This study compared the accuracy (mean error and rms error) and precision (standard deviation of error) of three tractor-guidance methods (foam-marker, light-bar, and assisted-steering systems) at two field speeds (5.6 – and 11.5 km/h) for parallel swathing operations. Eighty-four replications of each combination of guidance method and field speed were conducted between 15 October and 22 December 2006 (504 total field passes). The foam-marker system was found to be significantly less accurate [larger mean error (p < .0001) and had a larger rms error (p < .0001)] than either the light-bar or the assisted-steering system. There was no significant difference in mean error (p = .6718) or rms error (p = .8841) by field speed. There was a significant interaction between guidance method and field speed for both mean error (p = .0009) and rms error (p = .003). Mean and rms errors for the foam-marker and the assisted-steering systems increased at higher field speed, while the mean and rms errors for the light-bar system decreased at higher speed. The assisted-steering system had a significantly lower (p = .0164) standard deviation of error (higher precision) than the foam-marker or the light-bar systems. There was no significant difference in the standard deviation of error by field speed (p = .6258) or by the interaction of guidance method and field speed (p = .2748).
Hudson, Garris; Shofner, Robby; Wardlow, George; and Johnson, Donald
"Evaluation of three tractor-guidance methods for parallel swathing at two field speeds,"
Discovery, The Student Journal of Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. 8:61-66.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/discoverymag/vol8/iss1/11