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Are Graders Obsolete?

Discussion in 'GPS Systems' started by Steve Frazier, May 22, 2020.

  1. ShaneK

    ShaneK Well-Known Member

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    Pull-Grader Land Levelers can have GPS Attached, so contractors can get away with using lower-skilled/lower-paid for smoothing out haul roads and blading the final grade with a less expensive ag tractor for earthworks projects.
    I think Motor Graders will always have their place, however, as you have identified, they will become increasingly more scarce, and more regionally focused to climates with snow and township/municipalities with many miles of gravel roads.
     
  2. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    Don't they all have knuckle busters? I have only ever ran one without them. I have 3 Cats with Knuckle busters, a 1952, 212, a 1937 Model 11, and a old 8T Model 12. Then to add to the mix, I have a D8 sized pull grader with knuckle busters that originally ran by a early single cylinder Wisconsin. It now has a hydraulic motor on the control intake shaft. I just don't have good knuckles any more. :D:D
     
  3. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    I ran the manuals a few times. Probably where the carpel tunnel syndrome came about. They kick like a mule when the dogs are worn and the blade starts to float which ever way the stress hits it. You have to hold the control in while it is kicking out just to try to keep the wash boards small.
     
  4. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder Staff Member

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    I've never been on a grader except a couple hours on a small Galion that was like a half scale 12. My friend had a paving company and I hired him to pave my 900 foot driveway. He prepped it with the little Galion. They worked while I was at work and when I arrived home found they had prepped for a 10 foot wide drive instead of the 11 I wanted. I fired up the machine and screwed things up enough that his operator had to fix it before paving.
     
  5. Bam Bam 171

    Bam Bam 171 New Member

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    I run residential development jobs, and what I keep hearing my contractors say is that motor graders are "too expensive" to own and require operators that get paid a lot of money.

    What I see is that people have forgotten how to use them on anything other than cutting road subgrade and setting stone. Company that worked for me some years ago kept a 12M working every day, regardless. it wasnt sitting around until it was time to pave. They use it to strip topsoil, dress up haul roads, finish grade everything, including lot pads, etc. They figured out a way to keep it busy all the time.
     
    JPV likes this.
  6. AzIron

    AzIron Senior Member

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    I think cost of a blade is relative to productivity a real operator makes a blade cheap to run but that's lost on the bean counter mentality of buissness these days and the industry has quit producing operators

    I think it's like anything in life tech advances make a skill less demanding like how many high schoolers can spell without spell check or do big math without a calculator they poses the skill but dont have it refined to the point that absolute practice gets you same with operators GPS came in and took the demand off of a finish skill it also took grade checkers to a minimum if not away so now to do things by eyeball or with a grade checker no one is very practiced anymore
     
    Theweldor likes this.
  7. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder Staff Member

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    There's a new Tractor Supply being built a couple towns away and this morning I saw a grader on site to grade the parking lot. It's the first I've seen one in this area in a few years.

    I mentioned in my first post that an area road underwent a full reconstruction to smooth grades and curves without having a grader on the job. Well that project is complete and I'm not impressed with the results. The speed limit on the road is 45mph and the dips in the road are very noticeable. I have to wonder if this isn't due to not having a grader prepare the road bed?
     
    old-iron-habit likes this.
  8. AzIron

    AzIron Senior Member

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    Among other things any gps machine is capable of really tight tolerances provided the operator makes it perform or a good foreman on the ground calls it out but with a lack of either it wont be good also bad on the inspector

    But you can grade any surface to perfection with a variety of machines weather they are efficient at it on that particular job is the real question