John Deere Construction & Forestry Company soon will offer equipment that ships from the factory with hardware, software, and wiring integrated and ready to support the use of global positioning systems (GPS) or laser guidance systems.

John Deere is working under separate development agreements with two of the leading suppliers of GPS and laser-based guidance systems in the construction market to develop this technology for crawlers, graders, and other machines. With an open architecture approach, the mobile construction equipment will operate software from aftermarket guidance systems and enable control through an electrical interface, according to Brett Errthum, product marketing manager, John Deere Construction & Forestry Company.

The electrical connection provides improved performance over hydraulic interfaces. Because the hydraulic system is tuned for the specific machine, response is faster. This electrical connection will use an industry standard communication code to enable other providers to develop additional products to attach to John Deere construction equipment-resulting in significantly expanded capability for the machine owner.

This new system also ensures that the operator's station is less cluttered because the onboard PC is integrated into the existing machine monitor. This feature provides a larger screen for the guidance data and eliminates the need for an additional monitor, avoiding blind spots that block the operator's line of sight.

Hydraulic valves and hardware components installed at the factory will be covered under John Deere's machine warranty.

Source: John Deere, June 21, 2005