Massey Ferguson has received a Citation in the SIMA Innovation Awards for its new electronic top link control system, which automatically maintains the correct working angle of mounted implements.
“Hydraulic Top Link Automation is the latest innovation from Massey Ferguson, which invented the three-point linkage and pioneered Electronic Linkage Control (ELC),” says Campbell Scott, Director Marketing Services. “We are delighted to receive this accolade, which proves once again our deep knowledge of the interaction between our tractors and implements.”
The system uses the latest sophisticated control techniques to deliver straightforward and Dynamic top link adjustment, which improves implement and tractor performance.
“At the same time, it will enhance the working quality of linkage-mounted application and draft equipment,” he explains.
Sensors on the tractor continually monitor the tractor and implement’s actual working angle, front axle height and, using GPS, any inclines in the field. All these parameters feed into the tractor’s control terminal, which automatically adjusts the hydraulic top link length to maintain the parameters set by the operator.
“Top link setting is the key to ensuring efficient implement operation,” says Guillaume Dutartre, Product Marketing Manager. “The correct length maintains consistent working depth from the front to back of the machine, which helps to reduce wheelslip and tine wear. This will also improve overall efficiency and save fuel.”
For some machines, such as mounted fertiliser spreaders, the working angle is critical for effective operation. Tests show that a variance of just a few degrees from the correct setting will disturb the machine’s distribution pattern, resulting in uneven application.
A difference of just 2 degrees, for example, can result in a 4m reduction in the spreading width as well as disrupt the distribution pattern. The system will not only compensate for working on slopes, but also the weight of the loaded spreader on the linkage and effects of the front axle suspension.
“Hydraulic Top Link Automation will maintain the correct setting, improve spreading accuracy, which will increase yield and protect the environment,” he adds. Hydraulic Top Link Automation is currently a working prototype and engineers at Beauvais are continuing to fine-tune the settings to improve the consistency of its operation. A date for its introduction is yet to be set.