While some customers seek the latest and greatest precision ag technology, most farmers aren’t early adopters. In fact, some are just getting started with precision ag and auto-steer. 

Independent precision ag dealer Premier Technologies, based in Alden, Iowa, serves customers new to the precision world and those who are looking to advance the capabilities of their existing equipment of all colors. The company is an Ag Leader dealer and also carries Crop Copter, DigiFarm, SureFire Ag Systems, Headsight, Ram Mounts, Sprayer Specialties, Dakota Micro, AgCam and Schaffert products. 

“Retrofitting older equipment, that’s where our bread and butter is,” says Charles “Chuck” Hadacek, precision specialist at Premier Technologies. “We do work with newer equipment of all colors, too, and Ag Leader is the glue in that situation. Customers can choose equipment based on what they want, whether that be price or mechanics of how the equipment works. Regardless of what it is, we can make it work with Ag Leader.”

I met Chris Blome, owner of Premier Technologies, at an event in Iowa Falls aimed at teaching farmers about strip-till. During a panel discussion, Chris mentioned that he ran an independent precision business that sold Ag Leader products, which was the platform he used for RTK when strip-tilling on his own farm.

When I found myself heading to Boone, Iowa, for the 2022 National Farm Machinery Show in late August, I thought I’d try to visit Chris while I was in the neighborhood and see what a day in the life of an independent precision specialist was like. Chris connected me with Chuck, and we planned to meet in Webster City, Iowa, (about a half hour north of Boone) on a Thursday in early September. This is where this edition of Day in the Cab begins. 

7:47 a.m.

I drop off my coworkers at the entrance of the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, and head north to Webster City to meet Chuck. I’m feeling relieved that I don’t have to brave the heat, crowds and porta potties at the show again.


Welcome to the mobile office and workspace of Charles "Chuck" Hadacek, precision specialist at Premier Technologies, in Alden, Iowa. The cargo trailer has dozens of organizers and bins for the various cables, harnesses, clamps, connectors and more. It also has a full workbench and toolboxes with everything Chuck might need on the job.

8:25 a.m.

I pull into a parking lot facing a very crowded McDonald’s drive-thru line and keep my eyes open for Chuck. A few minutes later, a red Ford F-150 towing a trailer emblazoned with Premier Technologies on the side swings into the parking lot. I gather up my equipment, say hello to Chuck and hop in the cab as we hit the road for his first service call of the day. 

8:27 a.m.

As we’re driving, I ask Chuck about Premier Technologies and its territory. Chuck, Chris and Premier Technologies’ other precision specialist, Alec, cover a wide geography spread out over an estimated 200-300 miles. The company’s territory extends as far north as the Minnesota state line, so Chuck tries to group his customer visits by location to minimize time spent driving. 

“Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of times when I’ve driven 2 hours away to do one thing, but we try to combine jobs as much as we can,” Chuck says. 

8:38 a.m

The first stop of the day is a combine inspection for Kurt Arends, a long-time customer. We pull into the driveway, and Chuck calls Kurt, who’s on his way over. 

Chuck says combine inspections are common this time of year. He, Chris and Alec try to space out the workload and be proactive about potential problems prior to harvest. Like most precision specialists, planting and harvest seasons are the busiest times of year. Chris and Alec also farm themselves, and Chuck will help them out when needed. 

The workload slows down in the winter, and that’s when Chuck is mainly doing marketing for the dealership and following up on sales leads. He says he’s glad he isn’t a full-time salesman, but when he is selling, he appreciates that technology gives customers solutions, rather than something they don’t need. 

“Everybody needs a good technology guy, and it’s nice to fill that role,” Chuck says.  

8:41 a.m.

While we’re talking, I get my first look at the inside of the Premier Technologies trailer, and I’m delighted. I expected the cargo trailer to be filled with, well, cargo, but it’s actually a workspace on wheels. It has dozens of organizers and bins for the various cables, harnesses, clamps, connectors and more. He also has a full workbench and toolboxes with everything he might need on the job. 

“If we go to a job and we’re missing even one part, this stuff comes in handy,” Chuck says. “This seems to be the most helpful setup for us.”

Service Trailer Walkthrough, Customer Training Cheat Sheets & More

Charles “Chuck” Hadacek, precision specialist at independent Iowa dealer Premier Technologies, gives you a tour of his mobile workspace, shares customer training tips and more in exclusive videos for Precision Farming Dealer’s Day in the Cab series. Click here to watch the series.

The latest installment of the Day in the Cab series is brought to you by SWAT MAPS.

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8:44 a.m.

Kurt arrives a few minutes later, and he and Chuck start maneuvering equipment out of the shop to make room to move the combine. Kurt and a neighbor share equipment, including the New Holland CR8080 combine Chuck needs to inspect. 

Chuck backs the combine out of the shop and takes a look at the Incommand 1200 monitor. Kurt says one of his guys tried to update it, but he doesn't think it worked. Chuck starts the update and moves onto the next item on his agenda.

8:59 a.m.

Chuck opens up the side of the combine to check the elevator mount unit (EMU). All is well, and it's another point on the inspection sheet covered.


Chuck checks the flow sensor at the top of the grain hopper on a New Holland CR8080 combine. This is one of the items on his combine inspection checklist, a service Premier Technologies provides to customers ahead of harvest.

9:10 a.m.

The combine inspection takes Chuck and I to new heights as we scale the combine (literally for me — I'd never been on top of a combine before). We're soon caught in a whirlwind of corn and bean dust as Chuck checks the flow sensor at the top of the grain hopper. Kurt tosses him a wrench from the ground, and Chuck completes this part of the job.

