New automation tools to benefit all grader operators

The adoption of new technology and automation in grading has contributed to increased grade accuracy and operator productivity as well as reducing operator fatigue. All new John Deere SmartGradeTM graders include features such as Premium Circle, Machine Damage Avoidance and Blade-Stow, all designed with these variables in mind.

However, these aren’t the only features available to assist the operator. The Auto-Pass feature programs the machine movements at the beginning and the end of the grading passes. While adjusting the speed of these movements and rotating the blade 180 degrees, the machine will simultaneously place the blade on the ground while preparing for the next pass. Standard on all John Deere SmartGradeTM motor graders, this feature can also be programmed to raise and rotate the blade at the end of a grading pass, mirroring the finished angle. The Auto-Gain feature is where the machine automatically adjusts the Cross Slope gain setting based on the operating conditions, eliminating the need for operators to make manual adjustments. Auto-Gain improves productivity for operators by ensuring accurate blade movement in ever-changing conditions. Building on the AutoShift transmission, Auto-Shift PLUS removes the need for using the inching pedal. This enables the operator to use the throttle and brake, offering increased control of the machine. It also allows for the grader to come to a complete stop without stalling, helping reduce operator fatigue while cutting smoothly around obstacles. AFGRI general manager – Construction & Forestry James Mckillop said these features are aimed at assisting both novice and experienced grader operators. “Such tools not only benefit experienced grade operators, but novice grader operators as well – albeit in slightly different ways,” James said. “Novice operators use the features available to help them get more comfortable on the job site and relieve some of the learning curve. “Experienced operators who are already across the job site can enhance their already proven skills and customise when needed for the task at hand. “Regardless, the tools available can help all operators make the most out of their production.”