My first experience with the GPS

by Katie on June 25, 2009

I started planting some Teff grass seed Wednesday and had to use the GPS system for accuracy. With all the swerves I made trying to find the “0” error before I turned it on at each pass, I’m not sure how much more accurate my planting will actually be.

It was rough getting started. Brandon drove the first couple of rounds to demonstrate, then left me out in the field to figure it out for myself.
Now, working the actual GPS system itself was not difficult. I have a decent handle on technology and figured out the mechanical aspects of using it just fine.
It was when I combined it with turning the tractor, matching it up to the line on the GPS, and lifting and lowering the planter all at the same time, that I had trouble.
I get rather frustrated when I can’t complete a task close to perfect in a short while, so I was about at my wit’s end with this thing by the time I reached the second border.
I sent Brandon text messages that read:
“I stink at this.”
“I am not doing a good job.”
“I do not like the gps.”
“I want to turn this thing off.”
After that little string, spread across a 15 minute span, Brandon returned to the field to try to help.
“Katie, this thing is supposed to make your life easier. You can read a magazine while you go up the field. I mean, obviously you’re not having any trouble text messaging.”
“Well yeah, but that’s after I get to the middle of the field and get it on track, after there’s a perfect zigzag for the first 50 yards.”
So he rode with me another couple rounds “to see what was going wrong,” but pretty much took control, said “looks fine to me,” and left.
So for the next two hours, I did the best I could, and sent Brandon another message that said, “I am quitting,” at 7:30. And I did. I was out of seed anyway.
Luckily, yesterday’s experience with the GPS was much better. I got in a groove with all the levers, got a better idea of where the track line would be before I even started turning, and was actually able to sit back, relax, listen to the radio, and send more text messages while the GPS steered me down the field.
So, we’ll see how things look when the grass starts coming up.

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