Clever grade control tech from Caterpillar


Caterpillar is increasing operating efficiency in its track-type tractors with the introduction of automated grade control technology. Available in the D3K2, D4K2 and D5K2 models, the new grade control 3D system precisely positions the machine’s blade, without operator input.

Incorporating Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology, the system can help operators of all abilities to achieve specific grades faster and more accurately than conventional methods, while also reducing staking costs, fuel and machine hours.

Installed in the factory, the system is integrated into the design of the machine and the GNSS antennas are securely mounted on top of the cab – removing the need for mast-mounting on the blade. In addition, GNSS receivers and a data radio are housed in the vehicle’s roof structure.

High accuracy
The grade control technology can provide one-tenth foot-level accuracy by employing real-time kinematic positioning technology, which integrates multiple satellite signals with information from an on-site, base-station receiver or other corrections device. The system compares machine location and cutting-edge position relative to an onboard design plan, then automatically positions the blade via an integrated, electrohydraulic valve module.

The system also delivers this information to the operator via an in-cab display, while a 10in, color touchscreen display is incorporated into the dash and provides multiple, configurable views of the site plan and work in progress to the operator. For added convenience, control buttons for activating the system are integrated into the joystick levers.

Interested in cab design technologies? Check out the Cab Design & Technology Conferencewhich takes place during iVT Expo. Both the conference and iVT Expo take place on February 13-14 in Cologne, Germany. 

Share this story:

About Author


James joined the Industrial Vehicle Technology International team in 2017. Previously he was Assistant Editor on an engineering title for several years and has worked for various other trade magazines before that. James is happily married and has a young daughter and son who keep him busy.

Comments are closed.