For 2012, John Deere will factory-install telematics hardware on most large tractors, sprayers, combines and forage harvesters. The company’s high-end JDLink Ultimate telematics service will be included in the base price for the first year and at a significantly discounted price in future years when bundled with an extended warranty, says Aaron Bartholomay, senior product development specialist.

The company is also expanding telematics features in 2012. It expects to have a remote access feature that will allow owners to view a GreenStar 2630 display from any Internet-connected computer in the spring. New harvest modules to monitor and improve efficiency of combines and self-propelled forage harvesters are expected by summer, Bartholomay adds.

The company decided to offer free telematics during the warranty period to improve customer service, with reduced costs for warranty repairs a side benefit. “Along with our dealers, we can provide much better support to our customers with telematics,” Bartholomay says. “Dealers can use Service Advisor Remote to remotely diagnose machines without leaving the dealership, which allows them to be more efficient and increase uptime for the customer.”

For 2011, telematics hardware was factory-installed on 8R Series tractors. For 2012, the list includes 9R Series tractors, 7R and 6R Series tractors, model 4940 sprayers, S660 to S690 combines and 7050 Series forage harvesters.

In addition to JDLink Ultimate, the company also offers a basic service call JDLink Select, which tracks machine location, operating status, run times and maintenance. A field-install kit for JDLink Select is $1,300, which includes hardware and a one-year subscription.  The JDLink Ultimate field-install kit is $3,100, which includes hardware and a one-year subscription. For more information, visit www.johndeere.com.