Tech Chat | How an articulated tractor works & its applicable scenarios

In our daily farm work, choosing the right tools will greatly improve our work efficiency. As we all know, tractors are used to pull and drive various supporting machinery and tools to achieve different agricultural operations. Its structural form can be divided into various structures, due to different purposes and application fields. Today let's talk about articulated tractors to understand their applicable scenarios.

Traditional tractors use an integral power unit, including rear axle, gearbox, engine, small front wheels, and rear wheels. The steering is realized by changing the deflection angle of the front wheels.

Articulated tractors have two frames at the front and rear, and each frame has an axle of the same diameter fixed to it. Steering is achieved by changing the relative position of the front and rear frames through a hydraulic cylinder device.

For 50 years, the debate about which structure of tractor is more reasonable in industrial and agricultural production has never stopped. The results of the analysis show that the traditional l tractor has a clear advantage in the engine power range of 80 to 180 horsepower, but for tractors above 200 horsepower, the conventional tractor no longer has clear advantages.

In the power range of around 80 horsepower, the diameter and tire width of the front wheel of a conventional tractor can be more than twice as small as the rear wheel, which makes the tractor more flexible and can make a turn with a minimum turning radius. At the same time, however, small front wheels also cause increased pressure and reduced ground clearance, so almost all manufacturers have increased the size of the front wheels.

When the power goes up to about 150 horsepower, the diameter ratio between the front and rear wheels of a conventional tractor drops from 2.5 to 1.5, or even lower, thus increasing the turning radius and reducing the steering flexibility. In addition, the larger the size difference between the front wheel and the rear wheel, the greater the inconsistency between the front and rear axle motion, especially in the case of front-wheel drive, the rear wheel track is different from the front wheel track when turning, increasing the power loss, and the adverse impact on the ground is also increased. To avoid this, manufacturers HAVE been forced to increase the radius of the front wheels and to disconnect the front axle power when turning angles exceed 15-18 degrees, which means that the structure becomes more complicated and the operation becomes more difficult. The size of the front and rear wheels of the articulated tractor is the same, which solves the above problems in structure.

One of the main advantages of the traditional tractor is its overall power unit, which is also used as the frame of the tractor. Such a simple structure can reduce the overall size. Unfortunately, this is limited to the power of 80 horsepower or so of the tractor, high-power tractor must be in addition to the steel plate (channel steel) to strengthen the frame, also increases maintenance difficulty of the transmission, rear axle and other parts, especially compared with the modular design of the articulated tractor.

The traditional tractor cab is arranged above the rear axle, and the engine is as close as possible to the front of the front axle, so that a good view can be obtained and the driving straightness can be guaranteed during the ploughing operation. But these advantages are still limited to about 80 horsepower tractors, more powerful tractors not only the front wheel size must be increased, the rear wheel must also be increased. In addition, to improve traction performance, high-horsepower conventional tractors must be installed on the rear axle of four or even six wheels.

Therefore, if the power of the traditional tractor is increased to more than 180 horsepower, it will be difficult to use it in the field of medium crop.

Because of the characteristics of the structure design, the vision of the cab of the articulated tractor is not as good as that of the traditional tractor, but it can effectively use the space of the rear half of the frame to install the ballast weighing 1.5 to 3 tons, which will improve the traction performance by another 20-25%. The application range of articulated tractor in agriculture can be expanded by installing special additional equipment such as spray box and traction device on the rear frame without major structural transformation.

Then how to install the SAgro100 automated steering system on an articulated tractor? Due to the particularity of this tractor, it is not suitable to have angle sensors on the wheels, instead, articulated tractors use gyroscopes to obtain tractor orientation data. Simply mount the gyroscope of the SAgro100 system horizontally on the front half of the tractor's articulation joint and start working easily.

Learn more about SAgro100 automated steering system.

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