Novel Jack Automatic Hydraulic Jack with improved capacity, safety and efficiency for agricultural implements.

The Project

"NOVEL JACK" is a project granted from UE
in the European framework project HORIZON 2020.

It is a breakthrough lifting system
for ag-implements with:

  • ISOBUS compatibility, to facilitate OEMs transition towards Smart Agriculture
  • Fully automated operation from tractor's cabin for increased productivity and women work opportunities
  • Safety Monitoring system for eliminating farmer accidents
  • Superior lifting capacity certified to ISO-12140

Precision Agriculture (PA), also known as the New Agricultural Revolution, is posed to meet the food demands of world's growing population. In the Ag-machinery industry, the pace of innovation has never been greater; from intelligent guidance systems to remote sensing and variable rate technology.
Our customers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) of Ag-machinery, in their constant efforts to upgrade their product offering to farmers, asked for a fully automated agricultural jack able to meet the load specifications required by the market. More so, they require the new jack solution to be easily integrated with their Ag-machines, and be fully compatible with ISOBUS protocol, i.e. the communication protocol designed for vehicles and machines used in agriculture.

We at SIMOL, listening intently to the needs of our customers (OEMs of Ag-machines) for a fully automated agricultural jack, invested 2 years of in-house R&D in the Novel Jack project. Novel Jack is a fully automated jack, equipped with an innovative safety system based on active and passive safety procedures, carefully optimised to ensure a fast system's responce under 1 sec, a critical parameter towards reducing accidents.

At the same time, to enable the adoption of our technology by OEMs we equipped Novel Jack with an ISOBUS module (electronics and software) that will enable OEMs to easily integrate Novel Jack with their Ag-implements.
Furthermore, Novel jack's mechanical performance leverages our proprietary technology and equipment that has placed SIMOL in the high-end of jack manufacturers, being the only company in the market certifying the mechanical performance of our jacks.

Challenge and solution

World's need for food has never been grater. According to the United Nations, by 2050 the global population will grow to ca. 9.8 billion from today's size of 7.6 billion (1). To feed this extra 2 billion people, food production must increase by at least 70% by 2050 (2). According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), this tremendous challenge gets more difficult to be met, due to several daunting constraints that global agriculture is facing (3):

Slow-down in productivity growth: Growth rates in yields of the major food crops are all declining with current growth rates being ca. half (0.8%) of their historical growth (2.1%) around the globe.

Limited availability of new arable land: During the last 4 decades, soil erosion caused abandonment of 4.3 million km2 of arable land.

Climate change: Climate variability and extreme weather shocks will drive down agricultural productivity by 10-25% in the developing world over the coming century.

Impact of urbanisation on rural labour supply: In 2050, about 70% of the global population will be urban, compared to 50% today. Reduced labour availability in rural areas will be a challenge that needs to be tackled with the adoption of automated machinery that increase agricultural productivity.

Traditional agriculture
Bigger. Faster. Stronger
Precision agriculture
Easier. Smarter. More precise.

Precision Agriculture (PA) is the New Agricultural Revolution posed to meet the food demands of our growing population. PA focuses on managing variations in the field accurately to grow more food using fewer resources and reducing production costs whilst respecting the environment. Hence, for the past 10 years manufacturers of Ag.machinery are making a strategic shift from bigger-faster-stronger machines to smarter, more precise and easier/safer to use machines. In 2017, the PA farming market was valued at $3.7 billion and is projected to reach $8 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of an astonishing 13.4% (4). Currently, 70-80% of new Ag-equipment sold contains a PA component; high precision positioning systems, automated steering and intelligent guidance systems, geomapping, sensors and remote sensing, integrated electronics communications and variable rate technology.

Yet, despite of the increased level of technological innovations embedded in current Ag-machines, a key operation that farmers perform with their machines, i.e. the process of lifting or levelling Ag-machines through the use of a jack acting as a support foot, still remains mostly manually operated as it was 50 years ago. Manual operation of Ag-jacks doesn’t only limits farmers productivity, but also significantly contributes in the increase of fatal-related accidents. Currently, agriculture has the worst rate of worker fatal injury from all industrial sectors; in the EU the average rate of farm fatalities is 12 per 100,000 workers (5). Therefore, our customers, OEMs of agricultural machinery, in their constant efforts to upgrade their product offering to farmers, need a fully automated agricultural jack that can meet the load specifications) required by the market. At the same time, farmers and agricultural contractors, who being the final users of Ag-machines drive this industry, seek for an agricultural jack solution that not only reduces their physical labour but also is safe to use. Novel Jack is a breakthrough lifting jack that will disrupt the Agricultural machinery industry. Novel Jack’s "plug & play" features is a key enabler for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) of trailed Ag-machines allowing them to easily integrate our system with their machines. At the same time, Novel Jack’s superior load lifting capacity and automated operation will allow OEMs to advance their product offering to farmers and agricultural contractors, the final users of our machines. Novel Jack is the result of two years of R&D, built on 50 years of experience in the development of suppoting wheels and jacks for the Ag-machinery industry

NOVEL JACK targeted customer’s needs

Novel Jack targeted customers are Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) of agricultural machinery. OEMs constantly seek to upgrade their product offering to farmers and agricultural contractors, who being the final users of Ag-machines drive this industry. When it comes to jacks, strength and reliability combined with full automation, advanced safety and "Plug & Play" compatibility are the main features that both OEMs and farmers seek.

