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Product roundup: Kubota tech alliance, Deere excavator update
Staff Report | February 9, 2017

Precision guidance technology is now available at select dealerships for Kubota M, L and B-Series tractors, F-Series mowers, and utility vehicles through Kubota’s new alliance with Smart Path Systems.
Photo: Business Wire

Kubota Tractor Corp. in Grapevine, Texas, says it has agreed to enter an alliance with Smart Path Systems for that company’s precision guidance technology products, which will become available at select dealerships nationwide for Kubota M, L and B-Series tractors, Kubota F-Series mowers and Kubota utility vehicles.

“Kubota is the first to bring this level of technology to the market segment,” said Todd Stucke, a Kubota senior vice president. “Applying Smart Path’s precision guidance technology to Kubota equipment … will give our customers access to advanced technology that will further enhance their user experience and make them more productive and more profitable.”

Precision guidance technology enables the use of autonomous steering of Kubota equipment for mowing, sweeping, spraying, or snow plowing. Kubota says the technology uses dual GPS antennas for “sub-inch accuracy,” an easy-to-use android tablet interface, and live satellite map feeds that are accessed through a web portal management system.

Companies using the system can assign, track and manage their operators and equipment fleet from one website, according to Kubota.

Operators have the option of taking predetermined paths created in the web portal management system or recording their own path, which an operator can replay exactly at any time in the future.

This “record and replay” approach, Kubota says, is ideal for plowing snow and sweeping walking trails, spraying along fence rows or cracks, repeated mowing by less-experienced operators and striping a fairway with precise consistency.

Smart Path claims users of the technology have experienced a 20 percent increase in time savings or productivity gain.

“Creating an alliance with Kubota was the next big step for Smart Path’s leadership position in precision guidance for grounds maintenance and horticulture,” said Steve Booher, CEO of Smart Path Systems. “Our technology will increase productivity, improve efficiencies and, most importantly, provide significant labor savings for Kubota customers.”

John Deere updates 75G, 85G excavators

Capable of working around congested job sites, the updated John Deere 75G and 85G excavators boast new customer-inspired features, the company says, including hand-controlled proportional auxiliary hydraulics and the ability to be equipped with a hydraulic coupler that allows the machines to use backhoe buckets.

Both the 75G and 85G (shown here) are powered by a 57-horsepower Tier 4 Final diesel engine.
Photo: John Deere

“The standard hand-controlled proportional auxiliary hydraulics allow the operator to run attachments on the 75G and 85G at a desired speed,” said Mark Wall, product marketing manager, excavators, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “The operator can work very slowly for delicate work, like picking a piece of landscape stone, or faster via full flow to open the thumb and drop debris.”

The 75G and 85G are powered by a 57-horsepower Tier 4 Final diesel engine outfitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) that cleans automatically without impacting the machines’ productivity, Deere says.

Like all G-Series excavators, the 75G and 85G include an unsurpassed operation environment, according to the manufacturer, which points to the machines’ “spacious, comfortable cabs and easy-to-use enhanced LCD monitors.”

Optional rubber track pads or heavy-duty rubber belts enable the updated models to work on paved surfaces and even cross curbs without causing damage. Numerous track-widths, bucket and other options allow contractors to customize the excavator to the way they work.

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