A grader is a construction machine with a long blade used to create a flat surface during the grading process. Although the earliest models were towed behind horses or other powered equipment, most modern graders contain an engine so are known, technically erroneously, as “motor graders”. Typical models have three axles, with the engine and cab situated above the rear axles at one end of the vehicle and a third axle at the front end of the vehicle, with the blade in between. Most motor graders drive the rear axles in tandem, but some also add front wheel drive to improve grading capability. Many graders also have optional attachments for the rear of the machine which can be ripper, scarifier, blade, or compactor.
Use of graders in construction
The grader’s purpose is to “finish grade”. The angle, tilt (or pitch) and height of the grader’s blade can be adjusted to achieve precision grading of a surface. The “rough grading” is performed by heavy equipment or engineering vehicles such as scrapers and bulldozers.
Graders are commonly used in the construction and maintenance of dirt roads and gravel roads. In the construction of paved roads they are used to prepare the base course to create a wide flat surface upon which to place the road surface. Graders are also used to set native soil or gravel foundation pads to finish grade prior to the construction of large buildings. Graders can produce inclined surfaces, to give cant (camber or side slope) to roads. In some countries they are used to produce drainage ditches with shallow V-shaped cross-sections on either side of highways.
In the construction of paved roads they are used to prepare the base course to create a wide flat surface for the asphalt to be placed on. They are also used to set native soil foundation pads to finish grade prior to the construction of large buildings. Many countries use grader for the flattening process that is done before the placing of Asphalt.
Types of graders used in construction
Graders are also an easily recognisable earthmoving machine. They are characterised by their long structure and large blade between the front wheel axles and main part of the machine. This allows a larger span of movement and control for the grader operator, giving them a wider scope of work to be completed.
Motor graders are classified depending on the arrangement of their frame. There are two types of categories graders can fall under: Rigid frame motor grader and Articulated frame motor grader.
Rigid frame motor grader has only one axle. Axle is unable to turn left or right about a point.
An articulated vehicle is a vehicle which has a permanent or semi-permanent pivot joint in its construction, allowing the vehicle to turn more sharply. There are many kinds of articulated vehicles, from heavy equipment to buses, trams and trains. Steam locomotives were sometimes articulated in that the driving wheels could pivot around. Articulated frame motor grader has a hinge in between the front and the rear axle. That type of grader is most commonly used where small space is available during turning.
Today, most graders manufactured are articulated frame graders. This is as they are more useful in smaller construction spaces where there is less room to move or turn around. Small motor graders are perfect for landscaping jobs, road maintenance and other tasks that need to be completed in a tight space, whereas large motor graders are typically used for larger scale projects, such as highways and motorway construction.
Importance of blade for grader used in construction
Graders are able to change their blade, which is perfect when different blade sizes and types are needed for different jobs. Blades are attached under the frame with a ring that swivels vertically to adjust the angle of the blade, meaning that graders can work sideways on jobs like creating banks and ditches. When it comes to choosing what blade is right for your job, you should consider what type of surface or environment the grader will be working in.
The proper functioning of any motor grader is dependent on its blade (the condition and positioning). If the motor grader blade is worn out, it will make this heavy machinery under-productive and less reliable. This will further lead the motor grader to utilize more power for its edge, eventually increasing fuel costs.
Therefore, it is critical to keep the motor grader blade sharp. You can either take this responsibility upon yourself or hire a motor grader operator to handle it professionally. Just make sure that the operator has a complete understanding of blade protection.
The sharpness of the blade is essential for reducing the wear and tear of the motor grader. Hence, make sure that you place the moldboard appropriately and use the necessary speed to avoid jolts.
Ensure that you are occasionally changing the blade angle. Keeping the moldboard consistently ahead will wear out the blade from the front only. Thus, if you keep changing the blade angle often, it will wear out evenly. Smooth and slow handling of motor graders is known to avoid excessive wear and tear of the cutting edge. Keeping a check on the blade is very crucial for maintaining motor grader efficiency.
Graders are vastly used in maintenance and construction of paved roads. Usually, they are used to prepare the base course to create a wide flat surface upon which to place the road surface. Prior to the construction of large buildings, graders are used in setting native soil or gravel foundation pads. They can produce inclined surfaces, to give ‘cant’ (camber or side slope) to roads. They are classified on the basis of a frame structure.