Automation is at the forefront of the new features Deere is introducing on its GradePro-Series motor graders, which include Auto-Pass, Auto-Shift Plus, Configurable Float and SmartGrade Remote Support.
"Auto-Pass automates machine movements at the end and the start of the grading passes," says Matt Goedert, Deere solutions marketing manager. "By making the speed of these movements adjustable while turning 180 degrees, the operator can place the blade on the ground to prepare for the next pass with the press of a button."
Auto-Pass is standard on Deere SmartGrade models and as an option on its GP-Series graders.
The Auto-Shift Plus option "removes the necessity of using an inching pedal or manually selecting a gear since the operator can simply use the throttle and brake to fully control the machine," Goedert says. "And the machine can come to a complete stop without stalling, reducing operator fatigue while cutting smoothly around obstacles and structures."
Deere's new Configurable Float is now standard on all GP-Series machines. Operators can use this feature to program float switches to control any auxiliary function. Up to three float switches can be programmed through the monitor; Deere says this is helpful in applications where auxiliary functions are used often.
SmartGrade Remote Support is now standard on SmartGrade graders, a feature that enables Deere dealers to remotely troubleshoot machine issues and update software. Customers can also use this feature to transfer project files to the machine.
Deere introduced the first mastless SmartGrade machine control in 2018.
"As we added cylinder sensors to every GradePro machine, it allowed us to always know the exact position of the blade," Goedert says. "This set us up for future successes in automation. From there, we were able to provide our customers with something truly special. With our SmartGrade technology, operators can run their machines with no limitations in any position."
The launch of Smart Grade kicked off what Goedert calls an impressive level of automation development. "It threw us headlong into the world of auto-articulation."
Last year, along with other features, Deere introduced Blade Stow to the grader's preset list, which allows operators to automatically raise the moldboard and set it to a predetermined angle.