Cat® 12M3 AWD Motor Grader Features All Wheel Drive, Integrated Technologies, Fuel Efficient Engine and Superior Visibility

Cat® 12M3 AWD Motor Grader Features All Wheel Drive, Integrated Technologies, Fuel Efficient Engine and Superior Visibility

For Release in Japan: November 2015
Release Number: 263PR15

The new Cat® 12M3 AWD motor grader features unmatched all-wheel-drive capability, integrated technologies including Cat Grade Control Cross Slope, optional Auto Articulation, optional Stable Grade and Advanced Control Joystick controls that improve productivity. The new model offers a newly designed operator station with unrivaled visibility to the moldboard and tires, high-capacity heating and air conditioning system, and enhanced message display for machine information and diagnostics. Completing the package are operator safety features including an Operator Presence System, ground level electrical disconnect switch and engine shutoff switch.

Standard hydrostatic front wheel drive combines with the 12M3 AWD tandem drive for all-wheel-drive capability, yielding optimum traction in mud, gravel, snow, side slope work, and other challenging underfoot conditions. A variable displacement hydraulic pump and motor power each of the front wheels. The standard Hydrostatic Mode, when selected, disengages the transmission and transmits power only to the front wheels for precise control when completing finish work. Additionally, the Cat Steering Compensation System enables powered turns by creating a 50-percent speed differential between the two front wheels for a tighter turning circle, greater control and reduced surface damage.

Integrated Technologies

A fully scalable, factory integrated Cat Grade Control Cross Slope system allows operators to easily maintain desired cross slope by automatically controlling one side of the blade. In addition, newly patented Auto Articulation and Stable Grade technologies improve operator performance and productivity. Auto Articulation improves maneuverability and performance in tight working spaces and enhances operator comfort, while Stable Grade detects and reduces machine bounce during operation. Cat Advanced Control Joysticks are standard with Cat Grade Control Cross Slope, and they also allow precise operation with AccuGradeand when using snow wings. The Advanced Control Joysticks allow the operator to configure auxiliary hydraulic functions safely and effectively without removing either hand from the controls, which results in decreased operator fatigue and increased productivity.

More effective fleet management is placed in the machine owner’s hands with the Cat Product Link telematics system. The system allows remote monitoring of machine location, fuel usage, machine performance and fault codes via the secure VisionLink® user interface.


Safety features engineered into the 12M3 AWD cab include unprecedented visibility. Angled cab doors, tapered engine enclosure and a sloped rear window allow unhindered sight lines to the moldboard and tires and behind the machine. The rear-vision camera further complements lines of sight to the rear of the machine.

Additional safety features include ground level switches for electrical disconnect and engine shutoff, as well as an Operator Presence System that keeps the parking brake engaged and hydraulic implements disabled until the operator is seated and the machine is ready for operation. The hydraulic lockout feature disables all implement functions but allows steering control for added safety when roading.

Fuel Efficiency and Emissions Reduction

The Cat C9.3 ACERT™ engine—rated at 188 kW in the higher gears with all-wheel drive engaged—and meets Japan 2014 (Tier 4 Final) emission standards. The 12M3 AWD features emissions control technology that requires no operator intervention. The diesel particulate filter automatically regenerates at cold start-up or during operation, if required, with no interruption of the work cycle. The diesel exhaust fluid tank is easily filled from ground level.

The new model also features a Programmable Autoshift system that allows the operator to set optimum shift points for the application. Plus, a new Economy Mode system can be selected to reduce engine speed to a more efficient range, resulting in fuel savings up to 10 percent, depending on the application. For added efficiency, an Automatic Differential Lock/Unlock system monitors machine performance and engages/disengages the tandem differential to enhance performance and protect the drive train.

Hydraulics and Implements

The 12M3 AWD uses a field proven, load-sensing, electro-hydraulic implement control system that employs Cat Proportional Priority Pressure Compensating valves that deliver consistent, predictable implement response and allow simultaneous operation of multiple implement functions without slowing the engine or implement speed.

The drawbar, circle and moldboard are designed for easy maintenance, allowing one person to adjust or replace the patented drawbar wear inserts from the top of the drawbar plate. Nylon composite wear inserts maximize circle torque and extend component life; sacrificial brass wear strips between the blade mounting group and moldboard can be easily adjusted and replaced. The Shimless Moldboard Retention System uses vertical and horizontal adjusting screws to keep wear strips aligned for reduced blade chatter and precise blade control.

12M3 AWD Specifications

Engine Cat C9.3 ACERT
Power range, net, kW  141 to 188
Op. weight, max., kg  25 015 
Moldboard width, m  3.7 or 4.3 
Height over cab, mm  3 310 --- based on14.0 R24 tires
Speed, fwd, km/h   46.6 


Note to Editors: Caterpillar rolls-out products and services in each of its territories at different time intervals. Although every effort is made to ensure that product information is released only after Caterpillar has received confirmation from our dealer network, our plants, and our marketing subsidiaries that products and services are available in the relevant region, editors are kindly requested to verify with their local dealer for product availability and specifications.

CAT, CATERPILLAR, their respective logos, “Caterpillar Yellow” and the “Power Edge” trade dress, as well as corporate and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission. 

VisionLink is a trademark of Trimble Navigation Limited, registered in the United States and in other countries.

©2015 Caterpillar All Rights Reserved 

Press Inquiries

Caterpillar Trade Press Media Representatives


Sharon Holling:

Johanna Kelly:

Europe, Africa, Middle East

Francine Shore:

Reader Requests