Driving on public road after installing hydraulik steering valve

I would like to ask, if anyone knows what happens to my insurance for the tractor and the road legal when applying a hydraulik valve. To install a hydraulik valve you have to cut the steering circuit and put some parts in between… What happens if I have an accident on public roads

  1. if it is caused by the applied parts,
  2. if it is NOT caused by the applied parts?
    I live in Germany, so the rules/laws in Germany would interest me!

Hi there. Not familiar with German laws as I live in Romania but I think it’s pretty straight forward similar to my country … if something goes bad on the public road and the tractor is investigated by experts such as those from TUV or Dekra and they find that it was not technically fit to be on public roads, it will be your fault regardless if you modified it or you didn’t repaired it properly. If during the yearly (or every 2 years) technical inspection such a modification is found, you, as a owner could face problems as you interfered with the steering mechanism and since the change was not performed by an authorized service, the right to drive on public roads could be canceled. In my opinion you should never:

  1. modify the hydraulic system unless you follow a TUV / Dekra authorized procedure and materials and you have been trained in performing such operation;
  2. drive a tractor connected to AgOpenGps on public roads or in places where harm could happen to people or equipment;

Always remember, safety first.

Not sure about Germany or Romania but in my (EU country) common sense is applied. If the tractor steering is modified but built safely (as can be declared by an expert) and properly disabled for driving on a public road (manual valves, perhaps just a switch like on OEM implementations) and it is obvious that the steering system had nothing to do with the accident, I’m sure the incident would be handled just like no steering modifications were made.

I know some countries have a strict approach, if a person does not wear a helmet at a construction site and steps on a nail, his/her insurance does not cover the incident (because his/her behaviour indicates an attitude issue). In practise I believe even this story isn’t true.

If an accident happens because of a steering issue, that obviously leads to detailed inspections of the modifications but I’m sure most of the implementations that we’ve seen here, would pass the inspection. After all, there are many known weak points from the factory that have caused accidents, loss of steering because wear and tear here and there, also because of design flaws at the factory. It isn’t too difficult to judge when the farmer’s modifications are “as safe as they can be” and this would be enough.

Don’t car owners in Germany and Romania service their old cars (perhaps not in Germany, not many old cars there), including suspension, steering joints and brakes and that is considered acceptable even if they had no qualification for the task?

I would ask if the steering valve assembly can be called a modification of the steering system! In fact, it is a separate system which, when the valves are turned off, is completely separated from the steering system and does not interfere with it in any way.
Often the hydraulic system in tractors works on one pump and basically the whole hydraulic system is connected to each other, in the extreme case connecting the front loader to the hydraulic system could be considered a modification of the steering system which is absurd!
The modification would be the installation of e.g. an orbitrol with different parameters, replacement of the actuator with a thinner one, steering joints for some other type, etc.
When mounting the autoster, we plug in the hydraulic system and modify it, but only when working in the field. When driving on the road, our modifications are cut off and do not interfere with steering and I would stick to it :slight_smile:

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Thanks for your point of view!

I plan to install a hydraforce SP10-57C proportional valve on two tractors (both LS hydraulics) and an additional 4/2 valve on one of the tractors as it has an reactive orbitrol (I hope this is the right englisch word… the steering wheel turns/reacts when you hit a stone or something with the wheels).

Do you think from the security side of view it’s enough to add a manual electric lever on the power line for the motor controller (cytron) and the relais for the 6/2 valve? Or is it better to add manual valves on the steering lines (or the pressure line)?

I plan to also use the steering for slurry spreading. As I changing between road and field all the time it would be annoying to use a manual valve outside the cabin every time I leave the field… But I totally agree with you: Safety first!

I tried to cover myself as much as possible, I added to lockable (two fingers required to release) switches in the cab, one cuts power to Cytron, and other cuts power to 6/2 valve (isolating the steering system totally)…I also added manual lever valves on both L / R hoses to mechanically fully isolate them, do I use them everytime I leave the field…ill just leave that there. But I feel with 6/2 valve fully isolated, AND power cut to the cytron, is would be impossible for anything to interefere at this point anyway. No more so than in any stock autosteer system anyway…

But obviously, its not officially correct, and imagine would be a problem in most countries these days.

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I think the 6/2 valve is a more reliable disconnection than manually operated valves. You can imagine that something, e.g. a stalk, stick, etc. will cause such a manual valve to be moved. The fact that an electric valve properly cut off from the power supply suddenly gets electricity is less likely.
In the latest factory solutions, manufacturers give up orbitrols by mounting only the encoder on the steering wheel that controls the solenoid valves and this is in my opinion a big risk because all you need is a power failure, e.g. a short circuit and we lose control.

