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2D or 3D Grading Systems: How do you know what you need?

Grading technology is getting plenty of buzz these days. People who use it swear by the benefits.

No doubt about it—this technology can help you make more money.

But when there are so many options available, choosing the right system can be confusing. If you’re considering an investment in grading technology, take a minute to learn the basics. A quick review of the fundamentals will help you make the right decision for your business.


What do these systems do?

Cat® GRADE technologies perform two key functions.

  • Some GUIDE operators to grade visually—showing where to cut and fill and giving feedback along the way
  • Some CONTROL the blade or bucket automatically—eliminating or greatly reducing manual effort
  • Some do both.

Your Cat dealer will help you select a system with the functions you need.


So what’s the payback?

Every situation is unique, but studies show Cat GRADE technologies can improve productivity by up to 50%—and pay for themselves in about 6 months.


2D vs 3D: What’s the difference? 

2 Dv3 D Whats The Difference

Don’t assume you need 3D

You may depend on GPS for driving directions, but that doesn’t mean you need it on your dozer. 2D systems are simple, less expensive and easily upgraded to 3D. So before you make any decisions, talk it over with your Cat dealer.


Rule of thumb: the more capabilities a system has, the higher its price tag will be.

2 D3 D System Cost Capabilites
2 Dv3 D Whats The Difference

*What’s GNSS?

Most people use the term “GPS” to describe the space-based navigation system that’s all but replaced the paper map. But to be perfectly accurate, GPS refers to the US system of satellites only. The worldwide network is called GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System). It includes:

  • GPS (USA)
  • GLONASS (Russia)
  • BeiDou (China)
  • Galileo (EU)

Factory-integrated or dealer-installed?

Another choice to make with help from your Cat dealer.

2 D3 D Factory Dealer Installed

It’s a big decision. Your dealer can help.

If you’re in the market for a grading system, have a conversation with your Cat dealer. Together you can explore all the factors that affect your decision.

  • Job requirements
  • Site conditions
  • Application issues
  • Budget priorities
  • Fleet size and makeup
  • Skilled workforce availability
  • Contractor-subcontractor relationships
  • Future plans

Whether you choose 2D or 3D, factory-integrated or dealer-installed, you can be sure this technology will help you improve safety, productivity and profitability.

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