Excavator Grade Control Study Results


It’s a sunny day in late February in Malaga, south of Spain. Two Cat® 323E Hydraulic Excavators line up by two identical jobsite designs representing basements and trenches. One machine is equipped with a factory-integrated excavator grade control system; the other is not.

The objective of the production study is simple: be the first to finish the job on the best grade.

After only a few minutes the machine using the conventional method has already stopped several times to wait for the grade checker to come and measure. The machine equipped with Cat Grade Control has continued working at full pace.

Excavator grade control allows the operator to receive guidance directly in the cab on his standard HD display by following visual and audio indications. The factory-integrated system is easy to use and ready to work from day one. It enhances the operator’s speed, accuracy and material efficiency through advanced, in-cab grading and production guidance. Cat Grade Control also enhances safety and reduces personnel on the ground.


The machine equipped with Cat® Grade Control increased productivity by 35 percent.

The machine using the conventional method finishes the first square, while the machine equipped with excavator grade control starts digging the trench with a 10 percent slope, not following the natural curve of the area.

While the grade checker spends most of the time standing around, waiting, the in-cab guidance lets the operator know exactly what slope needs to be pulled.

The machine equipped with excavator grade control finishes the last square as the machine using the conventional method is just starting to dig the trench with 10 percent slope. The grade checker must give constant feedback to ensure proper slope, resulting in machine idle time.

After one hour 17 minutes, the first machine stops. It’s the 323E equipped with CatGrade Control. Twenty-six minutes later the other machine is finished.

Results: The machine equipped with Cat Grade Control increased productivity by 35 percent compared to the conventional method. It also resulted in cost savings and improved safety. See the results of excavator grade control for yourself in the video above.


Cat® Grade Control

excavator grade control

A factory-integrated precision grading system, Cat® Grade Control can help both new and experienced machine operators deliver dramatic improvements in grading efficiency over a wide range of applications.

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