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OK, so to summarize it a bit, if we apply a self-built hydraulik steering system, we could never be 100 % safe against the law etc. especially in some European countries (Germany). But a solution for example with a 6/2 valve which gets manually completely isolated from the power source is in most cases even more secure than what the manufacturers give us.

I think I will go the same way as @darrenjlobb described: manual levers cutting the power from 6/2 valve and Cytron and additionally manual lever valves in the steering lines to use when the automatic steering isn’t used for longer times and just for having a better feeling with the whole thing.

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I have 100% confidence in my system that is is safe, there is no way anything I have done can fail really. But can this stand up legally? No probably not…hence AOG is for fun only, and shouldnt be used in a real tractor. I think from a legal point of view, the motor is probably a better option, as it can be totally physically “removed” during road movements…


Hello, in Germany and in Austria it is not allowed. If the police catch you you pay a fine how high I can not tell you but certainly not too little. The whole thing works only because you are allowed to drive on your own premises (yard, field, …) with basically all driving, roads, dirt roads, foreign land must not be used. (i am from Austria)

If it is not TÜV (Association for Technical Inspection, must check every vehicle and Parts to be approved for roads) You could try to get a single permit but I strongly doubt that they fell in love with it.

approved, it does not matter which type of attachment, for example front hydraulics, … problematic. Intervention in the control system is much more serious

Because as an example, if you sit someone who is 14 years old in the tractor and only drive on their own land, it is legally permitted. However, if, for example, a dog gets under the wheels, a garden fence is knocked over, let alone worse, there is a problem again because it is considered negligence and the owner is fully liable and of course the insurance will also get out.

The only thing I could think of how to “avoid” it would be a quick release system that can be quickly removed and installed. You would, however, have to stake it out every time you basically enter foreign grounds / streets. And in the event of an accident, it is of course also difficult

Oder auf Deusch wenn es dir lieber ist:
Hallo, in Deuschland und auch in Österreich ist es nicht erlaubt. Falls die Polizei dich erwischt zahlst du Strafe wie hoch kann ich dir auch nicht sagen aber sicherlich nicht zu wenig. Das ganze funktioniert nur dadurch das man auf seinen Eigenen Gelände (Hof, Acker,…) mit grundsätzlich allen Fahren darf, Straßen,Feldwege fremde Grundstücke dürfen nicht benutzt werden.

Wenn es nicht Tüv genemigt ist ist es sowieso egal welcher anbau auch zB Fronthydraulik,… Problematisch. Eingriff ins steuerungssystem sind wesentlich gravierender.
Man könnte Probieren eine Einzelgenehmigung zu bekommen aber ich bezweifle stark das Sie so etwas gehemingen in unseren Bürokratie verliebten …

Das einzige was mir einfallen würde wie man es “vermeiden” kann wäre ein schnellverschlusssystem das man das Ganze schnell aus und einbauen kann. Man müsste allerdings jedesmal wenn man grundsätzlich wenn man Fremden Grund / Straßen betritt es abstecken. Und bei Unfällen ist es natürlch auch noch schwierig

Weil als Beispiel wenn man jemanden der 14 Jahre alt in den Traktor sitzt und nur auf dem Eigenen Grund fährt ist es Gezetlich erlaubt. Allerdings wenn zum Beispiel ein Hund unter die Räder kommt, ein Gartenzaun umgefahren wird geschweige denn noch schlimmeres, gibt es sehrwohl wieder ein Problem weil es als Fahrlässigkeit gilt und der Besitzer wieder voll in die Haftung kommt und natürlich die Versicherung auch aussteigen wird.

It is important to be aware of the local law and the interpretation and one should obey the rules. However I’m asking are those rules reasonable. Which one is more dangerous, an inexperienced 14 year old driver causing an accident on private premises with a legal tractor or an experienced farmer driving a properly built AOG system with hydraulic steering that has been carefully disabled for public roads?

Our Fendt OEM steering had a havoc when it was brand new. The front wheels started to fly from left to right and back at full speed and bolts got broken from the front wheel fenders. It was caused by some known fault on the steering hydraulics, TÜV approved parts, untouched since they left from the factory. Have to admit that this happened on a field road at low speed (max 25 km/h when auto-steer is on). On a public road auto-steer would not be allowed and the incident would not have happened, or could it happen?

Safety is important but if lawyers are allowed promote safety, I doubt the outcome would be the best.

Also funny how EU rules are interpreted so differently. I come from a country that tends to read EU rules to the letter and add a few requirements of their own on top but we seem to be flexible for tractors and their implements on the road.

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