Management of vehicle fleets is a complex task. Interactions between a harvesting machine, transport vehicles, and a storage site provides the opportunity for introduction of inefficiencies in the harvest process. These inefficiencies translate to an increased cost of harvest. at best. and possibly a reduction in feed quality. Even when ignoring uncontrollable aspects of machinery, such as break-downs, there still exists idle time during the harvest process that can be minimized to improve harvest efficiency. In 2015 the entire forage harvest process on a commercial dairy was recorded using low-cost GPS data loggers. Controller Area Network (CAN) data were also collected on machines that had the data available. Machine working states were defined based on the GPS and CAN data to determine the time each machine spent doing a certain task. Idle time was defined for the harvesting equipment during alfalfa and corn harvest for silage production.
Soil Science Extension
University of Wisconsin Madison