During their work on the latest innovation from the tractor manufacturer Lindner, the Lintrac 130, the engineers in this Austrian, family-owned company were constantly motivated by the firm’s guiding principle: always focus on what farmers need. This tractor, with its continuously variable transmission, not only features a new high-torque engine that makes it perfect for use in grassland management where long periods of operation and heavy accessories are commonplace. The vehicle’s integrated connectivity is also new: Via Bluetooth, the intelligent Lintrac 130 recognizes what attachment is being used. This automatic device recognition – known as TracLink Smart – identifies every detail of each job, meaning that drivers do not have to perform any configuration work themselves. The volume flows in the hydraulics, the engine and power take-off speeds, as well as the driving modes, can be set automatically to their optimum values. “We wanted to create a modern solution that simplifies drivers’ lives in their everyday work,” emphasizes Manuel Lindner, who is responsible for the Innovations department.
When looking for a display via which it would be possible to control the TracLink Smart functions and driving strategies from inside the cab, the requirements profile was therefore clear: “Operation had to be easy to understand and help users – whether young farmers or expe-rienced professionals – to react correctly even in stressful or dangerous situations,” explains Manuel Lindner. Ideally, the developers wanted to offer two control variants, either via the display itself or via a remote control present in the arm rest. It was necessary to have sufficient display options available for the many different operating situations that occur when working in fields or meadows – from working with mowers, hay turning machines or hay rakes and on to baling presses. The tough conditions in the agriculture sector also make a robust design essential. Just as importantly: Even in strong sunlight, the driver must be able to read all the data without difficulty. That is why the specs also insisted on a particularly bright display. And the visual appearance also played a role in shaping the decision. “A harmonious interior concept is becoming ever more impor-tant,” explains Marketing Manager David Lindner. As a result, the display had to fit harmoniously in the cab.
The display that was finally chosen was the MultiViu Compact 7 (MVC 7) from Continental – primary instrumentation with a large 7-inch display and optional touchscreen to present vehicle-related information to the driver. This can act as a second device for menu navigation or – as in Lindner’s case – as a compact alternative to the instrument cluster.
“The touchscreen display looks a bit like a modern smartphone. As a result, drivers don’t need a long familiarization phase but intuitively get used to the device straight away – just as we wanted,” says David Lindner. “Consequently, they can concentrate fully on their work and complete it more efficiently.” In this way, the family-owned company is also able to meet the growing requirements in terms of comfort in the driver’s cab.
Since the MVC 7 is freely programmable and possesses CAN connectors, Lindner was able to configure it for use in various grassland management scenarios just as the developers wanted. The so-called “telltales” were particularly useful here. The display is available with up to 24 illuminated side symbols, which provide a lot of space for information. These are also freely configurable. In the Lintrac 130, these provide the driver with information about the lighting system or the state of the braking equipment, for example. Lindner has implemented the device recognition capability of the TracLink Smart System via one of the two CAN connectors.
The display is made of real glass, which makes it especially scratch-resistant. Wa-ter and vibrations also have no effect on it. “Just perfect for the really tough conditions in which our tractors have to work,” is how David Lindner sums things up. The fact that the MVC 7’s glass front and display are bonded reduces reflections. This means that the display remains easy to read even in poor lighting conditions. At 1000:1, the contrast level is also very high. The MVC 7 with its black-panel design made a great visual impression: When switched off, it displays a uniform black surface and fits well in the cab.
Manuel Lindner is convinced: “With this solution, we bring outstanding quality from the automotive sector into a tractor with continuously variable transmission.”
Farmers will be able to upgrade their fleets to the Lintrac 130 as of early 2020. That is when production starts.
Lindner has been producing tractors and transporters for mountain and grassland management as well as for forestry and municipal applications since 1948. Lindner specializes in allterrain special vehicles for the agricultural sector. Consequently, the company was the first manufacturer of a four-wheel drive tractor in Austria. Since 1948, it has manufactured more than 65,000 tractors. In 2018, Lindner and its 240 employees produced more than 1,200 vehicles.