It all started with the self-scouring plow in 1837. This year, John Deere celebrates its 175th year, a history that includes the company’s entry into construction equipment in the mid-1950s. Key products along the way include:
1958: The first all-hydraulic dozer, the Model 64, featured a new six-way power-angle-tilt (PAT) blade. The operator could control tilt, angle, lift, and lower with a touch of the levers for more precise control.
1966: In an advance still used today, Deere introduced the first commercially available rollover protection devices (ROPS), later releasing the patent to the industry without charge.
1967: The JD570 articulated motor grader featured front-wheel steering and an articulated frame that provided a smaller turning radius and allowed the operator to keep the rear drive wheels on solid footing while steering the front wheels on a slope, in a ditch, or over a windrow of dirt. Combined with 20-degree, front-wheel lean, articulation further enhanced the grader’s ability to counter side draft.
1976: North America’s first dual-path hydrostatic crawler enabled operators to control direction and speed with a single lever.
2008: Deere says its 764 High Speed Dozer “represented the first new machine form in the construction equipment industry in 20 years.” The 764 HSD finish-grades and dozes up to twice as fast as a traditional crawler, with articulated-frame steering and purpose-built four-track oscillating undercarriage. Reaching speeds up to 16 mph, the dozer’s rubber tracks allow it to work on hard surfaces such as concrete without damage.