John Deere has added SmartGrade to North America’s largest Power-Angle-Tilt (PAT) crawler dozer, the 950K PAT. SmartGrade technology improves the quality of work and jobsite accuracy through the complete integration of the Topcon 3D-MC2 Grade-Control System. The system is fully incorporated into the machine cabin, structures, and software to deliver precise grading performance while eliminating vulnerable external masts and cables.

Integrating SmartGrade into the machine eliminates external cables to the masts, which reduces breakage, and the removal of the masts from the blades helps decrease vulnerability to theft and damage. SmartGrade technology removes the need to install blade-mounted sensors and components daily, reducing setup time, and allows operators to get more work done.

A key feature of the integrated machine control is Auto SmartGrade. This allows the operator to easily adjust the system when moving the machine from one soil type to another, unlike an after-market system, which often requires the GPS manager to make a trip to the machine to recalibrate the system. Particularly helpful to new operators, Auto SmartGrade automatically lifts the blade over heavy loads before track slippage occurs, then returns the blade to grade. SmartGrade also limits the number of passes required, reducing the pace of wear on the undercarriage. The John Deere SmartGrade dozer is nearly 7% more accurate across the entire speed range of the dozer when compared to conventional masted systems.

Another benefit of the SmartGrade technology is that machine dimensions are preloaded into the grade control monitor, reducing the time required to calibrate the dozer to about 30 minutes.

The 950K PAT SmartGrade dozer incorporates an EPA Final Tier 4 John Deere 9L engine with 280 hp. The hydrostatic powertrain will get approximately 15% more power to the ground versus a conventional torque-converter powertrain.

The 8.6-cubic yard, six-way PAT blade gives operators the flexibility to place material where they want it on every pass using the blade angle feature.