Compact Motor Grader Buying Guide

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A compact motor grader is the best option when it comes to powerful and adaptable heavy gear. These machines are ideal for operating in limited spots since they are more compact than traditional alternatives and provide a special combination of efficiency and flexibility. They are not only very flexible, but they also have a cost-effective benefit, which makes them a wise option for companies that are cost-conscious.

We’ll go over all the important things you should consider before making a compact grader purchase in our in-depth guide. In order to help you make an informed choice, we’ll go into further detail on features like power, size, and cost. This blog post provides all the information you need to make an informed decision about a small motor grader that fits your demands and budget, whether you’re an experienced contractor, a careful gardener, or a practical farmer. Let’s get started by providing you with all the information you need to find the ideal little motor grader for your company.

1. What Is a Motor Grader?

What Is a Motor Grader?

A motor grader, sometimes referred to as a road grader, is a powerful device used mostly for surface shaping and levelling.  What sets motor graders apart is their ability to do this with precision, ensuring that surfaces are just right—not too steep, not too bumpy, just perfect. They accomplish this by placing a large, movable blade in between their front and rear axles. In order to create a level, well-graded surface, this blade can cut through materials such as dirt, stone, and asphalt and distribute them uniformly.

Motor graders play a crucial role in road maintenance, smoothing out rough patches and making your daily commute safer and less bumpy. In regions with heavy snowfall, they clear the roads, pushing the snow to the side and creating a safe path for your car. Additionally, they’re also key players in construction, ensuring that the ground is perfectly graded for building foundations and other structures. Agriculture and landscaping benefit from motor graders too, where they help level the land for better winter crop yield and create visually appealing landscapes. With the right attachments, they can tackle different tasks, from loosening compacted soil to compacting gravel.

2. Considerations When Buying A Compact Motor Grader

Compact Motor Grader

If you are planning to purchase a compact motor grader, there are several important factors that should be taken into account. Let’s take a look at those factors in order to assist you in making an informed and suitable choice:

1. Size

The size of the grader is crucial. Smaller graders are more flexible in tight spaces, making them ideal for urban or confined job sites. Larger graders, on the other hand, are better suited for more extensive projects that require increased power and blade size.

2. Power

The horsepower and torque of the engine have a considerable impact on the performance of a grader. Take into account the level of power required for your specific job. Larger engines are required for heavy grading duties, while smaller engines could be sufficient for minor applications.

3. Type of Job

Determine the primary purpose of the grader. Is it for road construction, landscaping, agriculture, or other tasks? Different jobs may require specific features or blade types, so ensure the grader aligns with your intended applications.

4. Hydraulics & Attachments

Check whether the grader can accommodate hydraulic attachments such as rippers, scarifiers, or snow ploughs. These accessories can significantly enhance the grader’s versatility, allowing it to handle a broader range of tasks.

5. Controls

Examine the grader’s control system for accessibility. Simple controls can boost operator efficiency and shorten your team’s training cycle. Consider ergonomic design and user-friendly features.

6. Tyres & Treads

The grader’s tyres or treads can affect its performance in varied conditions. Choose the right tyre or tread design based on the ground conditions where you’ll be operating the grader.

7. Price

Set a budget for your grader’s purchase and stick to it. Compact motor graders vary in price, so finding one that offers the best value for your specific needs is crucial. Consider not only the original purchase price but also the ongoing maintenance costs.

8. Buy from a Reputable Dealer

Choose a trusted and reputable dealer or manufacturer. A reliable dealer can provide excellent customer support, spare parts availability, and maintenance services. They can also offer warranty coverage, ensuring your investment is protected.

9. Test Several Models Before Choosing

Before making a final decision, test several models. Operate the graders in conditions similar to your job site to assess their performance, comfort, and ease of use. This hands-on experience can help you select the most suitable grader for your requirements.

3. What Are Graders Used For?

What Are Graders Used For?

1. Foundation Preparation: Because they prepare the ground for building foundations, compact motor graders are essential in the construction industry. They guarantee that the earth is level and adequately compacted, which makes it stable and able to support the weight of constructions like roads, bridges, and buildings.

2. Agricultural Land Preparation: Compact graders are used by farmers to get their fields ready for planting. They encourage uniform irrigation and effective agricultural development by levelling the field. This prevents uneven water distribution, which not only increases crop output but also conserves water resources.

3. Terracing: Terracing is a technique used in landscaping and agriculture to create level, horizontal surfaces on sloping terrain. These terraces assist in controlling soil erosion, minimising runoff, and maximising land use for growing crops or creating gardens. They are created with compact motor graders.

4. Race Tracks: Tracks designed for motor racing must be extremely accurate for reasons of performance and safety. Compact graders assist in keeping these tracks maintained to the precise requirements needed for racing events.

5. Earthmoving: Compact graders are adaptable enough to move significant amounts of dirt and materials around building sites in addition to grading and levelling. When you have a lot of dirt and stones or need to remove rubbish, this is especially helpful.

6. Land Restoration: Compact graders are used to raise the ground level by dispersing materials in locations where land needs to be reclaimed, such as coastal regions. This method converts formerly unusable land into functional space for development or agriculture.

4. Different Sizes Of Motor Graders

Different Sizes Of Motor Graders

Motor graders come in a wide range of sizes and operating weights, making them suitable for diverse applications across the construction and heavy equipment industries. The size of these graders can vary significantly based on different project requirements. Their operating weight can range from approximately 40,000 pounds to 165,000 pounds. Let us take a closer look at some popular brands of motor graders, each with its own respective operating weight and power.

