Three-point hitch-mechanism instrumentation for tillage power optimization
In order to study tillage power optimization, a tillage-force measuring system has been built with transducers in the three-point hitch mechanism, and then has been calibrated and tested in the field. The uniqueness of this system is its ability to measure the three orthogonal components of the tillage force despite using only three force sensors; this was possible by using a three-dimensional analysis of the tractor linkage mechanism. A dynamic calculus program was developed to take into consideration the changes of the three-point hitch-mechanism geometry during the tillage operation. The calibration results showed a linear relation between the applied and the measured forces. The preliminary field tests proved the stability of the system results. The developed system can readily be applied in studies to minimize tillage energy consumption. © 2008 IAgrE.