Increasing Productivity of Grading with John Deere High Speed Dozer and Machine Control

The more than 170 construction company executives, purchasing managers and machine operators invited to attend a John Deere product demonstration event in Sacaton, AZ in March 2009 are the driving forces behind some of the most successful organizations in the industry. One characteristic that this group shared is an aversion to resting on their laurels regardless of that past success. Always looking for any possible innovation that can increase operating profit margins, they came out to the Desert Southwest and witnessed something that everyone can appreciate: pure speed.

Among the machines that Deere introduced over two days was its new 764 High-Speed Dozer (HSD), which is designed to allow contractors to perform grading and moderate dozing at about double the speed of a similarly sized crawler dozer. Then the attendees saw the speed of a dozer double again when they saw the 3D-MC2 from Topcon Positioning Systems in operation on the 764 HSD.

Machine control automates grading
The 3D-MC2 system is an evolution of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) machine-control technology, which is automating grading and excavation. Increasingly, GNSS machine-control systems are being installed on earthmoving, grading and paving equipment such as excavators, scrapers, dozers and motor graders, plus milling machines and asphalt and concrete pavers.

A GNSS machine-control system uses a rugged antenna mounted to a shock-absorbing, vibration-damping pole and a receiver box mounted in a secure location on the machine. Satellites send positioning data to another antenna/receiver combination at a stationary base station. Positioning data is also sent to the machine. The stationary base and machine work together to provide real-time kinetic (RTK) position information, revealing the machine's three-dimensional location on the site. Software compares the machine's position to the design grade at a given location. The design grade information was built from site plans.