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On Trac 3 vs Steady Steer
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Posted 5/21/2023 12:01 (#10237692 - in reply to #10237572)
Subject: RE: On Trac 3 vs Steady Steer

West Central Missouri
I have operated the following systems in my own farming operations:
Ontrac 2+ (probably 3-4 years)
Ontrac 3 (~2 years)
Steercommand (3~4 years)
Steercommand Z2 (2 years)
Steadysteer (1 year)

Ontrac 2+ is probably the best bang for the buck steering system I've ever seen. Cheap. Steers great. It's a little slow, but at common planting/tillage speeds it does just fine. It struggles to steer a combine, and I wouldn't put one on an articulated 4x4, or at least wouldn't expect great results. The biggest strike against an OT2+ is lack of compatibility with InCommand displays.

Ontrac3 is a marginal improvement over OT2+. OT3 is capable of turning the wheel about twice as fast as OT2+. This is generally helpful, but from time to time makes it jittery. It's tendency to overcorrect is not always easily adjusted out. Smart path line smoothing helped it out greatly, but this is a display side feature only present on InCommand displays and is of no help to someone steering OT3 on an Integra-class display. The biggest strike against it is that it's NLA, and availabiltiy of vehicle kits is now limited. Still a good system. If you have it behind an Integra-class display it will not prevent you from trading up ton an InCommand.

The steadysteer is an improvement over the Ontrac3 by great leaps and bounds. This is the first assisted steering system that seriously rivals the performance of integrated hydraulic steering. If you already have an InCommand display, I'd recommend this over OT3, unless you already have OT3, in which case there is a fair argument to be made for using what you already have. OT3's are trading for ridiculous prices on facebook marketplace (around same price they were when available new), presumably due to them being NLA, but still a viable option for owners of Integra-class displays that do not want to trade up displays. This makes it easy to unload your OT3 online and trade up to a Steadysteer.

The biggest advantage of an OT3 is opening up an upgrade pathway to an InCommand display, but you've already indicated that's not among your priorities. What kind of field operations are you using the OT2+ for? Do one or more of it's steering configurations show a need for improved performance? OT3 is only available used, and currently trading a little on the high side. If it's otherwise a good match for your needs, it can still be a good choice, but those factors do handicap that decision a little bit.
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