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Trimble Adds Precision to Harvesting Operations
AgGPS Autopilot System - One of the World's First GPS-based Automated Steering Systems for Combines
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Aug. 3, 2004 -- Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) announced today that its AgGPS® AutopilotTM system is now available for combines. The automated steering system uses Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to guide agriculture vehicles in consistent rows for tilling, spraying, applying fertilizers, and now harvesting.
"The AgGPS Autopilot can now be used in every growing application throughout the year, helping growers maintain a competitive edge as well as a greater return on their investment," said Alan Townsend, vice president and general manager of Trimble's Field Solutions Division. "The combine platform addition demonstrates Trimble's commitment to continued improvement and expansion of the AgGPS Autopilot system for all types of precision agricultural operations."
The addition of the Autopilot system for combines offers significant advantages. Growers can automatically steer along a precise path set earlier in the year during planting with centimeter accuracy and repeatability. This allows the driver to guide the combine precisely along the same path during harvesting season.
Wheat grower Harlan Downing of Colby, Kansas, has been using Trimble's high accuracy system for three years. He harvested this year's wheat crop using the Autopilot system to steer his John Deere 9750 STS combine. "Trimble's new feature allows us to follow the same 'A/B' base reference lines we laid down three years ago," said Downing. "Our controlled traffic system now includes the full agricultural lifecycle, from strip till fertilizing to planting, then spraying, and on through harvest. With the Autopilot system, it all comes together."
"We drill our soybeans and wheat, so planting-time tracks are not well defined and hard to see during harvest," adds Downing. "But with Autopilot, that accuracy comes back on line and our productivity is greatly increased."
The Autopilot combine application is also ideal for bed harvest and other in-field operations demanding pinpoint accuracy. The user-friendly system allows operators to focus on other in-field operations and reduce fatigue. As a result, Autopilot greatly improves a grower's efficiency and productivity by operating equipment longer hours over more acres. In addition, Trimble offers Autopilot transfer kits, allowing the transfer of a system already installed on a tractor or sprayer to be easily moved to a combine.
"Autopilot is powered by Trimble's high performance GPS-based navigation controller connected to a combine's power steering mechanism. An in-cab display allows growers to select field patterns, previously set during planting, and view operating parameters. It is centimeter accuracy made simple," said Tim Funk, product manager, Trimble. "With the new Autopilot combine platform, growers will get the same great service and reliability they've come to expect from Trimble and our worldwide distribution channel."
The initial combine platforms include the John Deere 9x50/9x60 STS and the Case IH 2388. The John Deere 9x50/9x60 STS combine began shipping on July 30, 2004; the Case IH 2388 combine, is expected to begin on Sept. 1, 2004.
For more information, call 800-865-7438 or visit www.trimble.com.
Trimble is a leading innovator of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. In addition to providing advanced GPS components, Trimble augments GPS with other positioning technologies as well as wireless communications and software to create complete customer solutions. Trimble's worldwide presence and unique capabilities position the Company for growth in emerging applications including surveying, automobile navigation, machine guidance, asset tracking, wireless platforms, and telecommunications infrastructure. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Trimble has more than 2,000 employees in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Investor Relations Contact: Investor Relations of Trimble: 408- 481-6914
Media Contact: LeaAnn McNabb of Trimble: 408-481-7808