Novel Jack directly addresses OEM’s unmet needs by bringing to the market the first fully automated jack equipped with an innovative tilting system that enables the use of the double acting hydraulic cylinder completely perpendicular to the ground. This gives Novel Jack superior lifting capacity while keeping its’ dimensions considerably smaller, as it allows to completely remove the metal landing leg from jack’s design. Furthermore, Novel Jack’s However, to further strengthen our offering we equipped Novel Jack with the technology to meet industry’s pain point: loss of compatibility between different types of implements and Ag-machines. Usually, each Ag-implement has its’ own interface/control system which leads to a situation where the farmer is over-whelmed by the type of equipment he has to interact with during his work (Figure 4). To solve this problem world’s biggest OEMs have established the Agricultural Electronics Foundation (AEF) that has the responsibility to facilitate industry’s adoption of the ISOBUS protocol, i.e. the communication protocol designed for electronics and machines used in agriculture. Hence, currently all big OEMs of Ag-machines require Ag-implements that comply with the ISOBUS standard.

Novel Jack is the first jack in the market fully compatible with ISO-11783 (ISOBUS standard). During our feasibility study, this feature attracted important interest from Europe’s top OEMs, as it ensures "Plug & Play" capabilities with their Ag-machines which translates to trouble-free and fast integration activities. Novel Jack offers a unique combination of beyond the state of the art features directly addressing our customers’ needs:

• Strength, Endurance and Reliability : side, static and lifting capacity, togheter with service life certified to ISO-12140, as we are the only company in the market with an in-house test-rig specifically designed to perform stress tests to assess compliance of our products with ISO-12140.

• Plug & Play compatibility: OEMs require Ag-implements that can be easily integrated with the ISOBUS communication network of their machinery and easily operated by its Virtual Terminal. ISOBUS certification

• Inherent Safety:Currently, the age of the farmers that work in the field increases. Hence, the number of farmers that demand for Ag-machines with advanced safety features, is increasing

• Reduction of physical labour: In the race to increase their productivity, farmers and mainly contractors seek Ag-implements that offer automated operation

Figure 4 Novel Jack in full extension with a corresponding piston stroke of 330mm

Novelty – The key features of Novel Jack

In a rather risk-averse and traditional industry, we took the risk, and two years ago, invested in the development proprietary technology that allow us to fully automate the operation of our jacks for Ag-machines. Hence, we carefully designed Novel Jack to ensure that the farmer can perform the entire process of lifting/levelling of the Ag-implement from tractor’s cabin, completely eliminitating the need to get near the Ag-implement to visually follow the process. This is a breakthrough that will disrupt the agricultural machinery industry. To achieve such a breakthrough product, we implemented several innovations in Novel Jack’s tilting and safety systems (Figure 5), which are discussed below.

• Tilting system: Novel Jack is the only system in the market equipped with a fully automated tilting system, controlled by tractor’s cabin. This system moves the support foot from the stowed position to the operating position.

• Safety monitoring system: the farmer receives this critical information at tractor’s cabin without having to get near the Ag-implement to visually follow the operations.

•Active and passive safety process which relates with the communication of alarm signals to tractor’s GUI for the farmer to act.

Why now? Historical evolution and recent trends that make Novel Jack possible

Since the 1960’s our job has been to create high-quality support systems. Initially, for the agricultural industry and subsequently also for road trailers construction machinery and industrial vehicles. Today, we are known in our sector as a partner who can offer total professionalism and quality, supplying products for a wide range of applications in all parts of the world. Over our 50 year history, we have developed many technologies, with respect to structural elements and part-finishes, each one as innovative and advanced as the last. We are true “out of the box” thinkers and challenge traditional thinking every step of the way. This is done by asking questions no other jack manufacturer would consider posing, listen intently to the client’s needs and tailor our solutions to unlock previously untapped revenue. Hence, we have always been investing in Research & Development in pursuit of a continuous upgrade of our products. This strategy is seen from our CEO (Mr. Steafano Silvani) as the only way to escape competition and enjoy long-lasting profits that we re-invest into R&D and product development activities. To this end, in 2015 we started a collaboration with the Interdepartmental Centre for Industrial Research – Advanced Applications in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Technology (CIRI-MAM)” from the University of Bologna in order to build a robust test-rig specifically designed to perform stress tests to assess compliance of our products with ISO-12140. Hence, currently we are the only company in the market that sells a range of ISO-12140 compliant jacks for agricultural machinery, agricultural trailers and trailed equipment. This greatly enhances the features of strength and reliability upon which all our products are based. Being able to certify our jack to ISO-12140, having extensive experience in developing safety-proof support jacks and having built key-knowledge in the development of hydraulic jacks (as part of our existing range of products), our ambitious target is to introduce in the market the first fully automated intrinsically-safe hydraulic jack. This decision was triggered by feedback from both our customers (OEMs of Ag-machines) and farmers.

(1) United Nations, “World population to reach 9.8 billion in 2050”, June 2017,
(2) European Agricultural Machinery, “Precision Farming: Producing more with less”,
(3) FAO, “Save and Grow: A policymakers guide to the sustainable intensification of smallholder crop production”, 2011
(4) Markets and Markets, “Precision Agriculture market – Global Forecast to 2023”, May 2018,
(5) Health and Safety Executive, “About Health and Safety in Agriculture”,
(6) US Bureau of Labor statistics, “Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting: NAICS 11”,
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"This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research
and innovation programme under grant Agreement No 830101."