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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:   No Citation available.
Authors:   Dimitrios Drakopoulos, Danny D Mann
Keywords:   tractor controls, design guidelines, ergonomic analysis

In the cab of a tractor, the driver communicates information to the tractor using various control types (i.e., rotary switches, toggle switches, rocker switches, knobs, push buttons, hand-levers, and steering wheels). The published literature documents numerous design and ergonomic considerations that should be followed to maximize the operators interaction with machine controls. This paper reviews the published literature and identifies guidelines related to seven types of controls, control placement, control labeling, and functional reach. Six agricultural tractor workstations, with manufacturing dates between 2003 and 2005, were analyzed to determine the degree to which tractor manufacturers comply with these published recommendations. Published design recommendations are being followed, however, some dimension values being used are less conservative than others. Separation distance is the most notable case; small separation distances are being used, perhaps to fit more controls into the limited space available within tractor cabs. Analysis revealed that 89% of controls are situated on the right-hand side of the workstation, but only 75% of controls fall within the functional reach envelope. Ninety-five percent of controls are labelled using either a symbol or text, with symbols being used most frequently.

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