In recent decades, it seems that graders are displaced to niche machines due to low volumes and their development therefore largely stagnated. But in the meantime, it has become apparent that graders can not be dispensed with despite the competition from dozers, wheel loaders and excavators with laser depth control. On the following pages you will find an overview of the most important current developments for graders. A complete overview of the graders available on the national market can be downloaded from the internet at www.tis.de. ready for download.
The changing construction sites and the versatility of the equipment of the construction companies also led to changing requirements parameters. Today, graders should be usable in a variety of ways; they should be able to master fine work as well as rough grading. On the one hand, they are supposed to perform super-precision work with highly sensitive hydraulics and thanks to laser, ultrasound or GPS control and leave a precise planum; on the other hand, they should quickly disperse and install masses with their flock.
Add to this the desire for small, compact grades for a variety of construction projects with limited space. Today, even the smallest three-axle graders of well-known manufacturers weigh 12 to 15 t and are 8.5 m long without front or rear equipment. This is too big for various construction projects, for example for the construction of pedestrian zones or sports fields. In addition, with these graders, the high ground pressure of 2.6 t and more per wheel ensures that the just leveled ground is over-compacted.
For these reasons, many construction companies complain about the disappearance of small graders. This results in an increasing demand for compact, agile and light grades, which has led to interesting new designs in recent years. These include, for example, a three-wheeled grader from Schwab with a telescopic frame for variable overall length.
Many graders no longer have the traditional four-wheel drive through the rear tandem axle, but standard or optional on driven front wheels and thus on all-wheel drive. The hydrostatic, sometimes microprocessor-controlled front-wheel drive is often shiftable, which improves tracking and propulsion.
One of the most common tasks for graders is the leveling of a fine plan, which places high demands on the precision of the shearing movements and as smooth as possible, slow driving. Decisive prerequisites for this are mature machine and drive technology, sensitive, easy-to-operate spray controls and a share hydraulics, which are suitable for effective combination with ultrasound, laser and GPS systems. Therefore, there should be sufficient space for the corresponding controls and displays in the cab. At the same time, the view to the front and the sides of the couloir should be minimally impaired.
The international and German market offers a wide range of graders. Several new brands joined the relatively exclusive circle of providers. Therefore, graders of all sizes and types are now available from almost a dozen different vendors. In addition, more and more companies bring tractors on the market.
The world market of graders is - or was - quite respectable. Before the global financial crisis, 8,000 to 9,000 new graders were delivered each year. The gigantic Chinese market with its numerous grader manufacturers is not included. The overview takes into account the most important innovations in the manufacturers and suppliers of self-propelled graders and cultivators.
In 2007, Caterpillar introduced its current M-Series for motor graders. The seven models replace the H series in Europe. The grader is generally regarded as the premier class of machines, which is the most difficult to operate, since all functions must be operated simultaneously by the driver! The main difference is the operation of the 14 individual functions via two integrated joysticks, which replace the classic lever bank.
Caterpillar cover the range between 13.9 and 62.5 t with the M series. The M graders are delivered in Germany with all-wheel drive (AWD) and street legal on request. The 24M, the largest CAT grader, was launched in autumn 2008 and is the world's largest grader with 397 kW engine power and 7.3 m width. It is used to maintain driving lanes in large risers or mines worldwide. In addition, the M-graders offer a much better view of the Graderschar and a quieter and more spacious cabin compared to the H-series. Equipped are the M graders with Cat engines with ACERT technology.
Recently, HBM Nobas presented the completely new BG 130 TA-4 (all-wheel version) and BG 130 T-4 (tandem-driven version) with 3.35 m width. Powered by a 107kW Perkins engine, the compacts combine