The feature is available in a retrofit field kit, or as a factory-installed option on 330G and 332G skid steers, and 331G and 333G compact track loaders.
Designed for jobsites where leveling and slope work is called for, the on-board grade indication allows operators in applications such as water drainage, site prep and clearing work to “monitor and alter grades from the seat of the cab,” says Deere product manager for skid steers and compact track loaders Gregg Zupancic.
Using the machine’s main in-cab display monitor, the grade indication system displays the cross slope and main-fall slope of the machine in real time. Deere says operators can set the system to display slope information in either percentages or degrees.
Deere says the system provides absolute and relative slope readouts, both of which offer a level of data tailored to specific types of grading.
Operators in general grading applications that do not need a local grade reference will find the absolute value readout useful, while the relative readout will assist those looking to alter grade relative to an existing grade or reference grade.
In a statement to Equipment World, Deere says the feature comes as a response to the increasing number of contractors, site developers and landscapers who want to handle more grading tasks with skid steers and CTLs rather than larger machines like dozers.
“These segments of the market do projects related to irrigation, drainage, small roadways, residential and commercial property development, and flatwork using compact equipment all the time and they too desire technology that improves grading accuracy and operator efficiency,” Deere tells me. “The main reasons that they use compact equipment for these jobs is because these machines are lower in price, compact, versatile, easy to operate, maneuverable, and economical to transport from jobsite to jobsite.”
Deere says it is treating grade control technology and automation as “the way of the future for all construction equipment, both large and small.”
“Specific to compact equipment, and G-Series skid steers and compact track loaders, we believe that a very high percentage of contractors desire technology solutions that make operators of all skill levels more productive and more accurate in each job they tackle,” the company adds.
Deere says the feature was designed with contractor input and feedback.
“On-Board Grade Indication is a great example of how this partnership with customers is paying off today,” the company says. “Deere listened and responded with an industry-exclusive solution that will provide customers with a low-cost way of understanding the grade of the land both before and after the work is done.”
“This feature is intuitive and easy to use so operators can take advantage of this technology without specialized training,” Zupancic adds.