Colorado’s Independence Pass is one of the snowiest places in North America. At an altitude of 12,095 feet, the harsh conditions close the 32-mile Rocky Mountain pass for several months each winter.
A Cat® M Series Motor Grader was put to the test last season as part of a team of machines that moves in to open the pass along the Continental Divide in the spring. Independence Pass has an annual average snowfall of more than 28 feet, so it’s very tough going in wet, heavy spring snow conditions.
Equipped with a front-mounted blade and a snow wing, the Cat grader had more than enough power for clearing and widening traffic lanes, benching along guard rails and cleaning up along parking areas and entrances. The machine was equipped with All Wheel Drive for added traction in slick snow conditions.
The Cat grader offered advantages from an operator standpoint as well, with a high level of comfort for long work days. Excellent cab visibility helped the operator work more confidently, especially in areas with curvy mountain roads.