Loading of Agricultural Trailers using a Model-Based Method
There is a trend in agricultural engineering towards high-performance harvesting machines with growing operating width and throughput. As much as performance and throughput are rising, the transportation units, usually tractor-pulled trailers, are characterized by increasing transportation volume.If harvesting and transport are combined in parallel operation (e.g. self-propelled forage harvester), the driver of the harvesting machine as well as the driver of the transport unit has to pay a high degree of attention to the loading process. Losses of harvesting goods caused by missing the trailer have to be kept at a minimum. The complete transport volume should be utilized and collisions between the involved machines have to be avoided. Overloading processes with large-scaled machinery often imply that the visibility into the transportation unit is severely limited.
In a former project a forage harvester had been used as the prototype for developing a GPS-based position control of the spout. The main aim of this research project is to develop and analyse several model based loading strategies exemplified on a forage harvester and a corresponding transport unit. The model based loading means an enhancement of the automation of the loading process.First objective of this research project is the development of a software model of the heap of bulk goods during the overloading process. Basal analysis of heaps of agricultural goods like grass and maize silage are essential. By combining the software model, the space model of the transportation unit and the throughput, the current status of loading is predictable and different loading strategies can be spotted, tested and scrutinized with regard to efficiency and the facilitation of work.