Using Motor Graders for Snow Plowing

Motor graders have long been recognized as excellent tools for snow plowing. The introduction of high speed hydraulics and frame steering has made the motor grader even more productive in this application.

In addition to the standard moldboard, a grader can be equipped with a number of attachments to aid snow removal including snow wings, V Plows and straight blades.

Snow plowing techniques and the type of plowing equipment mounted on the motor grader vary greatly in different areas due to:

  • Terrain
  • Type of snow and its moisture content
  • Depth of snowfall normally expected
  • Normal wind velocity that can cause extremely tight drifting
  • Length of time after the snowfall before plowing was started
  • The amount of melting that has occurred
  • Amount of dirt mixed with snow

A major factor is traction. Snow plowing usually occurs under poor traction conditions which often require different operating techniques and the use of tire chains. In snowplowing, operating speeds are normally higher than in earthmoving work. Normal work speeds are in the 5 to 20 mph range. The moldboard should be tipped well forward to prevent damage to the machine and road surface. This allows the cutting edge to ride over rather than try to cut minor obstructions, and may prevent operator injury, cutting edge breakage or machine damage.

When plowing snow, safety must always be your primary consideration. Objects can be hidden under the snow so wear your seat belt. Put a standard circle slip clutch attachment on the machine to prevent possible operator injury or machine damage. For safety, work in the direction of traffic when possible. Before moving or reversing the machine, check all directions to assure there are no people or vehicles in your path.

Blade float is frequently used in snow plowing work. This allows the blade to follow a varying surface using only the weight of the drawbar, circle and moldboard. Blade float prevents damage to uneven surfaces but requires a hard surface such as asphalt or frozen ground to prevent gouging the surface. In areas with loose gravel on the road surface, using blade float may windrow the gravel onto the road shoulder.

Motor graders provide the power and operator comfort you need to clear long stretches of road in a variety of conditions.

For year-round versatility, motor graders can be equipped with a variety of front-mounted blades and snow wings to make them powerful machines for snow removal.

140M2 AWD

The M Series 2 continues the legacy of quality already established by Cat® Motor Graders. The 140M2 AWD utilizes breakthrough technologies, tested in the field and built around real applications and real customer needs.

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Cat® Motor Graders Reach New Heights in Snow Removal

A Cat Motor Grader was put to the test opening a pass along Colorado’s Independence Pass, an area that receives more than 28 feet of snow annually.

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