The 2013 RoGator and TerraGator will come standard with telemetry system.

Jack Zemlicka, Technology Editor

Starting this fall, AGCO will include a one-year subscription to its AGCOMMAND telemetry system as a standard feature on its 2013 RoGator and TerraGator applicators.

While the manufacturer’s telematic offering has been an optional feature primarily for its tractors and combines the last four years, the decision to factory-install the technology into its sprayer line was motivated by a growing demand from customers, Dave Webster, director of customer markets North America for AGCO, told Precision Farming Dealer at the Midwest Ag-Industries Exposition last week in Bloomington, Ill.

“This is really going to provide a lot of insight into machine efficiencies for growers,” Webster says. “Especially for fleet managers, where we’re seeing a difference in operation and production, sometimes by 10, 15, 20 or 30%.”

The technology behind the AGCOMMAND system allows operators to record data and report, almost in real time, the location of the machine, performance, engine hours and fuel consumption.

Operators can also create a geo-fence — or GPS boundary — to plot spray routes for individual machines and more efficiently manage a fleet.

AGCO reports that utilization of AGCOMMAND by managers to operate their fleet of sprayers and fertilizer spreaders, resulted in an $1,800 per-day increase in revenues, by using logistics to minimize refueling and refilling downtime, and by using geo-fences to reduce spraying errors.

With AGCOMMAND coming standard on the 2013 RoGator and TerraGator models — set to be delivered this fall — Webster says dealers will have opportunity to capitalize on the technology during that first year of free service to help customers realize the full benefits of the system.

One of the features of the system is that service alerts can be sent to dealerships when the machine is nearing an oil change or needs maintenance.

Dealers can emphasize that value to customers, Webster says, as a way to be more proactive with service needs and potentially get subscriptions to the telemetry system beyond the first year.

“From a dealer standpoint, if they are selling service and maintenance contracts, AGCOMMAND sets up reminders to book service for the machine,” Webster says. “If technicians are going out on service calls they can get directions to that machine through the system and get there faster.”

Prior to delivering the new line of RoGators and TerraGators to dealerships staring this fall, AGCO held AGCOMMAND training sessions this summer, focused on the sales side, and incorporating agronomic training for precision farming dealers.

Webster says going forward, a key to the success of telematics, will be the ability of customers to be able to integrate their spraying data across multiple software platforms.

“Customers are going to want more,” he says. “We now use our modem with a [Raven] Viper Pro, but if they’ve got a [Raven] Slingshot, they’ll want that same modem to transfer data to rate control and application maps. It’s about tying those two technologies together.”