They said it couldn’t be done… but we did it!
[July 24th, 2020 | Frederick, Colorado] 4Rivers Equipment and our 4Sight Solutions technology department are excited to announce the world’s first-ever John Deere 135G excavator with full grade control capability from Topcon Positioning Systems.
This story begins with our great customer at Ultrasonic Guided Wave Construction out of Fort Morgan, Colorado. Also known as US-Hydro, Ultrasonic Guided Wave performs services such as pipe inspections and installations, hydro/mechanical excavations, reclamation, and construction all over the country. They do all of their own work which means there are no sub-contractors and they handle jobs ranging from small potholing jobs to large-scale excavations.
When they’re owner, Dalton Krehmeyer, said he wanted an excavator with full machine grade control, he came to the 4Rivers Equipment 4Sight Solutions team to help him out. However, this wasn’t just any ole’ normal request; rather, this request was a bit unique for the 4Sight Solutions team.
The request was for a John Deere excavator with full grade control capability, but the unique part was that Ultrasonic Guided Wave wanted it on a John Deere 135G excavator; which was thought to be impossible because of the small size of the excavator. So when the 4Sight Solutions team sat down to begin planning the installation of the X-53x Auto excavator system, they first thought it couldn’t be done.
Just to be sure, Mike Sydow with 4Sight Solutions reached out to Topcon to see what they thought about doing a major project like this and to see if it was even possible. Just as he and his team thought, Topcon said they didn’t suggest doing it and they couldn’t promise anything because they’ve never attempted it before. But that didn’t stop Mike Sydow and the 4Sight Solutions team. They accepted the challenge even though everyone said it couldn’t be done. So the 4Sight Solutions team went to the drawing board and devised a plan to build a John Deere 135G excavator with full grade control capability.
Ultrasonic Guided Wave wanted a 135G excavator specifically because of its compact yet strong size. A great medium-size excavator that’s big enough to get the job done yet small enough to perform small excavating jobs. But they needed it to have full grade control capability.
So 4Sight Solutions got to work, against the recommendations of Topcon Positioning Systems.
They began first by ordering all of the necessary parts from Topcon Positioning Systems and laying out the plan for installation. The Topcon product used was the X-53x Auto excavator system. The above pictures show the 135G being properly calibrated for precise specs, dimensions, weights, etc. at the 4Rivers Equipment location in Frederick, Colorado on July 24th, 2020.
It took a total of 4 days to get everything properly installed and calibrated with a few tweaks here and there; which isn’t bad considering it’s the first time anyone in the world has done it. Dalton and his crew at Ultra Guided Wave and US Hydro received the first-ever John Deere 135G excavator with full grade control capability on July 30th, 2020 after a special delivery from 4Rivers.
While they haven’t used it yet, they’ve had just about enough time to get themselves and all of the operators familiarized with the system so they can begin using it soon.