A windrow is a long ridge of loose material, for example on the edge of a dirt road or newly graded earthworks. It may also consist of road-building material laid down for collection by a paving machine.

For motor grader operators, neat, even windrowing is something of an art. The video shows how it’s done, in this case using a Caterpillar 140H motor grader.

Windrowing tips

As for most tasks you might perform using a motor grader, nothing beats experience – especially experience with a particular grader and given similar conditions to those you’ll be facing during a new task.

However, there are some basic windrowing tips and tricks for operators to keep in mind.

A basic procedure for windrowing includes the following steps:

  • position the motor grader squarely in front of the material to be cut
  • ensure that the grader’s blade is sharp and position the blade’s toe behind the grader’s right front tyre; for windrowing, it’s best to keep a tight toe and loose heel
  • slide the blade shift so that the heel of the blade is clear of the grader’s left tandem drive wheel, to avoid driving over windrow
  • lower the blade to begin cutting and drive the grader slowly, steadily and accurately along the required course; the material that spills off the blade will form a windrow
  • once you reach the end of the material to be cut, raise the blade, stop the grader and carefully reverse, looking behind you, to the starting point
  • move the grader slightly to the side of the previous window; on the relevant side, the grader’s front tyre should be aligned right alongside the previous windrow
  • lower the blade and make a light grading pass, watching that material flows freely off the blade and into the appropriate position.

As a windrow builds in size, it may be necessary to lean the tops of the motor grader’s front tyres toward the windrow, to counteract any side drift that could pull the grader off course.

However, be careful not to overload the grader or make the tyres spin, and remember that leaning the wheels also lowers the blade. If necessary, rather perform multiple passes, continuing until the windrow is the required size.

At KH Plant, we specialise in reconditioning Caterpillar motor graders, restoring them to as-new condition.

Do you need expert assistance?

Call us now on +27 83 274 4882 or email us.

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