Dozers Get Smarter with New Grade Control Systems

Grade control technology is changing how operators use construction equipment. Today, dozers are getting an infusion of technology to deliver precise grading performance.

One recent example comes from John Deere, which announced its power-angle-tilt crawler dozer has John Deere SmartGrade. This machine is integrated with the Topcon 3D-MC2 Grade-Control System, which is fully incorporated into the machine cabin, structures and software. This eliminates external cables to the masts, which reduces breakage. Additionally, it helps decrease the vulnerability to theft and damage.

Another benefit is the fact the technology removes the need to install blade-mounted sensors and components daily, reducing setup, and allowing operators to get more work done.

With Auto SmartGrade, operators can adjust the system when moving the machine from one soil type to another. This means a GPS manager doesn’t need to make a trip to the machine to recalibrate the system. The technology will also automatically lift the blade over heavy loads before track slippage occurs.

Even more, the machines dimensions are preloaded into the grade control monitor, which reduces the time required to calibrate the dozer to about 30 minutes.

Taking this even further, fleet managers can work with dealers to leverage Ultimate Uptime, featuring John Deere WorkSight. This gives predelivery and follow-up inspections that include five years of JDLink telematics, machine health prognostics, remote diagnostics, programming capabilities, and the ability to add dealer-provided uptime solutions to a customized package.

While this is one example, grade control technology is becoming more common at the construction jobsite, bringing greater control and data intelligence to equipment.