On the level: today's motorgraders

A brief round up of some of the latest models of motor graders available on the market today

Article December 28, 2000
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A good foundation is necessary for launching many projects. This is especially important in roadbuilding. Without a proper base upon which to lay the concrete or asphalt a road will have a very limited life and will offer poor service to the motorists who use it.

A motor grader is one machine that can aid a contractor in building a proper base. The following is a brief description of just a few machines available for grading.


Caterpillar offers its new H-Series of motor graders. Building on its predecessor, the G-Series, the new series brings more power to the ground, visibility improvements, enhanced controllability and more operator comfort.

The new machines feature a Caterpillar-built transmission designed exclusively for motor graders, and is electronically controlled for smooth shifting. More closely spaced gears in the working range increase grading speed in most applications. Adding variable horsepower increases rimpull above third gear, further improving grading speed potential. In addition, a 6-in.-longer wheel base gives a steeper blading angle for more material rolling. According to the company, the H-Series machines can now do in one pass what may have taken two or more passes for a G-Series model.

Visibility has been improved through a repositioned moldboard, a redesigned blade linkage, increased glass area, an angled rear cab window and a tapered rear hood. Interior sound also has been reduced because the engines and transmissions are resiliently mounted to reduce vibration and sound. The new models also offer more foot room, in-cab gauges and a new, optional Cat Contour Series seat. Additional refinements include an integrated air circulation and distribution system for heating, defrosting and air conditioning.
The new Proportional, Priority, Pressure-Compensated hydraulic system provides more hydraulic flow proportioning, which means consistent implement speeds with no interruptions.

The Caterpillar 120H, 12H and 140H are replacements for the G-Series models. To offer more production and value choices, the company added two new models, the 135H and the 160H. The 135H is sized between the 12H and 120H, good for working in urban areas. The 160H combines the size of the 140H with higher weights and horsepower.


Champion introduces its new Series V motor graders. Five of the 11 models in the series come with variable horsepower engines (VHP). VHP delivers standard power in the first two gears, and up to 15% more power in gears three through eight. The result, according to the company, is improved performance in high-speed, heavy-load applications, like snow clearing and working in hilly terrain. All models in the series offer more torque rise and more drawbar pull than previous models.

The key to earth moving capability is not only horsepower, but the amount of weight directly over the grader's drive wheels. The new machines offer higher rear weight, which increases traction at the drive wheels, reducing slip and improving drawbar pull.

The models' blade control system can place the moldboard in any position up to 90¡ on either side of the machine, and it can cut a 2:1 bank slope while keeping the blade entirely outside the tire profile. Fine grading applications are improved with a wide blade lift-cylinder stance.

The operator environment has been improved by placing all controls and gauges either directly ahead in the control pedestal, or in the right-hand console. The models' sloped front frame and rear engine cowling provide 360¡ visibility. Its lower, narrower noseplate, lower blade lift arms and blade control geometry provide a clear view to grade stakes, curbs and grader attachments.


The company offers a number of motor graders ranging in weight and horsepower from the 80-hp, 15,500 lb FG65C to the 196-hp, 39,844 lb FG105. Fiatallis powers its machines with either an Iveco/NH 5640, a New Holland 7740, a Cummins 6C 8.3, or a Cummins 6CT 8.3 engine. All models can use either a scarifier, ripper or dozer blade attachments. The blades are a one piece roll-away, involute curve, with replaceable end bits and cutting edges. All blade functions are made through a hydraulic system with a variable displacement piston pump.

Each model includes many features. For instance the FG85 comes with standard equipment such as an adjustable operator's console, adjustable tilt steering wheel, back-up alarm, lighted gauges and a light package, which includes two front headlights, two moldboard work lights, one rear work light and turn signals, stop, taillights and warning flashers.

Optional equipment for that model includes air conditioning, cab-mounted flood lights, cold weather starting aid, dozer blade float control and skid brackets and moldboard extensions.


Galion offers its Series C line of motor graders. The 850 Series C offers 166 hp at an operating weight of 32,080 lb, while the 830 Series C offers 144 hp at an operating weight of 29,717 lb. The 850 is powered by a 4-cycle, 6-cylinder, Komatsu S6D114E-1 turbocharged, diesel engine, and the 830 is powered by a 4-cycle, 6-cylinder, Komatsu S6D102E-1 turbocharged, diesel engine.

Both models come with a pivoting control console and tilt steering wheel with adjustable foam seat and backrest with swing-up armrests. Some of the standard features on both machines include a 40,000 BTU heater with twin high-performance fans, a backup alarm, 700 CCA batteries, keyed doors, full hydraulic steering and frame articulation.

Some of the many optional features include AM/FM stereo radio, front- mounted dozer blade, front dome light, cold weather starting aid, engine block heater, rear-mounted ripper, odometer, tachometer and scarifier.

John Deere

Deere's new C-Series motor grader line offers six new models to choose from, ranging in net horsepower from 140 to 205. Improvements include an all-new transmission, emissions-certified and fuel-efficient engine and increased horsepower in the all-wheel drive machines.

The line includes four variable horsepower graders-the 670CH at 140/155 hp; the 672CH at 150/160 hp; the 770CH at 155/170/185 hp; and the 772CH at 170/185/200 hp, or 185/205 hp when all-wheel drive is engaged. The other new models include the 670 C at 140 hp and the 770C at 155 hp.

According to the company the most significant improvement to the C-Series is the PowerShift Plus direct drive countershaft transmission. Travel speeds are identical in forward and reverse, from 2.2 to 25.8 mph. Drawbar pull is nearly the same in both directions, providing enough power for backing up inclines.
The machines are equipped with a John Deere built, 6-cylinder Powertech turbocharged diesel engine. Depending on the model the machine's engine will be a 6.8-liter, 414-cu-in. displacement engine or an 8.1-liter, 494-cu-in. displacement engine.

The operator's station features an eight-way adjustable fabric-covered seat with armrest tilt and lumbar support. Newly designed engine side shields taper inward to provide a better view of the ripper and the sloped hood improves rear visibility for work in crowed jobsites. Another new feature is the 16-function electronic systems monitor with an LCD readout of transmission gear, engine speed, ground speed and other vehicle data.


Komatsu offers a wide variety of motor grader models in its Dash 2 Series. Each machine in the series features versatile moldboard geometry. This allows the machine to pull ditches by back sloping-throwing the windrow to the right, not into the roadway-without narrowing the road bed. No extra machines or crew are needed to pick up the windrow.

Additional features in the series include electronically controlled all-wheel drive, scarifier located behind the front axle to aid in penetration and operator visibility, and a low-profile ROPS cab for better visibility. The models also feature a torque converter, which allows the operator to control ground speed while keeping the engine speed constant; this saves fuel. It also contributes to a longer engine life because a converter cushions the power train, preventing shock loads from being transmitted into the engine.

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