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John Deere expands grade management solutions with slope control for K-Series dozers

John Deere 650k crawler dozer in action

John Deere has debuted Slope Control as a factory option for its K-Series dozers, including the 450K, 550K and 650K models. With Slope Control, John Deere provides an entry-level integrated grade control solution. Slope Control assists operators in grading smooth planar surfaces and is ideal for applications such as small site development, road building, forestry and agriculture. 

Using the integrated Slope Control system, operators can view real-time cross-slope and main fall-slope percentages through the in-cab monitor. Armed with this data, the operator can grade to desired slopes by adjusting the blade manually or through the system's automated control, simplifying complicated grading tasks. Additionally, because the system is integrated, sensors are protected, and damage to the components is prevented. 

"The demand for grading technology in the construction industry is rapidly increasing, and entry-level solutions are key for that adoption," said Matt Goedert, solutions marketing manager at John Deere. "By offering Slope Control on the K-Series machines, customers can precisely maintain and grade desired slopes easier than ever using proven technology."

Slope Control can be set up in one of two modes, Target or Joystick. In Target Mode, the operator enters the specified target slope into the monitor, whereas with Joystick Mode, the slope is maintained based on the last joystick input. Both modes can automatically control the blade's tilt, raise and lower commands to maintain a target slope, giving the operator precise control. This makes it possible for operators of any experience level to maintain the slightest slopes while still maintaining proper drainage. 

Other features include Flip Slope and integrated Increment and Decrement buttons. Flip Slope enables the operator to quickly adjust the target main fall or cross-slope to the opposite value, which is ideal for seamless turnarounds before starting the next pass. The Increment and Decrement feature allows the operator to adjust the cross slope or main fall-slope target value on the fly using buttons on the blade control joystick. 

"Slope Control is another way we provide our customers with flexibility as to how they integrate grade management solutions in their business," said Sean Mairet, product marketing manager at John Deere. "Slope Control offers a solution for those who are new to technology and those looking to establish a foundation for grade management in their machine. With this technology, we can help customers boost productivity and profitability."