Units were easy and cost-effective to install. GPS details Buy again

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Units were easy and cost-effective to install. GPS details Buy again
Kondinin Group evaluated the Trimble global positioning system
(GPS) guidance unit based on a survey of 15 owners asking
them to rate its performance and reliability.
Paul
Kupke
GPS EVALUATION:
OWNER SURVEY
Trimble GPS units
KONDININ GROUP
[email protected]
Kondinin Group rating
Installation
79%
Service and
back-up
78%
Paddock use
77%
Ergonomics
79%
NUMBER OF MACHINES IN THE SURVEY
21
GPS details
Owners of Trimble GPS units rated the
United States-built unit highly for its ease of
use, accuracy, minimal drop-outs and
simplicity but were disappointed with
software and the cost of Omnistar signal
subscription.
Kondinin Group surveyed 15 owners
(21 units between them) with most
reporting the GPS unit had met or exceeded
their expectations.
Almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of
owners would buy the same machine again.
Of owners with visual guidance units 7%
were undecided and 20% would not buy the
same unit again.
Units were easy and
cost-effective to install.
Owners mostly used the GPS units to
assist with spraying at 20.2 kilometres per
hour (67% of owners at least some of the
time), sowing at 10.3km/h (60%), other
tillage at 11.4km/h (30%) and spreading at
17km/h (27%).
Trimble units are available as a visually
guided system using a moving map or LED
light bar (47% of owners) and an auto-steer
system using the tractor’s hydraulics (53%
of owners).
This report does not include Trimble
Ez-Guide (featured in Farming Ahead
No. 179) and Ez-Steer units but does
include some superseded units.
Guidance options include up-and-back
controlled traffic (used by all owners at least
some of the time), round-and-round (13%)
and contour (7%).
The most common receivers used
were the 114 and 252 with three and four
owners respectively.
The system is available with a range of
accuracy receivers from sub-metre free
signals to 20mm RTK signals.
The navigation controller is available
with T3 technology, which corrects antenna
location for uneven surfaces.
Installation 79% rating
Owners were pleased with the cost of
installation, rating it at 83%.
Model
Trimble
Receiver options
AgGPS 252; AgGPS 332
Differential
correction options
AgGPS 252:
Beacon (accuracy 1000mm)
Omnistar VBS (1000mm)
Omnistar HP (100mm)
Omnistar XP (200mm)
RTK (25mm)
AgGPS 332:
Beacon (1000mm)
Omnistar VBS (1000mm)
Omnistar HP (100mm)
Omnistar XP (200mm)
RTK (25mm)
Signal type
Beacon: free
RTK: free with base station
Omnistar: subscription
Guidance type
Visual and auto-steer
Screen size (mm) 290 x 220
Options
T3 terrain compensation
(standard with navigation
controller);
Ez-boom control;
Truetracker.
Buy again
YES
NO
UNCERTAIN
73%
20%
7%
Farming Ahead August 2007 No. 187 www.kondinin.com.au
13
GPS EVALUATION:
OWNER SURVEY
Generally, owners were content with
the ease of installation, which rated 77%.
Three owners even installed the unit
themselves. Time taken for installation
scored 76%.
Three owners praised the
unit, saying signal drop-outs
did not occur.
One New South Wales owner of an
auto-steer system with a 252 receiver
said the installation with auto-sence
was very easy, as it arrived pre-set for
different platforms.
Most owners were content with
repeatability (71% rating), although
one Queensland owner of a 132 unit
experienced poor repeatability because he
did not use signal correction.
Six owners rated ease of use as one of the
unit’s best features.
Owners were happy with the amount
of drift, rating it at 81%.
One Queensland owner of a visually
guided system with a 114 receiver said
the unit was now six years old and the
evolution of GPS had made installation
much easier.
One NSW owner with an RTK signal
had a faulty 900 radio, which caused
problems until it was diagnosed and
replaced under warranty.
Service and back-up 78% rating
Most owners were content with the
promptness of response (rated at 71%),
although one NSW owner of a 132 unit
rated it poorly and said a light bar
malfunction was impossible to fix.
Clear screen: Owners were impressed with the
screen’s readability, especially at night.
© Kondinin Group
This article has been reproduced with permission from Farming Ahead.
For more information about Kondinin Group phone 1800 677 761.
Further duplication of this article is not permitted.
The level of service satisfaction was
acceptable, scoring 75%.
Owners were pleased with dealer and
service agent knowledge (scoring 79%)
despite one Queensland owner rating
the original supplier at one out of 10 for
service (he has now swapped suppliers).
Accuracy was one of the GPS
unit’s best features.
One NSW owner said phone support
and product knowledge was excellent but
his Trimble dealer had limited technical
knowledge of the product.
This
space
is
The warranty scored 88%, although one
Queensland owner of an AgGPS unit said it
had to be reprogrammed under warranty.
deliberately
Another Queensland owner bought
a Case IH tractor and guidance system
together but the guidance unit arrived
one month before the tractor. He was
disappointed the distributor started
the GPS unit warranty before the
tractor arrived.
blank
Paddock use 77% rating
GPS unit accuracy scored 77%, with four
owners nominating accuracy as one of the
units’ best features.
One NSW owner with a 252 receiver said
any system would have reduced accuracy
with only four satellites. He was pleased he
could operate with multiple satellites after
the system was initialised.
But another NSW owner of a 132 unit
said it was prone to indicator variation
when satellites came in and out of service.
Farming Ahead August 2007 No. 187 www.kondinin.com.au
15
GPS EVALUATION:
OWNER SURVEY
One Queensland owner of a 114 receiver
said his unit required Omnistar to run,
which he found had less drift than his new
unit with free differential.
Ergonomics 79% rating
Screen readability during daylight scored
well at 82%, although one NSW owner
reported the screen was difficult to read in
some daylight conditions.
Owners were impressed with its use at
night (89% rating).
One NSW owner of a Fieldmanager
system was impressed with the screen’s 3D
and overhead views but was disappointed
only a visual alarm was triggered when
objects were in range instead of an
audible alarm .
Data entry and storage
of operations
earned scores of 75% and
72% respectively.
Best features
Brightness adjustment (84% rating),
ease of setting the AB line (82% rating)
and machine width input (80% rating) all
scored highly.
Ease of use.
One NSW owner of an AgGPS system
praised the AB line input as it was easy to
add and retrieve names.
Simplicity.
Most owners were satisfied with data
retrieval (74% rating) and the ease of
viewing it (73%).
Accuracy.
No drop-outs.
Worst features
Software issues.
Additional cost of Omnistar subscription signal.
Price
Due to the variation in system combinations,
prices depend on the package selected.
Summary
Owners of Trimble GPS units surveyed praised
its performance and quality of build, both
rated at 87 per cent.
Reliability scored 81% but some owners
were disappointed with the value for
money (70%).
Most owners were happy with the operator’s
manual, which scored 75% but parts
availability scored lower at 68%.
Manufacturer’s comment
This space is deliberately blank
Trimble endeavours to develop products
that are upgradeable and this is reflected in
the mixture and age of products owned
by respondents.
Distributors:
BMS LaserSat
Phone:
1800 502 688
Web site: www.bmslasersat.com.au
SST Development Group
Phone:
(03) 5886 0051
Web site: www.sstgps.com.au
Namoi FarmSpray
Phone:
(02) 6742 7771
Case IH and New Holland dealers
Web sites: www.caseih.com
www.newholland.com
16 Farming Ahead August 2007 No. 187 www.kondinin.com.au

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