-  Photo courtesy of Caterpillar

Photo courtesy of Caterpillar

The new Cat Grade with 3D system for D3K2, D4K2, and D5K2 track-type tractors is an automated grade control system using GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) technology to precisely position the machine's blade, without operator input, from first rough cut to finish grade. For added utility, Grade with 3D incorporates the Cat AccuGrade Ready Option, which allows use of universal-total-station and laser references for automated control. The new system assists operators of all skill levels achieve specified grades faster and more accurately, compared with conventional methods, while also reducing staking costs and saving rework expense, fuel, and machine hours, according to Caterpillar.

Cat Grade with 3D is an optional system, installed at the factory and integrated into the design of the machine. When in its GNSS mode, GRADE with 3D can provide one-tenth foot-level accuracy by employing real time kinematic positioning technology, which integrates multiple satellite signals with information from an on-site, base-station receiver or other corrections device. The system compares machine location and cutting-edge position relative to an on-board design plan, then automatically positions the blade via an integrated, electro-hydraulic valve module.

As an alternative to the factory-installed Grade with 3D system, machines can be ordered with only the AccuGrade Ready Option (which includes the Cat Slope Assist system, sensors, processor, and wiring harnesses). When appropriate, the Sitech Cat dealer can then scale up this technology by installing the required Grade with 3D components.