Motor graders are essential tools for many government agencies. They are useful for snow clearing and for road maintenance, “especially after you get through a rough winter, where they’re in really bad shape,” said Mark Oliver, manager of government sales for John Deere.
John Deere recently announced that SmartGrade would be available to its lineup of G Series motor graders. And while government agencies may choose not to purchase the add-on technology, it does affect the resale market, and they should consider the resale value when spec’ing their motor graders, Oliver said.
Getting Ready for Resale
Agencies that lease motor graders, keeping them for just three to five years, should consider their second life in the contractor market and spec the unit so that resale value is high. For Deere motor graders, that means choosing Grade Pro (GP) models with electrohydraulic controls over the basic G models with mechanical controls.
“The strategy our engineers put together was that if a GP motor grader is ordered initially, even for governmental market, there are kits available that can be installed when they go into the contractor market down the road, so they can accept the SmartGrade field kit,” Oliver said. Having a machine that can easily have the SmartGrade technology added makes it easier to trade in or resell.
For agencies that purchase motor graders and keep them until the end of their useful lives, less costly G models are available.
Multiple Options to Choose From
Deere’s motor graders include eight models that range from the 620G/GP, with max net power of 215 hp, all the way to 872G/GP, with max net power of 300 hp. Eco mode is standard on all graders to optimize fuel use.
All GP models feature a dual joystick option, which minimizes hand motion during direction changes and gear shifting. On GP models, ripper-stow automation returns the ripper to its fully raised position at the end of a pass with a double-tap of the control. On all G models, a high-resolution reverse camera monitor provides a clear picture when reversing around obstacles.
Four of the units feature six-wheel-drive, which gives operators increased traction. In Northern states with heavy snow, six-wheel drive vehicles are often necessary, Oliver said.