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Agriculture Technology Podcast 170: John Deere Operations Center - Machines

27 Jun 2022

Wrapping up our 3-part series of the John Deere Operations Center, Tony takes us through functionality available on the web version of the program, specifically focusing on Machine Analyzer and Machine Reports.

A John Deere Operations Center account is cost-free to any user; the mobile app is also free. Visit to create your account and get started.

You can find past podcast episodes by visiting our Podcast website

Have precision ag questions? We have the answers. Find a specific channel dedicated to answering your precision technology questions: Precision Ag Answers. 

Read the full transcript:

Host Tony Kramer: We had talked a couple of episodes, we started with episode 168, talking about Operations Center Mobile, the mobile app on our mobile devices. Cost-free, gives us access whether we are on our cell phone or a tablet out in the field, in our pickups, not on the Operations Center website. Then we jumped forward to episode number 169, and we talked more in-depth on the machines or fleet management and what we can do in the Operations Center Mobile side.

Now, what we're going to do is we're going to go onto the Operations Center web, and I want to talk through a few things that we can do and see from that perspective, from the web.

It's a little bit different than what we can do and see on the mobile app, so I wanted to make sure we touched on both of them. Of course, first thing we would do getting set up with the Operations Center Org or Operations Center account. If you don't already have that, I encourage you to go out, create one. It is completely cost-free to have an Operations Center account. The mobile app is free.

JDLink to make sure our machines are connected through telematics, that is also cost-free. Now, if you do not have a late model or current model tractor with 4G LTE technology, there may be some costs involved to upgrade the equipment, and/or if you have competitive equipment or older John Deere equipment, we would have to install a universal type kit in order to get those machines into the Operations Center.

There's also, for some of our over-the-road type stuff, we have solutions like Razor Tracking, where you can get in maybe it's your grain truck or it's your fertilizer tender or seed tender, whatever it may be, we have ways to get those into the Operations Center as well. Those are the first steps on what we need in order to get some of this information. That being said, some of this information that I'm going to go through now is not necessarily going to be visible when it comes to some of our competitive pieces of equipment.

If we're just installing John Deere JDLink modem in a universal manner, we might not be able to see some of the information in regards to specific machine data or equipment data.

With that, we've got all that set up, we've got the data flowing, we can dive into the Operations Center. From our home page or the map page, it's our landing page, what I want to do is go over to Analyze.

Underneath Analyze, you'll notice there's two machine options. We have Machine Analyzer and we have Machine Reports. The first one I want to touch on is Machine Analyzer. It's just that. It is an analyzer for a machine, think of it similar to field analyzer. We are analyzing the field or the agronomic data that flows into the Operations Center. We're able to dive deep, look at things, find things, and make changes or make educated decisions moving forward.

We can do that same thing with Machine Analyzer. There's a lot of different things that we are just going to real high-level just go over so you can see or hear, I guess, what some of the capabilities are of Machine Analyzer in the Operations Center. The first thing I want to talk about is, up on top, you have a dropdown menu. Right now, mine is set on Average Ground Speed.

If you tree that open, there are a bunch of different pieces of information. What you're doing is you're filtering out what data you want to be looking at. You can look at Average Ground Speed, there is, for those of you not familiar, CNF performance would be in regards to construction and forestry equipment. That's going to be a little different than the ag stuff.

DEF usage, fuel usage, just overall performance. Looking at our working percentages versus transport versus idle, and then there's also technology usage. What machines are utilizing section control? What machines are utilizing auto-track? How much of the time are they using those technologies? You're able to look at that. Then the last thing in this dropdown I want to touch on is if you select Manage Views, you can also go down and you can click Create New View. What you are able to do with this is you are able to select the exact pieces of information that are relevant and beneficial to your operation.

Whether you like seeing things, so fuel usage per se, whether you like seeing things in gallons per hour or gallons per acre, or maybe you want to see how your engine hours stack up, whether it's a lifetime or you just want to look at a certain period of time. There's a lot of different ways to visualize all of this information. I don't want to overwhelm you with some of the specifics of how we can create these custom views, but I just want you to know that you can customize this to be exactly what is beneficial to your operation.

Once you decide the type of information you want to look at, we're just going to go with performance just for ease of talking through this here. Performance is our working percentage, our idle percentage, and our transportation percentage. That's our performance in regards to ag. Now that we've selected that, now you can go down and you can start filtering what equipment you want to look at and what date range you want to look at.

