The Anatomy of Choice: Behind Deere™s New Graders

aggmanstaff

November 30, -0001

MOLINE, Illinois (March 2, 2009) — Why are John Deere™s new G-Series graders poised to make an impact during a tough economy? It™s all about innovation and choice and knowing the customer.


Grader operators are typically some of the most accomplished, experienced guys on a jobsite,” said Kent Stickler, grader product marketing manager for John Deere Construction & Forestry. Graders are tougher to master than other pieces of equipment and with all that expertise comes an operator who knows what he wants. As a manufacturer, we can™t tell him what he wants, but we sure can ask him what he wants in a grader.”


The result of Deere™s extensive research, and feedback from the mix of contractor and governmental operators that make up its Customer Advocacy Group (CAG), is the new G-Series line, six models packed with innovative features and options that put power and precision to work on any grading project.


In Control


While electro-hydraulic (E-H) controls with joystick steering/blade controls exist in the industry today, there are a large number of traditionalists among motor grader pros that demand the industry standard controls with a steering wheel.


We had operators asking us for the traditional console industry standard control levers, and operators interested in easy-to-use armrest industry standard fingertip controls, but most of all, operators told us to retain a steering wheel,” Stickler said. That™s why we went to work on the G-Series with the idea of choice. Contractors told us that one size doesn™t fit all. Why can™t they have fingertip controls with lever steering and a steering wheel?”


The new G-Series offers low-effort industry-standard levers or armrest-mounted industry standard fingertip controls. And steering wheels with both. A simple switch activates lever steering. The steering wheel is always available, as well. On the G-Series™ Grade Pro package, the armrest controls are standard. Operators can choose to use one-lever steering or the steering wheel to maneuver.        


More Choices


Operators also stressed to us that they need different tool configurations, so we took a long look at the ground-engaging tool positions on these new machines,” Stickler said. What we™ve come up with are three choices that fit the way people told us they want to work.”


Deere G-Series graders are available with a front- or mid-mount scarifier, or a rear ripper/scarifier.


Road building and large site prep contractors have increasingly gone to grade control systems to help control the quality and accuracy of fine grading work, but everyone has their favorite system, according to Stickler.


We™ve had success at Deere with our Integrated Grade Control (IGC) systems on dozers and other equipment,” Stickler said. So we™re offering a ‘plug and play™ ready system that makes it very easy to add either Topcon® or Trimble® systems to the Grade Pro models. Customers like the choice and when trade-in time comes, the other system can be used.”


Grade Pro units offer a suite of features and some industry innovations, including:




  • Armrest-mounted industry-standard fingertip controls


  • Push-button return-to-straight


  • Cross slope control


  • Rear camera with radar object detection


  • Integrated Grade Control

No one offers standard cross slope control,” Stickler said. With cross slope control you can choose to key-in the desired slope and maintain it with just one blade lift lever. Operators will find it easier to do their best work if they select a G-Series Grade Pro unit.”


G-Series units also feature keyless start with multiple security codes. Contractors can choose who has the codes and when those codes are active to better control operation.


The fleet management telematics of JDLink Ultimate are standard for even more control, maintenance advantages and piece of mind.


With the G-Series, more than half of the grease joints are now NeverGrease pin joints, increasing uptime and lowering daily maintenance costs.


The 185- to 275-net hp G-Series line includes six models, including three with six-wheel drive for added traction and power.


The new G-Series is all about choice, reliability, serviceability and operator acceptance,” Stickler said. Choices are what operators need to be their productive best and that™s why we™re here.”

Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is the world”s leading provider of advanced products and services for agricultural and forestry and a major provider of advanced products and services for construction, lawn and turf care, landscaping and irrigation. John Deere also provides financial services worldwide and manufactures and markets engines used in heavy equipment. Since it was founded in 1837, the company has extended its heritage of integrity, quality, commitment and innovation around the globe. John Deere Construction & Forestry produces more than 120 machine models and distributes its construction, forestry and worksite products through a network of more than 1,300 dealer locations worldwide. For more information, visit www.JohnDeere.com.

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