The History Of The Road Grader

Most of us are accustomed to seeing road graders in our everyday lives, from the side of the road to working hard on construction sites. They are one of the most used pieces of earthmoving equipment, but do you know much about how they first were created?

Road graders, otherwise known as motor graders, have been used for centuries to create level surfaces for driving or moving heavy equipment, but the technology has changed a lot in that time.

In this guide, we take you through the motor grader origins and how it has evolved over time. We hope that this article will help to educate people about this important construction vehicle and make the roads safer for everyone.

Origins Of The Road Grader

The first road grader is known to have been invented by American, J.D Adams, in 1885 and was called The Little Giant. It has two-wheels and a wooden blade which was hung or set at an angle (which could be moved from side to side depending on the angle of the road you needed to grade). The Little Giant was then pulled by a team of horses to get the grading done.

In 1896, Adams brought The Road King to market, which was considered an upgrade of The Little Giant. It has four wheels and this time incorporated a steel, eight-foot blade in its design. The Road King also had to be pulled along by a team of horses in order to be propelled forward.

The Evolution of the Road Grader

1920 saw the evolution of the grader moving from horse-drawn to fully-motorized design. The Russell Grader Manufacturing Company invented the first grader with an engine, which was essentially a modified tractor. They named it the Motor Hi-Way Patrol and essentially added a steel blade to a tractor which acted as a grading machine. World-famous manufacturer Caterpillar, bought the Russell Grader Manufacturing Company in 1928, and they made huge advancements in grader history.

They merged the design of the tractor and grader into a self-propelled grader, with the first one being released in 1931, and was known as The Caterpillar Auto Patrol.

Modern Day Road Graders

Whilst this history of graders shows the migration from graders pulled by horses to graders with their own engines for propulsion, the technology has come a long way through the ages to what, today, is known as modern day grader technology. Modern road graders are powered by diesel engines and can move more earth at fast speeds.

At Goscor Earthmoving Equipment, we proudly distribute SANY earthmoving machines, which include a range of high-quality motor graders. These modern-day machines are a far cry from the horse-drawn wooden blades of the late 1800’s.

Features of modern-day motor graders, like the SANY range you’ll find at Goscor Earthmoving Equipment include:

  • Hydraulic driving capabilities
  • Stepless speed change
  • Fuel injection engines
  • Low exhaust emissions
  • Low maintenance requirements
  • High safety rating

Where to find the best road grader supplier in South Africa?

If you’re looking for a modern road grader to get your construction project done in no time at all, chat to the experts at Goscor Earthmoving Equipment today. We stock a wide range of earthmoving machines like road grader, rollers, front-end loaders and hydraulic excavators.

Contact us today or request a quote now.


How have motor graders changed over time?2022-12-09T08:27:59+02:00

Modern day motor graders are now heavy-duty machines with fuel injected engines, hydraulic drive shafts and many other modern features.

What was the first motor grader?2022-12-09T08:27:14+02:00

In 1920, the first grader with a motorised engine was designed by The Russell Grader Manufacturing Company and was essentially a modified tractor.

Who built the first road grader?2022-12-09T08:26:26+02:00

The first grader was designed in 1885 by J.D Adams. It had two wheels and a wooden blade that was pulled by horses.

When was the first road grader invented?2022-12-09T08:25:25+02:00

The first grader was designed in 1885 by J.D Adams. It had two wheels and a wooden blade that was pulled by horses.

What is the purpose of a road grader?2022-12-09T08:24:07+02:00

A road grader is designed to clear and smooth earth surfaces for construction or road building to take place.

2023-03-24T09:53:39+02:00December 9th, 2022|

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