What is a Motor Grader?

Motor graders play an important role in shaping and smoothing surfaces for roads, parking lots, and other infrastructure projects. But what exactly is a motor grader, and how does it work? Let’s take a closer look.

What is a Motor Grader?

A motor grader is a piece of heavy construction machinery used for grading and leveling roads, highways, and other surfaces. Motor graders are specifically designed to create flat surfaces and have the capability to spread dirt and remove debris.

What is a Motor Grader Used For?

Motor graders are used in a variety of ways for construction and maintenance projects. A few examples of how a motor grader can be used includes:

  • Fine grading and finishing surfaces for pavement or landscaping
  • Spreading and compacting gravel, soil, or other materials
  • Grading and leveling roads, highways, or airport runways
  • Shaping slopes and ditches
  • Removing snow, ice, or debris from roads and surfaces

How Does a Motor Grader Work?

A motor grader works by using a combination of a powerful engine, hydraulic systems, and a large front blade that helps to grade and shape surfaces. When the motor grader is in operation, the grading bar penetrates the dirt surface, pushing smaller particles downward and bringing larger debris chunks to the surface. The depth of the layers turned can be controlled by adjusting the angle of the grader blade and the hydraulic control of this blade allows it to be adjusted from within the cab.

What Are the Different Types of John Deere Motor Graders?

John Deere features a variety of motor graders depending on user preference and intended use. Some of the different types of current John Deere motor graders include:

Within these motor gators, there is a range of net power from 215 hp to 300 hp, depending on customers’ specific needs. Blade pull also ranges from 31,066 lbs to 49,500 lbs, which highlights the amount of power these motor graders have. In addition, SmartGrade is available on all models, and customers can also opt for additional precision construction technology, which can help to make the job a little easier out in the field.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Motor Grader?

Using a motor grader offers a series of benefits for users, including:

High-Quality Grading

Motor graders are equipped with adjustable blades that allow for precise grading and shaping of surfaces. This enables users to create high-quality grading that provides smooth, even surfaces.

Compatible with Multiple Attachments

A variety of attachments can connect to a motor grader, including snow removal attachments, rippers, rotary brooms, rear-mounted blade extensions, and more.

Improved Efficiency

Motor graders are much more efficient than manual grading methods like loaders, hand tools, or bulldozers. By using a motor grader, users can cover large areas faster with improved precision.

Versatile Machinery

Motor graders are very versatile machines that are capable of a variety of tasks. From land shaping to forming precise angles, motor graders offer users much more functionality beyond basic grading.

Cost Savings

Motor graders help to improve efficiency, versatility, and durability, which ultimately leads to long-term cost savings by completing tasks faster and with fewer resources. In addition, motor graders can help minimize labor and material expenses, making them a cost-effective solution for construction and maintenance projects.

What Industries Use a Motor Grader?

There are several industries that use motor graders within their day-to-day operations, including:


A motor grader can be used to level a surface before laying the foundation for a home, building, or other structure.

Road work

Motor graders can flatten and smooth terrain for streets, highways, and parking lots.

Snow removal

A motor grader can be used to push snow out of the way on roads or flat surfaces.


A motor grader can smooth surfaces both above and below ground.


Motor graders can be used to make dirt tracks or roads on farms.


Motor graders can help form drainage ditches and create slopes.

Where to Find a Motor Grader

Ready to improve efficiency and streamline operations? Search for motor graders using John Deere MachineFinder and get information regarding your local dealers" and equipment specifications.

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Additional Resources

John Deere Motor Graders: Facts, Offerings, & Capabilities

Key Motor Grader Safety Tips for Peace of Mind

Preserving A Legacy: The John Deere 570 Motor Grader