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Motor-Grading Techniques

Discussion in 'Motor Graders' started by Clayton M, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. Clayton M

    Clayton M Well-Known Member

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    I figured that I would open a Thread so that we could share what all tricks there were to it. I don't normally have a bunch of time to try different things on the Graders so I was looking for somethings that maybe could help us out. I have figured out over the time that I have been doing it that there is always something that we will learn. I know some of you guys have been doing this for a very long time :salute and know a bunch of stuff about it.:notworthy

    Thanks !
     
  2. Danial Doherty

    Danial Doherty Well-Known Member

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    Good idea!!! id love to hear some!
     
  3. qball

    qball Senior Member

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    well, for one, don't fall off a bridge!
     
  4. Grader4me

    Grader4me Senior Member

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    LOL..good one! I have a tip....don't speed grade :guns

    Seriously, I'll give it some thought on my end as to what to share. Good idea for a thread!
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  5. Danial Doherty

    Danial Doherty Well-Known Member

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    what about back dragging when your grading?? I hear alot of people saying not to do it. whats your opinion>> giver' .... or hell no??
     
  6. Grader4me

    Grader4me Senior Member

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    To be honest..I back drag all the time. I'm careful not to get a big accumulation of material gathered up so that it's chafing the hoses etc. so I keep it light.
    Thats a different question..good stuff
     
  7. plowking740

    plowking740 Well-Known Member

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    i back drag all the time too, its a good way to tidy up a little pile at the end of the spread. Also I find that I can get my material closer to the end of the job and to pull it away, without having to turn around. the best tip. be calm, cool and relaxed at all times. getting too worked up because you didnt hit the grade the first time right on, or a trucker dumped in the wrong spot, . it can be fun , but doesnt help.
    just dont be afraid to try something different. I was told that a grader is an all purpose machine . it can do just about anything. ( loading trucks might be difficult) it just might take a bit more time.
     
  8. Danial Doherty

    Danial Doherty Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the calm cool and relaxed part. When i first started on the grader i used to get worked up pretty easy but now im much more relaxed. Things can go to **** in a hurry if you dont! Having someone there to dump trucks for me takes 80% of the stress off me! Even though its not that big of a task, knowing that all i have to concentrate on is hitting that grade and not running anyone over lol, make my day much better!!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  9. Clayton M

    Clayton M Well-Known Member

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    Remember I am not a PRO by any means, But I don't do much back-dragging simply because I do better when I am grading frontward. I can't seem to get a good feel for where the edge of my blade is at when I am going backwards. It is not recommended for anyone around where I work to back-drag on a dozer much less a motor-grader. There are sometimes that it is helpful. A lot (not all) operators use the back of things too much as a last resort for doing sorry forwards grading in the first place ( Sorry guys the truth has to come out sometime :crying ). Remember I put the "a lot (not all)" in there so don't be :cussing me.

    Thanks for the positive feedback.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  10. Clayton M

    Clayton M Well-Known Member

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    Sorry If I made anybody mad, I was trying to make a joke out of it.
     
  11. Grader4me

    Grader4me Senior Member

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    Hey there Clayton M...no one is mad :confused: This is a good thread you started here. If everyone agree, and felt the same about everything then it would be a pretty boring place wouldn't it? :)
     
  12. Clayton M

    Clayton M Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I just thought that since I had not gotten any replies lately that what I said about back dragging had gotten some people mad. Sorry for the hick-up, Carry On.
     
  13. Grader4me

    Grader4me Senior Member

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    Carry on we will. Some don't believe in back dragging as it will broom up the threads on the blade bolts, making them hard to get off. Also material will get up around your moldboard slide piston and hoses. I try to avoid that as said.

    When you can do just as good a job grading backwards as you do front wards then you can call yourself a grader operator...:cool:
    Believe that??
     
  14. Clayton M

    Clayton M Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that compliment. The only problem I have with motor-graders is that finding where grade from the cab and knowing if I am on it. Any tips on that?
     
  15. Turbo21835

    Turbo21835 Senior Member

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    What do you mean by finding grade? You should see a few reference points on your blade ends that you can judge how much your cutting. If you know the pan of your curb is 4 inches and you have 4 inches of bit, your right on. If you have someone in running paint in front of you, and you have a - or + 1/4 the means you just need to brush the paint off, or cover it with a little dust. It all comes down to material management. Plus, its easier if you start out with too much material rather than not enough. You have to have material to grade with. It all takes time to learn, keep it up and youll get it.

    The problem I have is not being able to find a grader seat. I would love to be in one full time, but no one around here uses them, and those that do have a waiting list of operators to fill that cab.
     
