motor graders

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by westcoh, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. westcoh

    westcoh LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alberta
    Messages: 313

    So I'm thinking about purchasing a used grader sometime in 2010. Maximum I'd want to spend would be $50k, so it's obviously gonna have some hours on it. Seems around here 90% of the graders are Cat, a few Volvos and the smaller owner-operator type companies run Champion.

    Are older 90's era Deere graders any good? I rarely see them around here, but have seen them go dirt cheap at auctions compared to Cat. Would a large Deere ag dealership work on a grader? I know there's a few Deere dealers close by, but all I ever see on there lots are ag equipment and skid-steers.

    Right now I'm leaning towards Champion as they seem relatively affordable and I know there's several dealers near-by that will work on them.

    Just looking for any thoughts/input from anyone with experience with graders. . .
  2. westcoh

    westcoh LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alberta
    Messages: 313

    As a side note I should also mention I'm not interested in the tow-behind boat trailer grader either.
  3. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Can't go wrong with a Cat blade, period. Deere isn't as popular but they're a decent bang for you buck, same goes for Champion. Don't get sucked into buying a Komatsu blade. Outfit I'm with has one and it'll probably be the last, I think we have one of the few, if not only, Komatsu blades in the region and there's a good reason for that. Parts are more expensive than Cat and aren't readily available. $50K right now will buy you a pretty nice blade if you don't mind running something older. I'd go after an older 14G that's been taken care of, don't be afraid of higher hours if the maintenance records show consistent PM work.
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    If you are going to get a Champion grader make sure its Cummins powered you don't want one that has 6/71 Detroit power. The old 740 is a common size.

    There is a reason why the 14G Cat series grader popular for one it has the weight to it. Second it has better drive system and runs air brakes no dealing with hydraulic brakes.

    The highways dept had a John Deere grader and had a Cat 14G the Cat did a better job everytime. The reason being was the Cat has the weight the tires have good traction and keeps pushing.

    The old 740 Champions were good old machines lots of them around but just too old and slow for anything that needs production. The old chain boxes can be a problem and expensive.

    So if your looking for a grader get a 14 series Cat machine.
  5. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,721

    In older graders, if it is not Cat, or J.D. it is junk. I would never buy a Champion. They were built super cheap, and their target market was countys and cities, where low bid always wins. Shoot for an older Cat 12G. Lots of those out there that were low hour county or city machines. Don't overlook older J.d. Graders either. We used a few of them, and while not as good as the Cats, they did a pretty good job.
  6. DeereMan85

    DeereMan85 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 457

    I can't speak for your individual dealer, but we're an ag dealer and work on construction equipment from time to time. You just have to keep in mind that the technicians aren't as familiar with the yellow stuff, and we have to buy parts through a construction dealer. This means you shouldn't expect to have a lot of parts (other than belts, filters, and the like) on hand, and the techs won't know the ins and outs of your machine like they would a tractor. But if you don't mind service and parts taking slightly longer, it can work fine. If you're serious about a Deere, stop by the local ag dealers and talk to their parts and service guys. You'll be able to get a pretty good idea of how they'll treat you based on their initial reaction to your questions.
  7. 93turbo

    93turbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 481

    you might wanna check with your dealers about parts availability the township I work part time for just had to put $16k in the transmission of our deere and they had to do a nationwide search to find enough good used parts to put it back together as they didn't make a lot of the parts anymore
  8. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    One of the guys I went to school with his dad is a grader operator has ran them all and his favorite machine is the Cat 14G. After operating different brands of graders over the 30 years you know what works the best.

    The one thing he said about the Cat is it doesn't slow down you can be grading along and hit a big rock and the machine doesn't stop. Try the same with a Champion or John Deere it stops dead the tires spin.
  9. westcoh

    westcoh LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alberta
    Messages: 313

    Appreciate all the replies so far. Sounds like it's fairly unanimous that Cat makes the best grader, I just can't get over the price of them compared to another brand. I'll definitely have to check with the Deere dealerships as well, as the last thing I want is a machine that noone locally will work on or have parts for.
  10. westcoh

    westcoh LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alberta
    Messages: 313

    What year/model was the deere that they had such a hard time finding parts?

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