ISSN 2285-5785, ISSN CD-ROM 2285-5793, ISSN ONLINE 2285-5807, ISSN-L 2285-5785


Published in Scientific Papers. Series A. Agronomy, Vol. LVII
Written by Adam ECKERSLEY, Lancelot BUTTERS

This paper critically examines agricultural tractor operation and the effect ergonomics have on performance and productivity in modern cabs. Manufacturers of tractors, globally, are continually developing cab and operator control systems to increase productivity AGCO (2012). This research project specifically investigates the claimed increase in productivity from active control arms fitted to modern day tractors. Through practical testing and theoretical research, conclusions have been drawn, on how effective these systems are, how much productivity is increased by the use of them and the cost effectiveness in today’s economic environment. This project critically evaluated five agricultural tractors with differing cab layouts, three of the tractors having a conventional cab layout, with manually operated controls, the other two tractors fitted with active control armrests. Methodology adopted four strategies using a time and motion exercise, calculating efficiency rates, calculating cost effectiveness and finally operator movement through functional anthropometrics. Results showed a minimal increase in productivity, however, a major reduction in operator movement indicates the possibility of potential health problems in the long term.

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