monitoring the seeding or application job.

“I can put pencil to paper and show that this system will pay for itself in one or two years on as little as 1,000 acres,” Daws continues. “The payback period depends on crop type and the accuracy of the system.”

Developed jointly by AGCO and BEELINE Technologies, the Auto-Guide system is a factory-installed option on new MT700 and MT800 Challengers, or it can be retrofitted on existing Challengers through field installation by a dealer, using the existing tractor monitor. “It's really the industry's only true integrated system,” Daws says. “It also will be available on Challenger wheeled tractors beginning in early 2005 and Ag-Chem sprayers in late 2004.”

The Auto-Guide system also was designed to be flexible, allowing you to move it to other AGCO products in your fleet with Auto-Guide or to other products utilizing the Arro powered by BEELINE Technologies aftermarket system, which is sold by many Challenger dealers. An optional handheld Auto-Guide Companion offers you the convenience of downloading mapping and way-line information into a handy portable form that's compatible with other computerized site-specific farming tools.

You can customize the Auto-Guide system to fit your needs by choosing the level of pass-pass accuracy required: sub-meter (within 10 in.), decimeter (within 2 in.) and centimeter (under 1 in.). This system also works with either subscription satellite services or base stations for the signal supply. And all five Auto-Guide accuracy options utilize an innovative Dynamic Measuring Unit, which measures and adjusts for movement of the tractor across the field, even under rough, uneven field conditions.

“As your farming practices change, the system can be upgraded from a sub-meter system to a sub-inch accuracy system, without removing or replacing the original hardware,” Daws says.

For more information, contact AGCO Corp., Dept. FIN, 4205 River Green Pkwy., Duluth GA 30096-2564, 800/344-8938, visit www.agcocorp.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 45.