Tractor test: Headland management systems in comparison Let’s get automatic with a slow down lift up tuck in turn over – and back again. That’s what tractor headland management systems are about. Since our last test comparison most of the manufacturers have progressed several steps in this department adding extra functions and operational possibilities.

First, the confusing bit: HMC, Comfortip, TeachIn, HMS and HTS. Baffled? Don’t be. These are just the various and intriguing labels that the companies use to identify their individual headland management systems.

Adopting exactly the same running order, and with our tested tractor models shown in brackets, the badges relate to Case IH (CVX 1190), Deutz-Fahr (TTV1160), Fendt (818 Vario), John Deere (6920 AP) and New Holland (TM190). So, what do we mean by headland management? Naturally, all tractor makers have their own individual interpretations when it comes to the detail, but in essence they all aim to do one thing – to reduce the number of operator inputs required when turning on the headland.

Common thinking is that an effective system should enable a clued-up operator to tap/press one control to set off an auto sequence that, if everything works out, should then repeat itself exactly, irrespective of whether it’s 6.00am in the morning or 11.00pm at night. Just because it’s coming to the end of a 12-hour shift, the tractor won’t forget to raise up the drill’s markers before burying – or bending – them in the hedge.

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