Measuring the position of hay forks - efficient stacking of hay bales in Agriculture 4.0

Measuring the position of hay forks - efficient stacking of hay bales in Agriculture 4.0


Draw-wire sensors (also known as wire-actuated encoders) are extremely versatile in agriculture and help to carry out precise measurements of position, length and distance. Draw-wire sensors are measuring systems that convert the linear movement of the measuring wire into an electrical variable.

Their increased utilisation in the automation of processes enables increases in both efficiency and productivity.

A good example is the MH60 draw-wire sensor from WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH, which is often used in hay-bale forks for tractors. It features a robust design and continuously measures the position of the hay-bale fork.

The data is transmitted directly to the tractor's control system, enabling safe stacking of hay bales up to a height of 4 metres. For higher stacks the MH120, which can reach up to 10 metres, can be used. Both sensors have protection class IP69K and are therefore ideally suited for use in adverse weather conditions.

In addition to the classic use in hay-bale forks for tractors, draw-wire sensors offer numerous other possible applications in agriculture:

  • They are used in various tractor attachments such as ploughs, seed drills and pressure sprayers to monitor and control the position and operating status of the attachment.
  • In automated livestock feeding systems, they are used to monitor the movement of feed troughs or feeding arms and provide the right amount of animal feed.
  • They are also useful in irrigation systems, where they measure the position of irrigation arms or hoses and adjust the irrigation according to the requirements of the fields.
  • Another option is to use them with harvesting machines such as combine harvesters to monitor the alignment of cutting units or harvesting attachments and thus optimise harvesting performance.

Draw-wire sensors therefore play an important role in the automation and optimisation of agricultural processes. They enable precise measurements and efficient control of agricultural equipment, which ultimately contributes to increased efficiency and productivity in agriculture.

Technical specifications for the draw wire sensor MH60 can be found in the data sheet MH60.

For more information on draw wire sensors, see the product page draw wire sensor.


WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH

Headquarters Munich:

Mehlbeerenstr. 4
82024 Taufkirchen
Fon: +49 89 679713-0, Fax: -250

Office Cologne:
Auf der Pehle 1
50321 Brühl
Fon: + 49 2232 56 79-44, Fax: -45

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