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Grade Control


  • For motor graders, crawler dozers, and excavators
  • Incredible grading accuracy
  • Reduced passes and labor requirements
  • Faster job completion

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    A John Deere motor grader levels ground for a road in the desert


    If there were one word to describe what grade control is all about, that word would be "exact."


    Conventional or 2D grade-control systems are best suited for flat areas or slight grades, and use sonic sensors or a laser transmitter and sensor along with machine-position sensors to display the cut and fill required to maintain grade on a monitor. With a 3D grade-control system, your job's design elevations are input into your crawler dozer's or motor grader's control box. A receiver on your machine reads the GPS signals received by an elevated antenna as well as correctional data transmitted by a jobsite-based station to calculate an accurate cutting-edge position. The control box's computer compares the cutting-edge position to the design elevations and then displays cut-and-fill information.


    A 3D system is best for complex contours. Automatic systems for both 2D and 3D even adjust the blade for the operator. Both methods allow you to achieve an exact height and an exact angle, while using an exact amount of materials and manpower to get the job done.

    A cartoon image of a motor grader leveling dirt

    Optimizing your jobsite for higher productivity and profitability



    Key Features

    • Calculate more accurate estimates.
    • Eliminate placing and replacing stakes.
    • Eliminate the need for the operator to exit the cab to check the grade.
    • Complete tasks sooner so you can move on to the next job.

    Service Options

    Grade-control-ready option

    When you choose this option on your crawler dozer or motor grader, your machine will come pre-plumbed, wired, and ready for easy installation of the grade-control system you choose, be it Topcon, Trimble, or Leica.

    Topcon integrated grade control

    With this option, you will receive your dozer or motor grader with an expertly installed Topcon 3D-MC2 grade-control system. By working with your John Deere dealer to purchase your machine and Topcon grade-control system, you benefit from:

    • Guidance on machine and system selection setup from your John Deere dealer and Topcon distributor
    • Turnkey delivery and calibration of the machine and system
    • Faster setup and delivery since key components are installed at the John Deere Factory, to ensure quality
    • The ability to finance the grade-control system along with the machine, to help with cash flow

    Smartgrade™ Fully Integrated Grade Control

    For the ultimate in grade control integration, choose the 700K SmartGrade Dozer. There are no external masts or cables that need to be installed, removed, or replaced due to damage or theft. The Topcon 3D-MC2 grade control system is installed at the factory. Machine dimensions are preloaded into the system, reducing initial calibration time to about 30 minutes. Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) are located outside the cylinders for easy access. The Auto SmartGrade feature automatically raises the blade when dealing with heavier loads to prevent stalling and track slip. The complete SmartGrade dozer system is sold and supported by your John Deere dealer.

    Excavator Grade Reference Ready Option

    Many G-Series Excavators can be ordered with optional mounting points on link, arm, boom, upperstructure, and counterweight for grade reference system sensors of your choice. Ask your dealer for availability by model.

    Specifications are based on published information at the time of publication. Specifications are subject to change without notice.