Monarch said that its electric smart tractor automates not only tractor operations, but farming operations. A Monarch tractor is essentially a data collection hub, analyzing 240 gigabytes of crop data every day it operates. It has the ability to transmit crop health observations to remote managers. With machine learning capabilities, it performs functions such as spraying or cultivating. The Monarch can haul supplies like a side-by-side utility vehicle, function as an in-the-field drone for recharging other units, or supply power for repair and maintenance work such as welding.
The Monarch creates alerts and provides actionable information for managers. For example, the Monarch incorporates a micro weather station that, among climatic conditions, monitors wind speed. The platform ceases spraying operations if local wind conditions exceed either preplanned or regulatory parameters.
Here are manufacturer specifications for the Monarch:
— The Monarch looks like a compact tractor, narrower than a compact, but slightly longer.
— Its electric drivetrain provides 40 horsepower (30 kilowatts) of continuous power and short-duration peak power up to 70 hp (55 KW).
— The PTO and three-point hitch are comparable to a diesel tractor.
— It’s hydraulic capacity equals or exceeds conventionally powered units of the same size.
— Because it is electric, the Monarch has two times as much torque as comparable units.
— The Monarch runs on a large battery with 10 hours or more of operating time. Under high workloads, the battery is designed to give owners four to five hours of operation. A battery recharge requires up to five hours. To manage charging time, Monarch sells an optional swappable battery pack.
Compact utility tractors are a fast-growing segment in the U.S., where compact units are typically used more than 100 days per year. Monarch Tractor ($50,000 for the tractor, $15,000 for a spare battery pack) eyes an annual worldwide market of 1.4 million to 1.5 million units.
Monarch’s Livermore, California, assembly facility is beginning to fill preorders for customers in California, Oregon and Washington — one customer ordered five. Monarch tractors will be shipped generally to vineyard, orchard and blueberry operations.
Monarch Tractor’s deployment is due in part to the California Air Resources Board’s Farming Agricultural Replacement Measures for Emission Reductions (FARMER) program. The FARMER program offers grants for Advanced Technology Demonstration Projects, an initiative leading to a grant offered to Monarch Tractor.
To see the Monarch Tractor in action, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/….
To learn more about Monarch Tractor, visit www.monarchtractor.com.
To see past coverage of the unveiling of the tractor, see https://www.dtnpf.com/….
To see how the tractor has attracted global investments, see https://www.dtnpf.com/….
Dan Miller can be reached at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter @DMillerPF
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