How does it work?

SD Drain® Tile receives elevation data from your RTK-GPS receiver and automatically outputs signals to the hydraulics controlling your tile plow.  An optional slope sensor allows for extra input data.  If your plow allows, SD Drain Tile can independently control the pitch and depth of your plow as opposed to flying your plow through the ground using pitch only control.


  • Side view generated as survey pass driven.
  • Automatically designs tile run as you drop plow into starter hole.
  • Easily modify proposed design.
  • Guidance light bar to follow survey pass during tile installation.
  • You can start a run above ground, such as when working in a slew.
  • Automatic flagging & redesign when plow deviates from designed run, such as a rock hit.
  • Save and recall benchmarks.
  • Import field designs & background images.
  • Save and recall tile runs.
  • Customize look of program.

Survey & Design

Click image for example

The first thing you do in the field is survey the tile run by driving the tile path with the plow up in the air.  As you survey, SD Drain Tile will automatically capture elevation points to create a survey line.  The survey line will be displayed on screen as you are driving. When the survey is completed, SD Drain Tile will automatically generate a plan for the tile run as you drop the plow in the starter hole.  This plan will show the proposed tile line as well as minimum and maximum depth guides for the tile run.

Edit Functions

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Before you start your tile run, you have the option to manipulate how the final tile design will look.  You can change the minimum or maximum slope values, as well as the desired depth of the tile.  You can also remove points in the survey pass.  For example, if you drive over a ditch and you would like the tile to be laid shallower in the ditch bottom, you can delete points on either side of the ditch.

Automatic Flagging

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If the plow deviates from the expected tile path, SD Drain Tile will automatically flag that location. This action can be caused by hitting an object in the field or manually raising the plow because of a broken piece of tile.  If you need to dig out a rock, the program will visually guide you back to the proper depth and you will be able to continue the existing tile run.


Easily Change Tile Size

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The program allows you to change the tile size and/or the type of tile you are putting in the ground without stopping the plow.  With a few clicks you can easily make these changes on the go.

Background Images

SD Drain Background Image

You can load a georeferenced background image into SD Drain Tile for an overhead view of the field you are working on.  Such maps are useful to show you where you are in the field, the topography, or determine where tile will be placed in the field.

3D View

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With the proper field data loaded, SD Drain Tile will allow the user to see a 3D view of the field as you are working.


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Benchmarks are used to compensate for GPS drift.  GPS drift can happen when you power down a portable RTK-GPS base station. Portable base stations often use a quick average to calculate their location and this quick average my not be the same from day to day.  By driving to a certain known point with your tile plow, and capturing a benchmark, you now have the ability to return to that same location and recall that known point, correcting for any GPS drift.

Import Guide Lines & Survey Lines

Survey & Guide Lines layered on top of a background image

Guide lines or Survey lines can be imported into SD Drain Tile.  These lines will show up as a layer in the overhead view and will stack on top of any background image.  Just click or tap on the line to select it.  Either type can have specific parameters associated with the line that will over-ride the default parameters.  Guidance lines are used to guide you over a proposed tile run when you are driving your survey pass.  Survey lines are just that, pre-made survey passes.  Survey passes can only be used when you recall a benchmark that was created when the field was surveyed prior to creating the lines in ADMS.  Simply select the survey line, put your plow in the hole and go.

Grid Lines

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Grid Lines allow you to layout a series of parallel lines on the screen.  These Grid Lines can be rotated and shifted around to meet your needs.  These lines can be used as rough guidance for tile layout and spacing.

SD Drain control computer in cab

Simulated Laser

You can simulate a single slope laser by just capturing two points, high point and outlet of the tile run. SD Drain Tile will create a straight, single slope tile run.  You can also just set the grade in the simulated laser and install tile.

Installing drain tile with SD Drain Tile system