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John Deere upgrades R-Gator using military input

New R-Gator runs through exercises with soldiers and marines.
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  • Publish date:

October 20, 2009

The new R-Gator features independent suspension, higher ground
clearance and increased ground speed

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LENEXA, KAN. – When the folks at John Deere wanted to improve their military utility vehicle's navigational skills, they went directly to the users: U.S. military men and women.

“Since we’re always looking to improve our products, we’ve been running R-Gator exercises with soldiers and marines,” said Mark Bodwell, worldwide military affairs group manager for John Deere. “Through those exercises, we’ve come to appreciate just how important it is to be able to navigate hilly or rough terrain quickly. The improved R-Gator was developed in direct response to the military feedback we received.”

Armed with this feedback, the John Deere team has refined the chassis of its popular autonomous vehicle to give the go-anywhere R-Gator an independent suspension and improved ground clearance. The updated robotic R-Gator also boasts a faster top speed, travelling up to 35 mph in manual mode.

The R-Gator has 11 inches of ground clearance and its four-wheel, independent suspension is fully adjustable for improved mobility and fording capabilities.

Based on the proven M-Gator™ military vehicle platform, the R-Gator employs commercial off-the-shelf technology and includes precision guidance, navigation and obstacle avoidance technology that has been at work for two decades in John Deere’s agricultural products. The R-Gator can be operated in manual, tele-operational or fully autonomous mode during day and night and supports military personnel through lightening the load, persistent stare, cargo carrying, point-man reconnaissance, roving patrols, resupply, casualty evacuation and more.

“John Deere has a long history of supporting the U.S. military,” said Bodwell. “We’re proud to do so and we’re committed to providing the products and features our servicemen and women need and request. The R-Gator is just one more example of that commitment.”

The new R-Gator is available immediately. To learn more about the R-Gator or any of John Deere’s military products visit www.

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