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John Deere introduces fully integrated, mastless grade control motor graders


Global earthmoving giant John Deere has unveiled a series of integrated innovations in its latest generation motor graders.

To maintain a competitive edge, grade control systems are a must-have. Road building and site development contractors can now reap the benefits of John Deere SmartGrade in the highly successful G-Series motor grader line.

SmartGrade reimagines grade control technology, with intelligent features that help maximise productivity and find an advantage. Unlike traditional aftermarket grade control systems, the SmartGrade motor graders offer an impressive range of grade control and hydraulic functions, including intuitive automated features that lessen operator workload and boost productivity. SmartGrade technology delivers a first of its kind mastless integrated grade control as a factory option on new machines and field kit for equipment already on the job. The system is fully incorporated into the machine’s structures and software, delivering precise grading performance while eliminating vulnerable masts and cables.

“Earthmoving customers already utilise SmartGrade technology integrated into Deere dozers, and many have asked when it would be available on the motor grader line,” said Luke Kurth, motor graders product marketing manager for John Deere Construction & Forestry. “We’re excited to be the first manufacturer to offer this integrated solution to the Australian market.

The same machine can now be used throughout the job site, from site clearing to final grade, maximising operator resources and fleet utilisation.”

SmartGrade eliminates external masts and cables from the mouldboard, preventing possible theft or damage. This also removes the need to climb on the machine every day and install blade-mounted sensors and components, reducing set-up time and complexity. By removing the masts and leveraging position sensing, the operator can now run without limitation, using all of the machine functions, like blade pitch, circle side-shift and circle rotate, without risking damage, all while staying on grade. In the cab, the grade system interface is built into the Grade Pro (GP) controls available in the Deere exclusive fingertip or dual joystick design. SmartGrade also eliminates the need for external grade control components that impede manoeuvrability, so final grade machines can be involved earlier and more effectively in site development.

Thanks to SmartGrade, the GP graders can utilise auto-articulation and blade flip, enabling the operator to automatically rotate the blade to a set position without holding the control at the end of a pass.

An all new automation suite is included with SmartGrade and is available as an option on all GP graders, helping operators in daily production by reducing the number of controls needed to perform common tasks. The suite boasts auto-articulation, blade flip and operator-selectable machine presets. Auto-articulation combines front steering and rear articulation while blade flip, a Deere exclusive, enables the operator to automatically rotate the blade to a set position without holding the control at the end of a pass. Machine pre-set, another Deere exclusive, allows the operator to activate multiple functions by pressing a single button (return to straight, auto-shift, lights, etc). Up to three positions can be stored in the monitor.

“SmartGrade graders are the latest in a long line of technologies Deere has developed to help customers become more efficient and automate some of the controls for one of the most sophisticated pieces of equipment on the job site,” said Sean Mairet, the grade control product marketing manager of John Deere WorkSight. “Whatever machine you have on the job site, Deere’s focus on industry-leading innovations will help operators be more productive and let owners better manage their workloads.”

Fleet managers looking to get the most out of their SmartGrade motor graders can rely on their John Deere dealers to provide support for both the grader and the SmartGrade system. Owners receive pre-delivery and follow-up inspections that include five years of JDLink telematics, machine health prognostics, remote diagnostics and programming capabilities.

In Australia, the dealers for John Deere Construction & Forestry Equipment are RDO Equipment Australia (in all states except Western Australia) and AFGRI Australia (Western Australia).

Source: John Deere Construction & Forestry Equipment

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