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CNH Invests in Monarch’s Electric, Autonomous Tractor Technology


CNH is interested, too, in autonomous operations. It has produced its own autonomous concepts for on- and off-road applications. “We will see strategic actions to incorporate more autonomy into daily farming operations as well as robotic and drone technology. Growers are often faced with the challenge of time, operational windows, and a dwindling labor force. To maximize output, autonomy will become an integral part of their operation,” the company said.

The Monarch tractor acts essentially as a hub in the field for data collection (analyzing 240 gigabytes of crop data every day it operates), for observation and even as a local source of remote electrical power. It can be a sprayer, a cultivator, even a drone for recharging other units, while uploading information collected from field operations.

The Monarch can create alerts, provide actionable information, as well as give managers close insight into what is going on in a given field. For example, the Monarch incorporates a micro weather station that, among climatic conditions, monitors wind speed. The platform will cease spraying operations if local wind conditions exceed either preplanned or regulatory parameters.

The CNH investment adds new momentum to Penmetsa’s vision. “We’ve always been of the belief that agriculture and farming globally is very much an ecosystem play,” he said. “We want to work with partners. CNH Industrial and their brands in agriculture have the same mission as us and the same beliefs when it comes to sustainability, when it comes to farmer profitability and farmer interests.”

Monarch Tractor eyes a big market for compact tractors, with 1.4 million to 1.5 million units sold annually. “We plan to go everywhere a compact tractor goes,” Penmetsa said.

Compact utility tractors are the most common platform in the world. It is a fast-growing segment in the United States, where compact units are typically used more than 100 days per year. Monarch believes its first sales will be in California and other western U.S. markets. But it is also seeing interest from Norway, New Zealand, Eastern Europe and Asia. “Honestly, the demand was pleasantly surprising after out launch,” Penmetsa said.

The Monarch looks like a compact tractor, narrower than a compact, but slightly longer. Its electric drivetrain can provide 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.

A large battery with 10 hours or more of operating time powers the Monarch. Under high workloads, the battery is designed to give owners four to five hours of operation. The battery system lasts 10 years, according to Monarch. A battery recharge requires up to five hours. To manage charging time, Monarch sells an optional swappable battery pack. The swap can be completed by one person in 10 minutes.

Monarch Tractor, headquartered in Livermore, California, was founded in 2019.

CNH’s agricultural arm produces tractors and equipment under the Case IH, New Holland Agriculture and Steyr brands.

For an earlier DTN story about Monarch Tractor, go to:

https://www.dtnpf.com/….

For more information about Monarch Tractor, visit: www.monarchtractor.com.

Dan Miller can be reached at: www.dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @DMillerPF



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