9:17 a.m.

Chuck climbs back into the combine’s cab to inspect the header sensor to make sure it’s responding properly and lifting and lowering evenly.  

“That’s what’s controlling the logging,” Chuck says, “so if it goes up, it keeps logging and will double count acres. Then your yield will be off.”

Everything is operating as expected, so Chuck fires up the combine to check the GPS and ground speed. No issues there, either, and Chuck completes the combine inspection sheet. 

9:39 a.m.

Chuck closes up his service trailer, and we depart for Kurt’s shop, where Chuck is running a software update on a Case IH Magnum 290 tractor. After a few taps on the monitor, it’s done. 

10:01 a.m.

After talking with Kurt for a bit longer, we say goodbye and hit the road again for the next stop. Chuck needs to remove a GPS cable, electric control unit (ECU) main harness and auto-steer pedal from a customer’s New Holland combine. These parts of the system will go on the customer's new combine.

“A lot of Ag Leader stuff is made to be moved, especially planter tractor to combine,” Chuck says. “Those are usually the interchangeable ones we deal with.” 


Between a cab and a tight place, Chuck is removing cables from a customer's CR6090 combine. The Ag Leader setup will move to the customer's new machine. “A lot of Ag Leader stuff is made to be moved, especially planter tractor to combine,” Chuck says.

10:17 a.m.

Once at the customer’s farm, Chuck starts working on the customer’s yellow CR6090 combine. After raising and lowering the header, he climbs on the roof to unscrew a metal plate that holds the GPS receiver in place. It doesn’t take long before the plate and Chuck are back on the ground.

10:24 a.m.

At this point, I’m reminded how physical, putzy and dirty the job of a precision specialist can be. Chuck is wedged between the cab and the combine’s grain conveyor to remove a harness and zip tie the remaining cables into place. It’s a dirty job, but Chuck is not phased. Yesterday, he was working on a combine with mice running around underneath him. 

10:32 a.m.

Chuck gathers up the plate, auto-steer foot pedal, two harnesses and his screwdriver, and closes up the combine. We hit the road again for the next customer call of the day. Chuck needs to tie an anhydrous ammonia toolbar into the tractor’s ISOBUS so the customer can control the toolbar from his AgLeader display.

“We can control it that way instead of having to rip everything off and put our own modules on,” Chuck says. “It’s a cheap, easy way for the customer to use AgLeader to control the product.” 

Chuck says it’s an easy setup that requires installing one cable and an active terminator. The hardest part of the job is routing the cable so it doesn’t get pinched in the 4WD tractor. 

“Regardless of what it is, we can make it work with Ag Leader…”

10:37 a.m.

Within a couple minutes, we spot the customer’s John Deere 9220 tractor and Case IH 940 Nutri-Placer applicator in a lot with a bunch of anhydrous tanks near railroad tracks. This particular customer does all the anhydrous application for a co-op. 

This customer is another example of Premier Technologies’ ability to take a colorblind approach to equipment. Chuck says it requires a lot of overall knowledge about different types and series of tractors, combines and planters.

“There’s a lot that I need to know,” Chuck says. “I need to know how to tie into the equipment, and everything’s different.”

10:42 a.m.

Chuck knows exactly what to do for this customer’s setup from a technology standpoint, and the hardest part of getting started proves to be finding the key to the tractor. After searching around for a while, he locates the key, opens up the tractor and starts working. 

10:53 a.m.

This tractor and applicator become a model of proper cord management as Chuck runs the new cable between the two pieces of equipment. 

11:07 a.m.

Chuck calls Ag Leader to get a demo ISO unlock for the customer’s Ag Leader Incommand 800 display to make sure the toolbar will connect and function before he fully unlocks the ISOBUS. After a couple minutes on the phone, he confirms it will work and hangs up. 

“I like to confirm things,” Chuck says. “I’ve had it before where it doesn’t work and then I have to scramble, and man, that sucks.” 

11:21 a.m.

Chuck starts an upgrade on the monitor, and as that’s working, ties down the cable and runs it through the back of the tractor. He goes in search of a bigger grommet to finish the job, which he has in his mobile workstation trailer. 

11:26 a.m.

By the time he finishes with the grommet and cable, the monitor is updated and ready for setup. Chuck hops out of the cab to take some measurements he’ll use to make a profile for the applicator in the display. It doesn’t take long, and that marks the completion of this job. He locks up the tractor and collects his tools. 


Chuck launches an upgrade on a customer’s Ag Leader Incommand 800 display, which controls a Case IH 940 Nutri-Placer applicator from a John Deere 9220 tractor. “It’s a cheap, easy way for the customer to use AgLeader to control the product," he says.

11:34 a.m.

Before Chuck packs up his trailer, I ask him to give me a tour on video to share so you can see more of the setup. You can watch that video here. He also talks with me about colorblind solutions for ag equipment and the customer training cheat sheets that make his job easier.

11:46 a.m.

The video shoot is over, and Chuck closes up the trailer so we can hit the road. His next job of the day is installing a new auto-steer system for a customer to replace an old Trimble system currently in use. Chuck says Premier Technologies installed Ag Leader on the customer’s planter in the spring, so he won’t have to “jockey between” two monitors anymore.  

12:21 p.m.

Chuck brings me back to my rental car so I can rescue my coworkers from exhaustion at the Farm Progress Show. We have a 5.5 hour drive back to Wisconsin this afternoon, and we’re trying to make it back at a reasonable hour. I thank Chuck for letting me pepper him with questions all morning and say goodbye.