A motor grader is a multipurpose construction equipment used for road construction and maintenance of dirt roads and gravel roads. Ever since its evolution in 1885, there have been many technological advancements in motor graders which have improved their functionality and increased their number of uses. Today, they are used in a multitude of applications. Additionally, the versatility of motor graders can be increased dramatically by adding attachments.
Different functions of motor graders
A motor grader performs different functions;
- Build gravel or dirt roads and tracks
- Grade gravel roads
- Maintaining unpaved and gravel roads
- Ground levelling
- Create and level embankments next to roads and fields
- Shape canal banks
- Smooth the gravel underlay of new tar roads
- Grade haul roads for mines
- Grading top layer of roads
Features of motor graders
Manufacturers of motor graders are paying attention to every detail of the machine and looking for ways to maximize its productivity. The focus is on technical modifications based on the driveline, electronics, and hydraulics for more precision work. Another area where motor grader manufacturers have focused is automating the hydraulic system, giving operators greater control for precision grade.
Motor graders models are now being manufactured with variable horsepower options, safety features like ROPS (Roll over protection), FOPS (Fall over protection system), , advanced hydraulics, control-type options etc. Modern motor grader controls are being to provide optimal comfort and precision for a safer and more productive work site.
The latest motor graders combine grade control technologies, high quality hydraulics enhanced operator comfort/convenience features aimed at allowing operators to work faster and more accurately for increased productivity.
Different types of motor grader models
There are different types of models being used across projects, a few of them are discussed below.
Motor grader with multi radius moldboard
Motor Graders are fitted with an exclusive Moldboard which not only pushes the material but also induces material roll-off. This reduces the load on the blade and hence results in better productivity & excellent fuel efficiency. Hydraulic pitch adjustments allow operators to easily control the moldboard from the cabin. A larger wear surface provides longer life (reduces wear) and the externally driven circle is easy to clean and better protected in case of shocks. The machine features a rugged box section rear frame design. This frame is designed to carry heavy loads applied by the rear attachments. Adopting international thermos forming technology with “U”-box structure and strong anti-torque force, giving more durability to the front frame with longer life. The high-capacity Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system dehumidifies and pressurizes the cab, circulates fresh air, seals out dust and keeps windows clear from fogging. With the controlled climate, you can set your ideal temperature.
Motor grader with the smart grading system
The newer motor grader models come with an accurate grade system, where one can upload the design of the site and grading will be done automatically by machine to the required specification. This saves time, fuel, manpower and operating cost of the machine. Additional features in new models include autoshift, load sensing hydraulics, blade lift accumulators, positioning of instrument cluster, machine control and guidance options. The safety features such as ROPS and FOPS help achieve efficiency in cost per kilometre and also reduce the lifetime costs associated with these machines.
Motor grader with the blade downforce
The latest motor graders have excellent traction and powerful blade down force and are designed with the operator’s needs in mind. The long wheelbase, long blade base and optimum weight distribution provide a smooth grade finish as well as high cutting capacity at the moldboard edge. This improves productivity by ensuring high downforce. Quality output is delivered through their superior blade down force and drawbar pull, and a three-dimensional operator seat provides better visibility. A full-sealed slewing bearing structure can protect the circle from dirt and dust, which can achieve higher operation accuracy than traditional wear plate structures and ensures higher service life. The overload protection function prevents the machine from sudden impact when the moldboard encounters huge obstacles during operation.
Motor Grader for smaller roads
New models are available for road contractors for spreading and grading applications for rural, semi-rural and district roads, land development, internal housing and commercial roads. It enables small road contractors to participate in projects with grading needs for government programs such as Smart City, as well as PMGSY roads. The model comes equipped with wide blade and telematics. For optimal steering and grading performance, graders are equipped with a heavy-duty front axle to handle steering, wheel lean, and axle oscillation. Motor graders also feature an asymmetric drawbar ball stud that can be rotated 180° to keep the drawbar in a horizontal level position, when performing fine grading. The cab is designed to offer exceptional all-around visibility; with easy-to-use industry-standard controls, comfortable seating, air conditioning, and ROPS/FOPS certification as standard.
Motor grader with advanced hydraulic system
The working hydraulic system and the steering hydraulic system in the newer models adopt the dual pump combined flow technology to reduce the displacement of the pump, improve the reliability of the pump, reduce the hydraulic no-load loss, save power, and fully utilize the engine power. The use of high-density pressure-resistant steel pipes completely solves the problem of loose and inflexible bending. The latest models are also equipped with pre-pressurized air filters to reduce the outside air exchange, while improving the pump oil absorption, to avoid pumping empty. The hydraulic pipeline is optimally arranged to reduce pressure loss and energy loss in the system. The pilot operates the hydraulic system, which makes it easy to operate and reduces the operator’s work intensity. The steering system adopts a full hydraulic flow amplification system.
Motor grader with filtration system
The newer model’s engine has three working modes to meet the needs of different working conditions and to maximize the efficiency of the whole machine. The desert air filter with three-stage filtration technology can adapt to varied working conditions. Strong castings are fixed on the engine body to improve reliability. The engine oil filter is externally placed for easy maintenance. Equipped with a parallel shaft type power shift transmission gearbox is electro-hydraulic control with an automatic gear shift switch (KD function) from the front and rear of the gear position.
Motor grader with articulated frame
The latest models come equipped with an articulated frame that helps the operator to maneuver the machine according to the situation. A straight frame with articulation ensures quality of grading and sharp turning. The articulation indicator inside the cabin helps the operator to keep the machine in a straight line. The Turbocharged, low-emission, high-performance engine and its Electronic engine control unit regulates fuel for optimal performance in all operating conditions.
Discussed above are different types of motor grader models. Motor grader manufacturers incessantly focus on improving the features. In upcoming articles we discuss new motor grader models available in the market.
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