John Deere Celebrates 50 Years of Motor Grader Innovation
Commemorating 50 years of the articulated motor grader at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in Las Vegas, John Deere displayed a restored JD570 model that was reconditioned by Don Bagby and Jerry Bode 2 retired John Deere Dubuque Works employees. Introduced in 1967, the JD570 pioneered many of the innovations and developments seen on motor graders today, including articulated frame steering, hydraulically-controlled machine functions and the rollover protective structure (ROPS).
Prior to the JD570 introduction, graders of the time were straight-frame machines with solid rear axles and typically only featured front-axle steering that led to poor maneuverability. The addition of frame articulation enabled operators to work more efficiently, especially in confined areas, than any previously built grader. Its steering methods enabled operators to “crab steer,” allowing for completely new uses. The grader’s front wheels could be articulated to move on slopes, on windrows and in ditches, while the back wheels stayed on solid footing.
The JD570 was also the first grader, and possibly the first piece of construction equipment, to have a cab and canopy with the integral ROPS available from the factory. The year prior to its development, John Deere introduced the first commercially available ROPS for farm tractors and subsequently shared the patent for this important safety feature with the industry at no charge.
The 83-hp motor grader incorporated a power shift transmission with 8 forward and 4 reverse speeds, with a top speed of 34 km/h. The innovative machine came equipped with a 3.66 m moldboard and weighed in at 9,200 kg. It also had a turning radius of just 5.5 m. Production of the JD570 ran until 1971, when it was updated to the “A” series. The powertrain configuration became the foundation of John Deere graders up until 1997. The machine also was the first motor grader to be compatible with snow wings.
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