In the field: JR & EH Nott, Suffolk
JHaving used John Deere’s connectivity solutions for over three years, James Nott who farms more than 2,000 hectares in a 10-mile radius near Sudbury, Suffolk, says the suite of applications simplifies management.
The farm has 10 machines connected to JD’s Operations Centre, including the tractors, sprayers and combines.
Mr Nott says: “It helps to make sure jobs are done at the right time and in the right order.
“I can see what tasks everyone has done each day and re-organise our schedule by order of priority. Rather than having to drive around our land, I can see it all remotely which also helps with my workload.”
JDLink is a powerful, valuable tool, says Mr Nott.
“The industry is becoming more data driven. Being able to see hours worked, area covered, fuel used and any error codes that pop up through JDLink helps us and the dealership work more efficiently.”
While the pre-empting of breakdowns through Connected Support is useful, Mr Nott says it is not fully developed for use with his business just yet.
Getting the error codes and assessing the severity of those is his chosen method, scheduling work to be carried out on the machine as and when suits the farm’s workload.
Depending if the code is an amber or red alert dictates when the repair is carried out.
This allows the work to be carried out early in the morning or later at night when the employee does not need the use of the machine.
“A two-way relationship with the dealer is important,” says Mr Nott.
“Organising when work is carried out to least affect our workflow is vital and the dealer knows that.
“When a red code comes up, the dealer will look into what has gone wrong and the best course of action. Depending on what the issue is, they will either say ‘yes, we need to come and fix that’ or they will give us instructions as to how we can fix it on-farm.”
A new addition to the farm’s fleet earlier this year is a R4150i self-propelled sprayer, which landed just as lockdown restrictions were being enforced. As a new model, Mr Nott says the engineers in the factory at Horst in the Netherlands are monitoring the sprayer using the connectivity suites to find common faults
and error codes as a means for product development.
Installation of the sprayer on-farm was done remotely using a host of technology, including video calls. Once in the field, further training and problem solving was conducted using remote display access giving the operator support when setting up the new machine – a helpful feature says Mr Nott.
“The development of these tools is happening very quickly. While the complexity is increasing, you can only go at a rate you and your business can deal with and feel comfortable using,” says Mr Nott, who concedes he is not the biggest ‘techy’ in the world.
His philosophy is if it is simple and useful, he will employ it as a management tool, adding the John Deere portfolio of products is far more advanced than anything else on the market.