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Upgradeable grade control systems

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TRIMBLE has released the GCS family of grade control systems. They provide upgrade options that allow earthmoving contractors to select a system that meets their daily needs.

A single control system such as the GCS300 can provide for low-cost entry into grade control. Over time this can be upgraded to the GCS400 dual sensor system or to the full 3D GCS900 grade control system.

The GCS family uses the industry-standard controller area network (CAN) as the backbone of the system to connect laser receivers, sonics, GPS sensors and the control box to the machine hydraulics. The CAN environment provides for plug-and-play flexibility, allowing the system to be upgraded from single sensor control to a full 3D solution.

The GCS300 grade control system uses the Trimble LR410 laser receiver to control the lift of the machine blade. Designed primarily for use on dozer blades, it is intended for smaller construction projects, such as housing pads, small building sites, tennis courts, sports fields and finish grading. The GCS300 is designed to be a low-cost entry into grade control systems.

The GCS400 grade control system uses either two new Trimble LR410 laser receivers or one LR410 and the Trimble AS400 angle slope sensor to control both the lift and tilt of the machine blade. It is designed primarily for use on dozer blades and is suitable for medium to large housing pads, medium to large commercial building sites and road construction. Contractors can purchase the GCS400, or start with the GCS300 and later upgrade to the GCS400.

The GCS500 is designed for use on motor graders. It uses a variety of sensors to calculate the cross slope of the blade. It has up to 100% slope capability, making it suitable for a range of applications including cutting road slopes, ditches and embankments as well as road maintenance, road construction and sports fields.

The GCS600 is designed for cross slope and elevation control. It uses a variety of sensors to calculate the cross slope of either side of the blade. It also uses one or two LR410 laser receivers or an ST300 sonic tracer to provide elevation control. The ST300 allows string line and curb and gutter tracing. Combined with the LR410 for elevation control, the GCS600 is suitable for fine grade or finished grade work as well as for applications with tight tolerances. Contractors can purchase the GCS600 or start with the GCS500 and later upgrade to the GCS600 system.

The GCS900 is a full 3D control system that puts the site plan, design surfaces, grades and alignments inside the cab. The system uses Trimble’s dual antenna design to calculate the position of each end of the blade for stakeless grading. The GCS900 has the MS980 smart antenna, a fully-integrated GPS receiver and antenna. It is suitable for a wide range of earthmoving applications. Contractors can purchase the GCS900 or start with the GCS300 or GCS400 and later upgrade to the GCS900 system.

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