cat motor grader repair or rebuild

Like all heavy equipment, motor graders that pass a certain age generally begin to show wear and tear, and are more likely to suffer from mechanical and performance problems. Then it’s time to consider whether on-going motor grader repairs or a rebuild is the best solution.

Here we explore the pros and cons of each approach, and key criteria you should consider before deciding to repair or rebuild.

Motor grader repairs

Repairing motor grader parts and components that have failed is a practical “quick fix”. Essentially, it involves identifying only what has broken, warped, dulled or given way, and fixing or replacing that.

Pros of repairing a grader

A potential advantage of this approach is that it’s generally cheaper than rebuilding, of course depending on the part that’s affected and any difficulties involved in repairing or replacing it.

It’s also faster. Ad hoc repairs are likely to get your grader back in action sooner than a complete rebuild.

Cons of repairing a grader

The down side, of course, is that it may not be long before your motor grader malfunctions or breaks down again. Even if you secure a lengthy warrantee on parts that are repaired or replaced, other components – which have been subject to the same stresses over the same number of years – may give way at any point.

You also won’t be adding to the machine’s overall life span, or to its potential resale value.

Eventually, the cost of multiple repairs will exceed the cost of having a motor grader reconditioned and rebuilt. With a grader above a certain age or subject to unusually heavy workloads, this time will be reached sooner rather than later.

Motor grader rebuild

Rebuilding – also called reconditioning – a motor grader doesn’t involve just fixing what’s “broke”. Instead, skilled technicians use a systematic approach, in a controlled environment, to restore the grader to “as new” condition.

In many cases, rebuilding may even take a motor grader to “better than new” condition. That’s because new software and engineering upgrades can be incorporated into the build.

At KH Plant, the CAT motor grader rebuild process includes the following stages:

  • machine evaluation: Tests, analyses and visual inspections are performed to develop a customised rebuild blueprint and cost estimate
  • disassembly: the power train is disassembled; gaskets, bearings, hoses, belts, gauges and switches are replaced with new parts; and remaining components are tested and replaced where necessary
  • reconditioning: the frame is inspected and reconditioned to exacting standards; the hydraulic system is overhauled to deliver original levels of performance; electronic modules and software are upgraded or replaced, and engineering upgrades are integrated into the machine
  • reassembly: the grader is reassembled, repainted and fitted with a new set of tyres, and the operator station is refurbished
  • performance testing: quality control and performance, safety and functional tests are performed, and the equipment is fine-tuned based on the results.

Pros of rebuilding a motor grader

A motor grader rebuild delivers like-new performance and reliability at a fraction of the cost of a new machine.

Provided it’s performed by a suitably skilled team, a rebuild essentially gives your motor grader a complete, second life span.

A rebuild also optimises the resale value of a motor grader, ensuring it not only performs like new but looks new as well.

A final, important advantage is that after a rebuild with KH Plant, you’ll have access to on-going support, in case you encounter any issues or need information about how something works.

Cons of rebuilding a motor grader

A rebuild will likely cost more and take a little longer than simply repairing whatever has malfunctioned on a grader.

If you have to get a grader up and running as soon as possible in order to complete a specific job on time, an ad hoc repair may be the best, short-term alternative.

What to consider when choosing to repair or rebuild a grader

Before you decide whether to repair or rebuild, you need to consider the age and overall condition of the grader, and what repairs are required. You also have to ascertain whether your current motor grader is still the best solution for your business.

Generally, it makes more financial sense to rebuild a motor grader if it’s old enough to be showing any general signs of wear and tear, and if you hope to be able to continue using it productively for years to come.

At KH Plant, we specialise in restoring Caterpillar 140G, 140H and 140K motor graders and components to as-new condition – so you can get the benefits of a new motor grader at a fraction of the cost of a new machine. Contact us for more information or to discuss your needs.

Do you need expert assistance?

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

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