Evaluation of implement monitoring systems
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During monitoring of rear-mounted equipment, frequent rearward turning of tractor drivers in awkward postures can cause musculoskeletal disorders related to the back, neck, and shoulders. A camera-based monitoring system, consisting of one or more cameras placed on the implement and a monitor placed inside the tractor cab, has potential ergonomic benefits compared with traditional implement monitoring strategies by reducing the rearward turning and twisting movements of tractor drivers. A camera-based monitoring system was compared with two traditional monitoring strategies (direct looking and using rear-view mirrors) in a lab environment using a Tractor Air-Seeder Driving Simulator. The operator’s reaction time and response errors, head/neck movement (acceleration), and neck muscle temperature were compared for the three monitoring strategies. The camera-based monitoring system yielded significantly (α=0.05) better outcomes in terms of acceleration and muscle temperature values. No significant difference was observed for response errors.