John Deere Power (HP) Operating Weight (lb)
620G/GP 215 40,400
622G/GP 225 42,108
670G/GP 235 42,395
672G/GP 255 44,092
770G/GP 255 42,825
Caterpillar Power (HP) Operating Weight (lb)
120/120 GC/120 AWD 125 HP – 139 HP 35,067 lb – 35,494 lb
140/140 AWD140/140 179 HP 42,647 lb
AWD LVR 250 HP 42,325 lb
140 GC/140 GC AWD 196 HP 38,912 lb
18 304 HP 74,324 lb
24 535 HP 161,695 lb
Komatsu Power (HP) Operating Weight (lb)
GD 655-6 218 HP 37,346 lb
GD 655-7 218 HP 38,250 lb

Now, let’s take a look at some of the specific compact motor grader models.

Compact Motor Grader Model Engine Horsepower (HP) Blade Size Key Features
Komatsu GD555 170 HP 12-foot blade Fuel-efficient & Easy to operate
John Deere 25G 130 HP 10-foot blade 360-degree visibility & Automatic grade control
Case CX130 150 HP 11-foot blade Comfortable cab and powerful engine

5. What Is the Average Cost of Motor Graders?

Average Cost

The average cost of a motor grader varies based on multiple factors, such as brand, model, size, features, and condition. Typically, a new motor grader’s price ranges from $200,000 to $1,000,000. Well-established brands and larger models often come with higher price tags, while used or refurbished graders may offer cost savings. Additional features and attachments can also impact the cost, as can dealer negotiations, warranties, and market demand. When considering a purchase, it’s crucial to find a balance between your budget and the grader’s capabilities, conducting thorough research and comparisons to secure the best value for your investment.

6. How Do I Recognise What Size Motor Grader I Need?

Motor Grader

To determine the right size of motor grader for your specific needs, you should carefully consider several key factors. Firstly, the nature and scope of your project or work are significant factors to consider. Different projects require graders of varying sizes and capabilities. For instance, smaller graders are suitable for lighter tasks like landscaping or small road projects, while larger graders with greater power are essential for bigger construction and roadwork.

Secondly, the kind of site and ground conditions are critical in your decision-making process. If you’re working on a relatively flat and stable surface, a smaller grader might suffice. However, for challenging terrains with uneven or rocky surfaces, a larger and more robust grader is necessary to achieve efficient results.

Your motivation for acquiring the grade is also important. If you intend to rent it out, flexibility is essential. Choose a size that can accommodate a wide range of potential renter needs. If, on the other hand, you are purchasing the grader for your own job site, you can adjust its size to the specific jobs you regularly handle.

Moreover, mobility considerations are also important. If your projects are scattered across various locations, you may require a more portable grader that can be easily transported between sites. In contrast, if your work primarily occurs on a single site, a stationary, larger grader might be more cost-effective and efficient.

7. Are You Thinking About Purchasing a Used Motor Grader?

If you’re considering the purchase of a used motor grader, you’re likely exploring cost-effective options. While buying a used motor grader can save you money upfront, it’s crucial to ensure that your investment results in long-term cost savings. Here’s what you should know when buying a used motor grader:

1. Initial Inspection: Begin by conducting a thorough walkthrough of the machinery. Take note of any concerns you may have. Check for visible issues like cracks, dents, leaks, rust, or any other signs of damage that could potentially lead to major problems in the future. These visual cues provide valuable insights into the grader’s condition.

2. Tyre Condition: Pay special attention to the condition of the tyres. Ensure that they have sufficient tread and are free from excessive wear and tear. Well-maintained tyres are essential for optimal grader performance.

3. Detailed Inspection: Move on to a more detailed inspection. Examine critical components such as the engine, cabin, control systems, transmission, and hydraulics. Pay attention to any indications of wear, damage, or problems. This comprehensive check can reveal hidden issues that may not be apparent during a surface-level examination.

4. Test Drive: Request a test drive if possible. This hands-on experience allows you to assess the grader’s performance firsthand. Pay attention to how it handles, steers, and responds to different conditions, which can help you gauge its operational condition.

5. Maintenance Records: Ask the dealer or seller for maintenance records. Reviewing the maintenance history of the motor grader can provide valuable insights into how well it’s been cared for. Regular and documented maintenance is a positive sign that the grader has been properly serviced and is likely to be in better condition.

6. Professional Inspection: Consider having a professional mechanic or technician inspect the motor grader. Their expertise can uncover hidden issues and offer a more in-depth evaluation of the machine’s condition, potentially saving you from unexpected repair costs.

7. Price Negotiation: Based on your findings from the inspections, use the information to negotiate the price. Any identified issues can be discussed with the seller, potentially leading to a more favourable deal or necessary repairs prior to the sale.


When investing in a compact motor grader, it is crucial to carefully consider several critical factors. Your decision should align with the specific demands of your projects, taking into account aspects like size, power, job requirements, and mobility. Another essential part of the decision-making process is determining whether to invest in a new or used grader, with both options offering distinct advantages. This guide provides you with all the necessary knowledge and insights to make a well-informed decision when selecting the ideal compact motor grader for your business. By doing so, you can enhance efficiency and productivity in your construction or maintenance projects.

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