What I'm going to do is I'm just going to use a rolling seven days. You'll see there's a date range menu or a button. In that, you can select what you want to look at. There's this year, last year, lifetime, today, yesterday. I'm going to go with a rolling seven days. Then beside that, what we can do is we can select what equipment we want to look at. Maybe it's we want to look at our entire fleet so then we would just select Select All.

Maybe we want to look at just tractors specifically, or maybe sprayers specifically. We're able to see that information. Now, this doesn't matter if you have one sprayer, two sprayers, or if you're a custom applicator and you've got a fleet of 30 sprayers. Does not matter, all of this information is useful no matter the size of operation or the size of your fleet. Once you are selected or once you've selected the information that you want to look at, you selected your date range and you've selected your equipment, what you can then do is you'll see the menu changing down below.

You're able to visualize or key in on specific pieces of equipment, the specific machinery. What it's going to tell us is just the-- You have lifetime hours, engine hours, and then you have the period. This specific machine I'm looking at has 519 hours for its lifetime, but the period timeframe would just be that rolling seven days, we have 42 hours for engine hours. It gives you information of what are we doing in this time period that we have this filtered to in regards to how does it look along our lifetime of engine hours. Then what we can do is we go over to the table and it shows us the percentage and the time of working hours, transport, and idle. Just to put this into context or put some context behind this, maybe we have  multiple of the same machines, multiple sprayers, multiple combines, multiple planter tractors, or planter setups.

You can look and see, and you can start to adjust your productivity or adjust your efficiency in your operation by maybe reducing some transport time on certain machines so you're not driving from one end of your working area down to the other end. Maybe it's a different tractor that goes down there or whatever makes sense to your operation.

Now, we can also look at idle time. Maybe there's certain machines that are idling for extended periods of time and we see that it's kind of unnecessary. Now I understand that, in ag, maybe you're filling up the sprayer, maybe you're filling up the planter. Sometimes machines are just idle. It is what it is, but this just gives you real-life information of what's going on with your fleet, and then you, whatever makes sense to your operation, you can start to make educated decisions and changes to better everything that you're doing in regards to productivity and efficiency.

That was just performance, just looking at the working time, transport time, idle time. Again, you can look at fuel usage, which machines are really sucking down the diesel, and which machines are using very little?

Again, just gives you a little bit of insight of what can we do, something different. Maybe we need a bigger tractor. Maybe we don't need as big of a tractor. You can start to make some of those decisions based off this data. Now, you can also share and export this information. You can do in a spreadsheet format, you can do it as a PDF file. There's a lot of different ways to look at this and export it and visualize it.

The last thing I want to touch on was the machine reports. This is kind of a unique one here. If we go back to Analyze and we select Machine Reports, what we're going to be able to do is we're going to be able to generate specific reports, whether that be a one time report, maybe we want it to generate on a weekly basis on a monthly basis, or once a day. We can do all of that right from the Machine Reports. Really neat tool.

Again, we can do a bunch of different report types. We have engine hours, technology utilization, we have maintenance plans. If you're setting up maintenance plans, you can run maintenance reports on a daily, weekly, monthly, or one-time basis. We can do machine data. We can do connectivity. We can do a lot of different things, but if you go up into the top right, you can click Create New Custom Report. There, it's going to give you the ability to select which type of report you want to re-create, give it a name, and then give it a date range.

Then what we can do is you get to select how often that report runs. You get to select what you're looking at, all of that type of information. Maybe you want to run an engine hours report on a weekly basis just to see how your machines are running the information that's- or the hours that are being accumulated. Maybe watching for certain depreciation numbers is a thing on your farm to make sure that we're using the equipment as efficiently as possible, but we're not overusing the equipment.

Whatever that may be, this is just information that you can utilize on your farm to make educated decisions in regards to your equipment. We always talk about the agronomic data and everything we're collecting there and making educated decisions with agronomic data, but we often overlook the decisions that can be made with our equipment. Whether that was back in episode 169, using the Operations Center mobile app and visualizing our equipment on a day-to-day basis, right from our mobile device, or it's running one of these reports or visualizing stuff in Machine Analyzer on the Operations Center website.

A lot of different ways we can use this. It is not going to be utilized in the same manner across every farm out there. Every operation is a little bit different. Everybody wants to see data and information different, so that is why this is extremely customizable. You can select the specific data that you want to see, the information you want to see, and make the decisions based on what makes sense to your operation.

Again, I hope this episode was beneficial. I hope you guys learned something and hopefully you can take this, use it on your operation, and make some decisions moving forward to better your productivity and your efficiency. Thanks again for listening. We'll catch you on the next one.

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