Integrated mastless grade control: John Deere

Road building and site development contractors can now reap the benefits of John Deere SmartGrade in the successful G-Series motor grader line.

The team at John Deere know that for road construction contractors looking to maintain a competitive edge, grade-control systems are a must.

To ensure earthworks are precisely graded, it has introduced the capability for its SmartGrade technology to be available on the G-Series motor graders.

John Deere’s SmartGrade is built with intelligent features that help workers to maximise productivity.

SmartGrade technology delivers the 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 3D system is fully incorporated into the machine’s structures and software, delivering precise grading performance while eliminating masts and cables.

SmartGrade Motor Graders offer an impressive range of grade-control and hydraulic functions, including intuitive automated features that lessen operator workload and boost efficiency.

These automated features allow the operator to pre-select the dozing or grading mode, load level and material type and SmartGrade will automatically lift the blade when heavier loads are encountered.

Luke Kurth, Motor Graders Product Marketing Manager at John Deere Construction & Forestry, says earthmoving customers already use SmartGrade technology with the Deere dozers, and many have asked when it would be available on the motor grader line.

“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,” Mr. Kurth says.

The technology is designed without external masts and cables from the moldboard to prevent possible theft or damage. It has removed the need to climb onto the machine daily and install blade-mounted sensors and components to reduce set up time and complexity.

This way the operator can run the technology using all of the machine functions such as blade pitch, circle side shift and circle rotate. These functions all help to reduce damage risk.

In the cab, the grade system interface is built into the Grade Pro (GP) controls, which are 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.

An all new automation suite is included with SmartGrade and can be used on all of the GP graders. It helps operators by reducing the number of controls needed to perform common tasks.

The suite also features auto-articulation, blade flip and operator-selectable machine presets.

Auto-articulation combines front steering and rear articulation. Blade flip is a Deere exclusive which enables the operator to automatically rotate the blade to a set position without holding the control at the end of a pass.

Finally, machine preset, another Deere exclusive, allows the operator to activate multiple functions by pressing a single button (Return-to-Straight, Auto-Shift, lights and so on). Up to three positions can be stored in the monitor.

Sean Mairet, Grade Control Product Marketing Manager at John Deere WorkSight, says SmartGrade graders are the latest in a long line of technologies Deere has developed to help customers become more efficient and automate controls for one of the most sophisticated pieces of equipment on the job site.

“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,” Mr. Mairet says.

He says John Deere dealers can be relied upon by fleet managers looking to get the most out of SmartGrade motor graders, with support for both the grader and the SmartGrade system.

With the machine comes pre-delivery and follow-up inspections that include five years of JDLink Telematics which provide machine health diagnostics, remote diagnostics and programing capabilities.

To learn more visit or contact your local John Deere Construction & Forestry dealer.

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