  16. Danial Doherty

    Danial Doherty Well-Known Member

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    i still remember the first time i seen someone finish off a cul-de-sac by backdraging.... blew my mind.... and he made it look so easy. hopefully that will be me someday!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2009
  17. dirtpusher9

    dirtpusher9 Well-Known Member

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    I backdrag all the time, and thats the best way to finish a cul-de sac I think. When I'm working any short area I backdrag and if I need to make a lite cut, just roll the blade all the way over.
     
  18. JD DURFEY

    JD DURFEY Member

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    I learned how to run a blade the best by "checking grade" for some really good operators in AZ on the big developements out there. I saw all the tricks and then when it was my turn to operate, I had a huge advantage over the other new guys, cuz I paid attention to what I had seen. Practice makes perfect!!
     
  19. Turbo21835

    Turbo21835 Senior Member

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    All the best finish operators started out on the ground. Ive spent a lot of time with a paint can. It can be as boring as you want. I always took advantage of my time on the ground and figured out what my dozer or grader man was doing. I would watch. I would figure out what he was doing, and what his next move was going to be.
     
  20. Randy Krieg

    Randy Krieg Senior Member

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    All Those Teeth

    Remember guys the circle has teeth 360 degrees. Those back teeth aren’t for looks, they’re made to be used. The practice of finishing a cul-de-sac in reverse or maybe even getting it close (my choice) makes great sense if you’re not running an all wheel drive machine. The forces created by the moldboard angle and laterally moving material over comes the front tires traction coefficient many times. It only takes about 60 seconds to turn it around. I can turn our 16 foot moldboard on our 14H around in about 70 seconds, just over a minute. That time includes the time spent pulling the pin and repositioning the linkbar. I always do it on the right side, I put the pin in the far right hole, swing the drawbar, circle and moldboard up beside the machine with the moldboard facing straight up at the sky, circle the moldboard clockwise and side-shift the left end out over the top of the right front tire completely retracting the cylinder (H Series), then retract the left lift cylinder, extend the right lift cylinder, keep rotating clockwise and retracting the centershift cylinder at the same time. It’s all simultaneous motion. This brings the right end of the moldboard (soon to become the left) under the S bend in the main frame while the left end (soon to become the right) is rolling right down behind and beside the right front tire. As soon as I get the moldboard back under the main frame I reposition the linkage if necessary. If the machine is equipped with grade/slope control then the cable to the rotation sensor has to be specially routed or it will get torn right in half. Every machine I operate I take the time to reroute the cable so that it’s possible to turn the circle and moldboard around. The picture below shows the way I generally park the machine at night; circle and moldboard facing back with the tires off the ground. This position exposes the front circle drive teeth so we can apply grease every day (like the book says). These are the teeth that are being used 99% of the time we’re working. Every couple days I scrap off the old dirty grease using a drywall spatula and every couple weeks I wash the teeth with solvent. This positioning also gets the weight off the tires at night. Don’t want any flat spots in the tires come morning. Many times we get in and have to start finishing to hubs first thing in the morning. In the last training class I taught I made it manditory to graduate. They had to be able to proficiently reposition the linkage, clean the top of the moldboard using the linkage, pull a back slope and park the machine at night with the moldboard facing back.

    In the other pictures, which are dark, but if you look closely you can see the moldboard is turned around on the 16M. This works great for squeegeeing the water on top of the ice and filling the small holes and accelerating the freeze time. You can rub the ice (snow & water mixture) and not cut into it. Turning the moldboard around on this 16M with a 2 foot extension requires a little more caution and it helps if you run the front tires up on a pile, this makes it easier to swing the moldboard extension under the steps. It would be real easy to tear the steps right off the machine if you don’t know what you’re doing. That applies to any grader not just the 16M.

    I also turn the moldboard around for finishing away from bridge abutments and will explain this more in detail later. I turn it around and articulate for cleaning some wet ditches also. Like I said they put those teeth there for a reason.

    I will photograph this entire procedure step by step when I get time and post it. I will also add more to this thread in general, but right now I have to get ready to travel again.

    This part is for all you younger guys that like adventure; I’m actually on my two weeks R&R from the Chevron project right now, but got a phone call yesterday morning. We were just awarded a hazardous cleanup project off the Northern coast of Alaska. It’s an old “Defense Early Warning” radar site. So I have to go get baseline blood work done today then spend the next 4 days in training, yeap right through the weekend so that we can be ready to fly back to Deadhorse the first of next week. We are going to haul the material 50 miles across the sea ice back to Prudhoe Bay where it will be put in special containment. I look at this as another great adventure, which I get to be a part of and the pay is fantastic (so is the food). They don’t call me to go on these details because they like the way I look or the things I say, they call me for one reason and one reason only; because I can operate a motor grader. My father told me over 30 years ago while I was riding in a grader with him and watching his every move, “Get good on one of these son and you will never have to look for a job”. That statement has rung true so many times in my life that I’ve lost count. It’s a great career! Don’t ever pass up the chance to get on one.

    Regards, Randy
     

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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2009