motor grader farm road

Motor graders are designed to smooth and level large areas of ground.

This is why they’re most commonly used to build and maintain gravel roads.

But motor graders have a range of other uses on farms that make them a valuable investment.

Building and maintenance of farm roads

Farm roads are essential for accessing fields and transporting produce and harvests.

They take a lot of wear and tear from heavy vehicles and tractors.

A motor grader makes quick work of grading the surface so that it stays smooth with no potholes that can damage farm vehicles.

Building new roads on your farm can be handled by a motor grader.

New roads must have a suitable slope and ditches to aid with drainage or they develop potholes.

Using a grader to build ditches on farms

Graders can also be used to create drainage ditches.

Proper drainage in fields is essential to avoid standing water and waterlogged crops.

Good drainage leads to higher crop yield, better soil structure and better traction for fewer cultivation passes.

Fields with standing water and waterlogged soil carry a high risk of harbouring parasites and snails that carry disease.

If a field is used for livestock, bad drainage can lead to footrot and poor udder hygiene.

How to use a grader to build a drainage ditch

Here are basic steps for using a grader to build drainage ditches on your farm.

1. Angle the blade sharply and place the toe of the blade behind the front wheel.

2. Drive the grader straight along the area where you want the ditch to cut a roughly 5 cm deep line to use as a guide.

3. Make your next pass with the same settings but with the front wheel on your guide. Put a load on the machine but don’t take more than the grader can handle. Work in first gear and keep it slow in case there are hidden rocks.

4. On the next pass, set the blade tight on both ends to deliver materials outside the wheels.

5. Set the machine straddling the windrow and carry it away from the ditch bank. Do this before it becomes too awkward to handle.

6. If the ditch needs to be deeper, repeat steps 3, 4 and 5.

Creating turnrows with a grader

A turnrow, also known as a headland, is a strip of graded land at the end of a field that’s used to turn the plough when it has completed a furrow and needs to start the next one.

Because this section of land needs to be smooth so that it’s easy for the tractor and plough to turn, a grader is the best and quickest way to create them.

Creating windrows on your farm

A windrow is a long ridge of loose material, such as soil or gravel.

You often see a windrow along the edge of a gravel road or an area that has been freshly graded.

These mounds are often used as a safety feature by a dirt road to redirect a wandering vehicle.

How to use a motor grader to create a windrow

Motor graders are great at creating windrows. This is the basic process.

1. Use a sharp blade with a tight toe and loose heel. The pitch should be slightly forward.

2. To avoid driving over the windrow, slide blade shift right to keep the heel clear of the left tandem drive wheel.

3. Lower toe and heel of the blade to begin cutting. The material cut with the blade lowered will spill off the heel to form a windrow.

4. Continue until you reach the end of your first cut and then stop and reverse to the starting point.

5. Move to the left so you’re straddling the previous windrow with the grader.

6. Lower the blade and make a light grader pass, observing the material flowing to the left heel of the blade.

7. As the windrow becomes larger, the top of the front tyres should lean towards the windrow to counteract side drift. If you do a heavy cut, use the front wheel lean.

8. Avoid a heavy load on the machine. Do more passes to avoid wheel spin.

9. Continue until the windrow is the desired size.

Using a motor grader for farm terracing

Terracing flattens sections of a sloped area of land into large steps. These terraces can be used for growing produce without worrying about soil erosion and landslides.

Terraces are usually parallel with a steep back slope.

Sometimes, contour terraces that follow the lie of the land are required due to obstructions.

Whichever terrace you need, a motor grader can help build it.

Using a grader for ground levelling

Before planting new crops or building a new structure, the ground has to be smoothed and levelled.

Graders make quick work of this process and can help you identify obstructions such as large rocks and dips.

At KH Plant, we specialise in restoring Caterpillar 140G, 140H and 140K graders and components to as-new condition.

This gives you the benefits of a new motor grader on your farm 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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