Gators are used mainly in farms and sometimes in the military but most people refer to them as a farmers vehicle. However it is possible to order with specific off-road features. In 1992, the vehicle replaced the three- or five-wheel John Deere AMTs, introduced in 1987.
The Gator vehicles use small but powerful 341 cc (0.341 L) four-stroke engines found in lawn mowers, or an optional diesel engine that is also found in some Deere mowers and utility tractors. They use a continuously variable transmission employing a belt and a conical pulley system. Thus, they require no clutch or gear shifts to operate. Many third-party attachments are available for the Gator, including snow plows, sanders, and gun racks. The recommended maximum payload capacity is 600 lbs (272 kg). The size of the AMT was designed to easily be loaded into the back of a pickup truck (of the day) to be transported to various remote and/or hard to get to location that conventional means such as towing a trailer would prove dangerous or troublesome. The overall design of the first and second All-Material Transporters (AMTs) were simple, easy to maintain, and easy to fix on site.
Within the Gator family of vehicles, John Deere produces several lines. They are the Traditional Series, the High Performance (HPX) Series, the Compact Series, and the XUV Series. It also offers several specialty vehicles including the more off-road oriented Trail Gator, which is olive in color to better serve recreational and sporting uses. The Turf Gator is specially designed to serve golf courses. The M-Gator is a militarized variant used by the U.S. Army.
The Traditional Series is the second generation of the original Gator, designed for medium-duty work.
The Gator XUV 4x4 was introduced in 2007 as a more extreme-use Gator, for both commercial and recreational use. These models are often set up with snow plows and see severe use in the industry. The model comes with either gas or diesel engine choices.
Gator XUV 2011 Model
In response to an ever competitive market, Deere expanded the XUV Line up in 2011 to include an 825 cc three-cylinder gas engine to go alongside the current 625 cc engine. The 825 also sported a faster differential that allows the machine to reach speeds up 70 km (45 mi) per hour. In addition, they kept the diesel offering, but boosted the machines' speed to 32 mph, currently the fastest diesel utility vehicle in the market. The three machines also underwent a styling overhaul and a redesigned box.
M-Gator and R-Gator
In 1997 to 1998, the 261st Area Support Medical Battalion of the 44th Medical Brigade (ABN) brought a Gator to Bosnia for Operation SFOR2. It was an off the shelf commercial version Gator that was painted in camouflage and equipped with a carrying tray on its hood, as well as brackets to hold rifles. Its main purpose was for casualty evacuation, and it could hold two litters on the rear deck. It came in handy for utility work, as well, and was used mostly by the medical supply section for transporting supplies and equipment.
In 1997, the U.S. Army adopted a version of the Gator known as the M-Gator. The M-Gator is now also in use with the U.S. Marine Corps. Following the upgrades of the original Gator, it is known in its current version as the M-Gator A1, and features upgrades such as rollover protection. It is the 6x4 variant, and utilizes the three cylinder Yanmar diesel engine found in other Gator vehicles, and is also capable of using JP-8 fuel. The vehicle is capable of being air-dropped. The Gator has been used in Iraq and Afghanistan for supply deliveries and casualty evacuation, as it is more nimble off-road than an HMMWV. Although the M-Gator was not designed to carry equipment in the field, troops would put their gear onto the vehicles to lighten their loads when an M-Gator was available to them. M-Gators are also used by Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.
The M-Gator has also been developed into an Unmanned Ground Vehicle, known as the R-Gator. It was developed by John Deere and iRobot. It is capable of autonomous operations such as waypoint following with obstacle avoidance, and following dismounted infantry soldiers, as well as other vehicles.
Turf Vehicles series
The Turf Vehicles series features the Gator TX, Gator TE, and the ProGator vehicles. The ProGators are intended for heavy duty farm work, while the TX and TE are for niche industrial duties where quiet vehicles are desired; like golf courses. The TE is an electric vehicle.
- Industrial Utility Vehicles & Mobile Equipment Online
- Information on the John Deere Gator
- 06/02/97 JOHN DEERE'S GATOR: OFF-ROAD, ON-TARGET
- M-GATOR 6X4 UTILITY VEHICLE
- Robotic Mule Vendors Seek Opportunities Outside Military Archived 2013-07-05 at Archive.is - Nationaldefensemagazine.org, July 2013
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. https://web.archive.org/web/20110927135009/http://www.deere.com/en_US/contractsales/fedmilitarysales/media/pdf/R-Gator_Brochure.pdf. Retrieved 2015-05-25.
- http://www.deere.com/en_US/ProductCatalog/GT/series/GT_turf_vehicles_series.html?link=from_gator_category_gt_cta[dead link]
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