Driverless Tractors Count on Timken Magnetic Encoders

The next generation of farm equipment is already in fields across the heartland. The crucial difference? They’re driverless and satellite-guided.


GPS-piloted tractors save farmers thousands of dollars with the operational efficiencies they create. Unaffected by fatigue and poor visibility, they reduce distances traveled by each vehicle, are accurate within inches, and save on fuel costs while improving crop yields.

They also create new challenges. For example: with no human around, how do you tell when a machine is approaching a breakdown so you can shut it down before significant damage occurs? The answer is Timken off-axis magnetic encoders.

They are highly resistant to the dirt, condensation and vibration found in agricultural applications. An optical encoder could succumb to these environmental issues. Magnetic encoders are unaffected and continue to operate through it all.

To discuss Timken off-axis magnetic encoders and other applications where they could be your solution, reach me at 603.355.4502 or send me at email at encoders@timken.com.

Photo Credit:  Shutterstock © Denton Rumsey

How to Choose an Encoder for Harsh Environments

In industrial automation and motion control applications, selecting the proper encoder technology is key to maximizing performance. Optical or magnetic, which to choose?

Optical encoders perform well in clean environments, but what about those that are dirty, hot, humid or subject to high levels of vibration? Are magnetic encoders a better option in those cases? Let’s take a closer look at each.

Optical Encoder Technology