At KH Plant, we rebuild the popular Caterpillar 140G, 140H and 140K motor graders to exacting standards. We’re passionate about motor graders, their performance and their history.

Here we look at the history of some of the biggest motor graders ever made.

The introduction of large models

In the 1950s and 60s, the potential uses of motor graders in surface mining and for the construction of superhighways began to be realised. This led to demand for much larger machines than in the past.

At mining sites, motor graders were and are still used to maintain haul roads, enabling trucks to transport mining equipment and mined materials. They’re also used to reclaim land, levelling spoil banks consisting of large quantities of earth moved during excavations.

The Galion T-700 model

Galion t-700

The first truly massive motor grader, produced in 1955 by the Galion Iron Works Manufacturing Company, was the T-700. This motor grader weighed a whopping 18,143 kilograms, setting a size record at the time.

Other features of the T-700 included the innovative “Grade-o-Matic” control system, including a torque converter drive and powershift engine, and an engine capable of providing 190 horsepower.

The Cat No. 16

Cat no.16

In the year 1963, the Caterpillar company launched the No.16 motor grader, weighing 21,092 kilograms and offering 225 horsepower. It included a 4.3-metre long blade and, at the time, was the largest motor grader available. The No. 16 grader continued being sold around the world for a decade, before it was replaced by the 16G.

The Autoblade

In 1969, the CMI Corporation introduced a double-bladed motor grader named the Autoblade. The Autoblade weighed in at 29,484 kilograms and was 12 metres long, with a power module at each end featuring a diesel engine that used hydrostatic power. Each engine provided 225 horsepower and drove four wheels, making the Autoblade an eight-wheel-drive grader. In addition, the cab of the Autoblade could rotate 180 degrees in either direction.

The Giant

In the same year, RayGo Inc. – a company previously known for its compactors – introduced the Giant. Like the Autoblade, the Giant featured double articulation and dual-end power. Designed for applications in heavy-duty surface mining rather than for high precision jobs, the Giant weighed 48,081 kilograms. Each of its engines provided 318 horsepower.

Dominion Road Machinery’s 80-T model

In 1975, Dominion Road Machinery’s 80-T motor grader surpassed earlier records. It weighed 81,646 kilograms and featured a 700-horsepower engine and a blade that was 7.3 metres long. The 80-T was used to maintain roads for large trucks and to reclaim land at surface mining sites. An upgrade in 1977 to the 100-T model included several modifications for increased strength, and further raised its weight to 91,626 kilograms.

O&K’s G-350

O&ks g-350

In 1980, Orenstein and Koppel (O&K) introduced the G-350, a 90,000-pound (40,823-kg) mining grader. This machine was the biggest motor grader for a brief period. Only 34 units were sold worldwide and production of this model was halted in 1986.

The ACCO grader: the biggest ever

The ACCO grader

In 1980, the Italian Umberto Acco Company built the machine that to this day, holds the record as the world’s largest motor grader. The ACCO grader was a monster, measuring over 7.3 metres and weighing 181,437 kilograms.

The ACCO grader included a blade over 9 metres long and a total of 12 tyres (two per hub). An engine at one end provided 1,000 horsepower, while a second engine at the other end provided 700 horsepower. The front and rear of the machine articulated separately.

The machine was built for a client in Libya, but was never delivered because of trading restrictions. Sadly, the world’s biggest motor grader was left in Italy as no more than a curiosity for tourists, and it has now been dismantled for scrap.

Today’s biggest motor graders

The world’s largest surviving motor grader is Caterpillar’s 24H, launched in the United States in 1996 as part of the company’s popular H-series line of graders. The Cat 24H is a little over 15 metres long, weighs 62,142 kilograms and includes a 7.3-metre moldboard.

For information about the range of refurbished Caterpillar 140G, 140H and 140K motor graders available from KH Plant, contact us online or call one of our representatives on +27 83 274 4882.