As field equipment grows in size and complexity — not to mention price — it’s important to know how to use a machine before the start of peak busy season. Mistakes can be costly, both financially and in terms of safety.
What if there was a way to practice driving a combine without all the risks that come with learning on the fly when it’s time to harvest?
That’s the idea behind John Deere’s S-Series Combine Simulator.
“The machine is getting more complicated, more intelligent inside, and you need to know how to use the technology,” explains Deere’s Dennis Lohmann in this video filmed at Agritechnica.
The current version of the simulator allows the operator to harvest wheat, soybeans or corn with an S670 combine using a flex or corn header. Crop density and moisture levels are among the realistic variables the driver must account for.
Lohmann notes the simulator comes in two modes — a training module for learning how to operate the machine and an assessment mode for evaluating productivity and performance.
He explains they foresee dealers and larger fleet customers using the simulator to train operators to boost productivity (including prospective combine drivers like RealAg’s Shaun Haney.)