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At 10 Years Old, John Deere’s Operator Assistance Control Feature Continues to Make its Mark in the Woods.

First implementing Intelligent Boom Control (IBC) technology into its forestry forwarders in 2013, the heavy-equipment manufacture continues to find more efficient ways to enhance performance and durability to push them to the next level.

When the original IBC technology went online, it simplified controls of the boom by stream-lining joint movement. The technology makes operations more accurate, faster and easier to operate. At the time of its release, the technology was expected to increase productivity by 10 percent. However, some regional operators have reported increases by as much as 20 percent in their efficiency.

Other benefits of the implementing IBC technology, include:

More precise grapple positioning: IBC improves the precision of grapple positioning, especially with long reaches. The operator controls the boom tip directly instead of controlling independent boom joint movements. The left mini lever controls the horizontal movement of the grapple, while the right mini lever controls the vertical movement of the grapple. Additionally, the IBC system features electrical end damping for all the main boom movement directions. The system dampens the cylinder end movements softly and stops strong blow-like loads in the end positions.

• Equipment perseverance: User-friendly controls ultimately lead to less wear and tear on the boom by limited inaccurate moves. Meanwhile, the feature helps new or inexperienced operators learn and work more closely with a more experienced operator, increasing productivity.

Simple, fatigue-beating control: With IBC, operators no longer need to control each independent boom joint separately. They just control the grapple, and the IBC automatically controls the lift. Additionally, IBC controls the lift, slew and extension of the boom based on the grapple’s location.

More efficient load handling: IBC makes load handling more efficient and increases productivity. Some estimates indicate this may increase capacity by as much as one load per day, which equals 220 loads per year.

Choose how you work: Joysticks are configurable to user preference so operators can run IBC using their preferred control pattern. Easy-to-use controls expediate the training of new operators, making them efficient faster and enhancing productivity in a quicker fashion.

Speed and efficiency: Operators control the overall speed of the IBC system. Adjustments can be made between the various boom parts, or booms can be operated manually with the switch of a button. 

IBC is especially beneficial with John Deere's G-series forwarders. These forward-thinking machines are loaded with improvements such as increased power and torque. They are also designed with proven elements like durable booms, axles, and electrical components to withstand the toughest logging environments. Because when you work in remote areas, downtime is never an option.

Built on more than 180 years of groundbreaking innovation and backed by over a half-century of experience in the woods, the forwarders are made to work smarter and harder for you.

Optional IBC system features sensors that dampen boom movements, protecting boom structures, for longer life. Preliminary test results show 3-10% improvement in total machine productivity (depending on operator skill level) and 2-9% lower fuel consumption during boom work due to faster cycle times.


The solutions developed by John Deere bring to the market the new, advanced technology that helps forest machine contractors and operators achieve more productive, efficient and sustainable logging.

The design is always based on a reliable and high-performance package of components and features. For example, John Deere engines are designed to operate seamlessly with the hydraulics and automation. For the customer, this means the boom and driveline function smoothly. IBC’s intelligent technology enables the continuous development of new features to facilitate the operator’s work. IBC is available across all John Deere-brand of forwarders.

The full line of forestry equipment features a wide range of forwarder models — including the 910G and 1010G — is designed to fit the way you work, no matter where in the woods your work takes you.
The 910G and 1010G are ideal for early to late thinning operations. The compact dimensions of our latest models maximize productivity and power in the most demanding conditions. The 1110G forwarder is also available with a 40-cm-shorter wheelbase, for better agility in thinnings, without compromising stability or load size. Boasting an increased slewing angle, the 1510G forwarder is more nimble than previous models. Available for the 1010G, 1110G, 1210G, and 1510G, long-bogie versions deliver lower ground pressure than standard bogie models, for logging in soft terrain. They also improve the sideways stability of the rear frame while driving. Meanwhile, the larger transmission pump and motor of the 1910G power greater tractive force. The whole package makes the difference. IBC technology, along with these additional features, operators are guaranteed to have more productivity and performance to get the work done.

For more information about John Deere, Intelligent Boom Control and features of the G-Series Forwarders, contact your local McCoy Construction & Forestry dealer by calling 1-800-472-7202, or visit


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The Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA)

Provides proven leadership in the Lake States Forest products industry for over 70 years. GLTPA is a non-profit organization proud to represent members in Michigan and Wisconsin and is committed to leading Forest Products Industry in sustainable forest management.

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