One of the criticisms of rubber-belt track systems has been their rapid wear rate from on-road travel. Now Camso, one of the industry’s major track systems manufacturers, has introduced a new feature designed to minimize that problem and permit higher road speeds at the same time. The brand’s smart track technology adds a digital component to monitor track system temperatures.
Smart track technology relies on embedded sensors placed within the rubber tracks that monitor heat and send a wireless signal to an onboard receiver on a tractor, requiring it to slow down when belt temperatures start to climb. That prevents excessive wear or unexpected failures.
“With higher roading speeds and fields far away from each other, farmers are looking to operate at maximum transport efficiency,” said Martin Lunkenbein, Camso’s service and aftermarket sales executive, in a press release. “Our integrated solution allows for optimal machine speed while avoiding heat build-up which can cause premature track damage.”
With current systems, operators have to keep road speeds below the maximum recommended speed for the rubber belts. But by constantly monitoring track temperature, a tractor can travel at higher speeds for certain periods until heat levels start to rise. Then speed can be reduced before any damage occurs. That allows for higher maximum road speeds and faster overall travel times.
Camso introduced the system at Agritechnica in Germany in November and it made its North American debut at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, in February. The brand says this is just the first of many new smart track technologies it plans to introduce.
And don’t be surprised to see this smart track feature appear as a factory option in the not-too-distant future on belted tractors from at least some of the major brands.
Says Lunkenbein, “We’re looking forward to expanding current partnerships with OEMs as their customers will be among the first to benefit from these new technologies we’re bringing to market.”