Fendt's Ideal combine tosses the steering column for better visibility

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Fendt made a big splash with its Ideal combine roll out just a few years ago, and now, the flashy unit is making news again, not necessarily because of what it has, but because of what it’s missing — a steering column and wheel.

Fendt’s 10T Ideal combine has moved steering to a left-hand lever, opening up the operator’s field of view, and increasing driver comfort.

Konstantin Stahl, with Fendt, explains that every button on the right hand lever/control remains the same as past models, but the left-hand lever is new and controls steering. He adds that while it certainly is unfamiliar, unless operators run construction equipment, most farmers who spend just a few minutes in the cab catch on within seconds.

(Shaun Haney/RealAgriculture)

Fendt’s Ideal combine is still very new, and Stahl says that that has been a benefit to being able to move quickly on a major change like this. Based on field trials and customer feedback, Stahl says operators wanted better visibility on the header —  a part of combines that is just getting wider and wider. Plus, these machines have complex electronics, hydraulics, and corresponding settings: keeping them at hand and within view is key.

The set up allows for better ergonomics, too, as the set up allows the operator to sit back and move levers to where it’s comfortable. Fendt says they’ve measured the impact, and have reduced muscle activity by 65 per cent.

The lack of a steering wheel does take some getting used to at road speeds,  however the levers are speed-adjusted to ensure safety and control at higher speeds.

Stahl says that yes, the 10T and it’s wheel-less drive will be available in North America.

Watch Shaun and Konstantin Stahl of Fendt explore the new (steering wheel deficient) cab:

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