First seen as a prototype at the 2017 Agritechnica (silver medal innovation award winner), following extensive tests in 2018 and 2019, two pre-production versions will be evaluated by select customers this season.
The first is a sensor bar mounted directly to the front mower. When the optical sensors detect a fawn lying in the grass, a signal is sent to the hydraulics to automatically raise the mower.
Covering the full working width of a rear-mounted mower, the second version sees an intermediate frame and sensor bar inserted between the tractor and rear mower.
Should the optical sensors detect an obstacle then the tractor driver is alerted via visual and audible signals (the sensor bar can also be used to cover the next pass with a front mower).
There are two options with this second version; stop the tractor and get out of the cab to move the obstruction or lift the rear mower and leave a small uncut area.
The sensors are claimed to work in all conditions, including direct sunlight, and can differentiate between fawns, other animals and even molehills.
Pöttinger plans to offer both versions on all its mowers in the future.