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John Deere makes grade control attainable with new grade management path

two john deere crawler dozer at work

John Deere is making grade control easier to implement with a multilevel grade management path. This new approach provides customers with the options and flexibility they need to add grade management to their business, whether they are looking at this technology for the first time or interested in upgrading to a premium solution.

"Our customers face a number of challenges every day, from labor shortages to managing equipment productivity," said Kevin Very, director of technology & product marketing, John Deere Construction & Forestry. "Grade management can be a huge advantage for those in the earthmoving business. No matter the size of operation, we've developed a full offering that provides customers with the flexibility they need to find the right solution."

At the 2020 CONEXPO-CON/AGG Show in Las Vegas, John Deere showcased an industry-leading range of OEM precision grade management solutions, including factory-integrated solutions across five product categories: motor graders, crawler dozers, excavators, skid steers and compact track loaders. John Deere simplified its solutions portfolio into two categories, entry-level and premium, leveraging a flexible approach so operators can easily transition from one level to the next depending on their business needs.

The entry-level solutions are well-suited for users who are new to technology and for those looking to establish a foundation for grade management in their machines:

  • Crawler Dozers — Optional SmartGrade ready with slope control will be available on select K- and L-Series crawler dozers, which makes grading easier by automatically maintaining the blade angle without the need for an external laser or GPS reference.
  • Motor Graders The SmartGrade ready GP-Series motor graders feature standard cross slope, which makes it easier to maintain a consistent slope by automatically controlling one side of the blade.
  • Excavators The 210G LC, 350G LC and 470G LC excavators feature several entry-level options. The 2D or 3D grade guidance options provide operators with the elevation and position of the bucket cutting edge inside the comfort of the cab. The new SmartGrade ready 2D control option offers control of the cutting edge relative to a target plane.
  • Compact Track Loaders and Skid Steers The 330G and 332G skid steers and the 331G and 333G compact track loaders can be equipped with optional on-board grade indication, which provides the operator with an accurate readout of the cross slope and main fall slope of the machine.

Those interested in upgrading to the premium options can select compatible machines with fully integrated John Deere SmartGrade 3D grade control. SmartGrade eliminates external masts and cables from the moldboard or blade, preventing possible theft or damage. This also removes the need to install blade-mounted components, reducing setup time and complexity.

Additionally, SmartGrade delivers benefits that are uniquely possible through machine-engineered integration, such as machine automation features that continue to drive productivity. SmartGrade is available on the 650K, 700L, 750L 850L and 950K crawler dozers and all GP-Series motor graders, and it will be available on the 210G LC, 350G LC and 470G LC excavators, and the 333G Compact Track Loader.

"Not only are we developing new and innovative grade control solutions, we are also working to ensure our dealers are fully prepared to service and support these machines," said Sean Mairet, product marketing manager, grade control, John Deere Construction & Forestry. "Our dealers are experts in grade control technology and construction equipment. With unmatched support from world-class John Deere dealers, our customers have the resources they need to utilize these solutions to the fullest, making them more profitable and successful."

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