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Grade Control

If there were one word to describe what grade control is all about, it'd be exact.

How it works.
2D or conventional grade control systems are best suited for flat areas or slight grades and use sonic sensors or a laser transmitter and sensor along with machine position sensors to display cut and fill required to maintain grade on a monitor.

With a 3D grade control system, your job's design elevations are input into a control box on your dozer or motor grader. A receiver on your machine reads GPS signals received by an elevated antenna as well as correctional data transmitted by a jobsite base station to calculate an accurate position of the cutting edge. The control box’s computer compares the cutting edge position to the design elevations and then displays cut and fill information for the operator. 3D systems are best for complex contours. Automatic systems for both 2D and 3D systems even adjust the blade for the operator. Both methods allow you to achieve an exact height and exact angle, while using an exact amount of materials and manpower to get the job done.

All of this exactness is driven by an economy where contractor margins have become so thin that anything less than that could cost you profit.

Now you can do the same work you have been doing for years with more speed, fewer passes, and greater accuracy. It literally guarantees that all of the required heights are met to eliminate the risk of overrunning estimated time and costs.

The accuracy of grade control also makes it easier to:


  • Calculate more accurate, competitive estimates
  • Eliminate placing and replacing stakes
  • Eliminate the need for the operator to exit the cab to check the grade
  • Complete tasks sooner so you can move on to the next job

Bottom line…exactness becomes synonymous with profits.


John Deere grade control options for dozers and motor graders

TopconGrade-control ready hydraulics.
When you order this option on your John Deere dozer or motor grader, your machine will be plumbed, wired, and ready to easily accept the grade control system of your choice, be it Topcon, Trimble, or Leica.

Topcon integrated grade control.

With this option, you will receive your dozer or motor grader with an expertly installed Topcon 3D-MC2 grade-control system. By working with your John Deere dealer to purchase your machine and Topcon grade-control system, you will benefit from:

  • Guidance on machine system selection and setup from your John Deere dealer and Topcon distributor
  • Turnkey delivery and calibration of the machine and system
  • Faster set up and delivery since key components are installed at the John Deere factory, to ensure quality

Topcon has the details on the advanced 3D-MC2 system for dozers and motor graders.


Sample grade control benefit scenario for medium-sized job

Job: 250,000-square-foot parking lot

Requirement: Grade dirt and place eight inches of crushed rock base prior to paving.

Grading passes: Two — first the dirt and then the stone.

Time savings: Without grade control, an average grading operation will cover 20,000 square feet per day. This job will take 12.5 days (250,000 divided by 20,000) per pass of grading. When grade control is utilized on a grader, crawler dozer, or 764 HSD operating as fast as five mph and grading to a tolerance of around three to four millimeters, 40,000 to 60,000 square feet per day can be graded. That's six to eight days' savings of labor and machine time (fuel, wear, and wages)


Deere technician working on an engine

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