A method and apparatus for controlling a plurality of subsystems (66, 70) associated with an agricultural vehicle such as a tractor. Examples of such subsystems in a tractor are hitch positioning, power take off (PTO), multiple range transmissions, differential lock, diesel fuel injection, and the like.
A unified control system is provided including a central control unit having a first microprocessor (56) and a plurality of subservient control units each having a microprocessor (58, 60). Each of the subservient control unit microprocessors (58, 60) are connected for controlling at least one subsystem (66, 70) and for sensing the operating conditions of at least a single subsystem (66, 70) using sensors (68, 72). The subservient control unit microprocessors (58, 60) are also connected to the central control unit microprocessor (56) which controls communication between the subservient control unit microprocessors (58, 60). Various control criteria, including desired relationships among various subsets of the conditions, are stored in memories associated with the microprocessors. The microprocessors cycle through a series of subroutines in which various subsets of conditions are compared with the target, or desired relationships. Control signals are generated by the microprocessors for controlling the individual subsystems to bring the conditions thereof to the targeted relationships. Such relationships include, but are not limited to engine advance characteristics as a function of engine RPM and torque, transmission shift points, criteria for overriding a draft control for hitch positioning, and the like.