John Deere expands SmartGrade for excavators

smartgrade excavator

The John Deere 210G LC and 350G LC excavators are now available with the factory-installed and factory-calibrated SmartGrade technology.

The 3D SmartGrade system delivers increased productivity and accuracy on the job and provides benefits to contractors at various levels.

“By incorporating precision technology, such as SmartGrade, on our excavator lineup, we are boosting job site productivity and efficiency while enhancing the capabilities of our operators,” said Justin Steger, solutions marketing manager at John Deere.

“However, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and contractors need options to pair the right technology with their business needs. This is where customers really benefit from the flexibility of our grade management path.”  

Deere offers four grade management options for excavators, including SmartGrade, SmartGrade-Ready with 2D, 3D Grade Guidance and 2D Grade Guidance. 

As well, Deere offers upgrade kits for each grade management option, allowing customers to adopt technology at their own pace. 

A SmartGrade excavator automates the boom and bucket functions for the operator to easily achieve a smooth and accurate finish grade. Using GNSS positioning technology, the machine controls boom and bucket movements to a precise design target. This enables the operator to focus on controlling the arm function while the system raises and lowers the boom to maintain grade. 

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The SmartGrade-Ready with 2D option provides a 2D system with semi-automated functions, improving the ease of use without the need for GNSS technology or 3D design plans. 

The 2D Grade Guidance option shares bucket tooth and cutting-edge elevation information relative to a benchmark with the operator through the in-cab monitor. 

The 3D Grade Guidance option accurately provides the horizontal and vertical bucket position using GNSS technology and can make use of a 3D design plan. All guidance and control options are available with an optional laser receiver. 

With SmartGrade or SmartGrade-ready machines, the selectable bucket control feature automatically maintains the user-defined bucket angle throughout grading passes. This feature helps the operator place material more effectively, reducing waste and saving money. 

New precision tech

New precision technology features include Virtual Front, which hydraulically limits and automatically stops the bucket cutting edge from contacting the front of the machine at a selectable distance, preventing machine damage. 

The over-dig protect feature limits the bucket’s cutting edge from going below the target design surface, preventing overdigging on the job. 

Additional virtual fence technology features on the excavators include Virtual Ceiling, Virtual Floor, Virtual Swing and Virtual Wall, which provide the operator with audible alerts as the machine approaches an adjustable setpoint, allowing operators to focus on the task at hand