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Customers, Engineers Team up on G-Series Graders

Thu June 09, 2011 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

In response to customer suggestions during a longstanding collaborative development process, John Deere has redesigned its G-Series graders to include an ITIV-certified engine and a choice between console-mounted or armrest-mounted industry standard fingertip controls.

One of many contractors that were part of Deere’s long joint product development process, grader customer Jerry Pate had a definite idea what kind of controls he wanted.

“If you’re going to go with electro-hydraulic controls, don’t put them in the old ’antler rack’ position,” Pate said. “Put them where guys want them — in the armrest but in the same familiar pattern. Now you can run this machine 9-10 hours a day and you don’t get fatigued. You’re not reaching out. It’s almost like sitting in a recliner or an easy chair because you’re in a natural position.”

“With the G-Series, it’s not ’one size fits all’ – you’re free to choose the control style that makes you the most comfortable and productive,” said Kent Stickler, product marketing manager of motorgraders, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “And every grader has a steering wheel, no matter which control system you pick.”

“Deere’s been good about truly wanting our input and using it,” Pate added. “I feel great about my involvement and the results. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

New IT4 Engine

Another customer need Deere has built into the G-Series is the new IT4-certified engine. For maximum uptime, diesel particulate filter cleaning occurs during normal operation, without requiring action by the operator. The engine also has a new engine-stall prevention system that senses when the engine is going to stall, then automatically shifts the transmission to neutral. This saves wear and tear on the engine, which prolongs engine life and boosts uptime.

There’s no sacrifice to visibility going from the Tier III G-Series to the IT4- certified engine G-Series. Visibility is excellent to the sides and rear, due to the same angled, profiled sheet metal from the operator’s station, according to the manufacturer.

G-Series graders also can be equipped with other engines to meet worldwide requirements: EPA Tier II, III or IT4 (EU Stage II, IIIA and IIIB) fuel-efficient John Deere diesels deliver generous displacement, power and lugging ability. (Tier II not available in the United States and Canada. Tier III will not be available in the United States, but will be available in Canada as long as Canadian regulations allow.)

Choice of Controls

With Deere’s G-Series graders, customers continue to get a steering wheel and can choose from the console-mounted low-effort industry standard control pattern (G models) or intuitive and easy-to-use armrest-mounted industry standard fingertip controls (GP models). If an operator specifies the fingertip controls, he’ll still have a choice between using lever steering and the ever- present steering wheel. Either way, G-Series controls provide a smooth, predictable response and plenty of power whether the application calls for heavy blading or fine grading, according to the manufacturer.

The Grade Pro Package

The G-Series’ Grade Pro package offers a suite of productivity-enhancing features for high-production grading. Grade Pro models have industry-standard pattern fingertip controls, located on the armrest, which was another customer request.

With the push of a button, operators can engage return-to-straight, bringing the rear frame back to center. Exclusive cross slope control allows operators to select a desired slope and maintain it with just one blade lift lever. Slope control technology helps all operators do their jobs more efficiently.

“When you combine smooth ergonomically correct controls, cross slope and return-to-straight, you have a machine with unmatched comfort and control,” Stickler said. “These are the controls that all blade operators prefer — there’s no need to re-learn how to run this motorgrader.”

All John Deere G-Series Grade Pro units are grade-control ready. These machines can accept Trimble or Topcon grade control systems, whichever the customer prefers. Customers asked Deere to integrate grade control buttons into the knobs of the control levers, making the system comfortable to use and easy to run. As a result, operators can keep their hands on the blade controls for higher productivity.

There are 12 G-Series models, ranging from 195 to 283 net hp (145 to 211 kW). Six of the units feature six-wheel drive, enabling them to power through the toughest cuts with power flowing to all wheels. Six-wheel drive gives operators increased traction, the ability to get more work done in fewer blading passes and a 30-percent increase in blade pull, according to the manufacturer.

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