The most common equipment that is used for road construction and maintenance is motor grader. It is an equipment with a long blade that is used to create a flat surface during the grading process. Motor grader’s main function is to prepare the topmost layer for laying asphalt on top of it.

Motor graders are rightly equipped to build better roads better, but it is the operator who must have all the skills to take full advantage of the motor grader features. Here is a look at all the motor grader’s features that can be put to use by a skilled operator to build better roads...

1. The grading process starts with selecting the proper speed and mouldboard angle. When doing delicate tasks, the speed should be slow and only the first two-three gears should be used. In case of knocking the rocks and washboard off a gravel road, the speed can be fast.

2. It should be remembered that most of the grading tasks are done at mouldboard angles from 10 to 45 degrees. If the angle is not right, then the motor grader may push material just like a dozer and not in the correct manner. When the material is rolling across the blade from the toe to the heel, then the grading is considered most efficient. If the material stops flowing, operators need to increase the blade angle.

3. Most grading passes should start with the mouldboard top positioned about 2 inches ahead of the cutting edge.

4. The depth of the cut across the entire mouldboard can be changed by tipping the mouldboard forward or back. This also helps to roll material smoothly across the blade. The cutting depth can also be changed by leaning the front wheels but this feature is much more important to keep the grader pulling in a straight line.

5. When working on side slopes or ditches, the front wheel should be set in a vertical position for better steering control.

6. Typically, when sacrificing or ripping across a slope, operators need to keep the mouldboard parallel with the front axle, centred to the frame and lowered close to the ground to provide protection against rolling over.

7. The wheels could be leaned down the slope when working across a slope using articulation to prevent the front-axle from reaching its oscillating limit.

8. Many of the grading jobs like finishing work, ditch cutting, ripping and sacrifice work can be done with the motor grader frame locked straight. Equipment’s manoeuvrability can also be improved by flexing the frame.

9. Grader’s side-slope capability can be improved by articulating the frame and steering the front of the equipment in the same direction. This also allows the tandems to be offset away from the edge fill to prevent rutting or keeps them on a smooth surface for faster finishing.

10. Machine’s tendency to bounce can be reduced by articulating the rear frame toward the toe of the mouldboard approximately 2 to 5 degrees. When cutting washboard from a road’s surface, this really helps.

11. Motor grader’s centre-shift link bar helps to increase the mouldboard’s reach from the centreline of the equipment. Generally, all the road maintenance work is carried out with this centre-shift lock pin in the centre position and the drawbar and circle centred under the main frame. The repositioning of this link bar can help to increase motor graders productivity when ditching, backsloping and moving large windrows.

12. In the link bar, there are several holes or positions that allow the operator to choose as to how far offset the circle from the frames centre line. Generally, first and second holes should be used for cleaning shallow ditches and moving large windrows and combined with articulation to build narrow and flat-bottom ditches.

13. It is recommended to use the hole in the link bar farthest from the centre for cutting slopes and high banks, cleaning deep ditches, grading and dressing for slopes, disposing of sod/oversize rock on back slopes and for use with articulation to grade steep slopes.

14. For grading tasks, excessive down pressure should not be used as excessive down pressure on a hard and dry surface eats up the cutting edges, demands more horsepower and fuel and cuts productivity.

15. When using the ripper, operators need to lower the teeth into the ground with the grader in motion. If the rear wheels lose traction, operators need to raise the ripper until the wheels regain traction. For especially hard surfaces, they should reduce the number of teeth. To break old pavement, teeth under the pavement should be lowered and the ripper should be raised. The ripper should not be used when turning.

Well, looking at the above mentioned points, it cannot be denied that motor graders are the best for building good roads. If as a contractor or constructor, you are assigned the task of building roads, then definitely you must opt for motor graders to perform the grading task efficiently.

If you are looking to buy one, then you should surely consider Mahindra Construction Equipment’s RoadMaster G75 motor grader that offers an affordable, un-compromised and mechanised grading solution. The equipment is designed to provide optimal output at affordable cost with its simple yet rugged design. The RoadMaster G75 comes with GPRS based remote monitoring system dogosense that keeps a track of your machine with the touch of a finger. Further, its 3000 mm mouldboard comes with an option of having its size reduced by 400 mm. Depending on the requirement, the blade size can be reduced by 200 mm on bot sides. The cutting edge has a lasting life of about 600 hrs on standard operation cycle. In addition, the RoadMaster G75 comes with the option of having additional fitments i.e., the ripper and dozer for added versatility. The ripper is perfect for ripping hard compacted surfaces before grading while dozer helps with spreading.

All said and done, motor graders do build better roads and understanding of all the features of the equipment can make the task further easy!