With the increased focus of the government on infrastructure development, especially on upgradation of National highways and various special expressway projects, construction of bypasses and ring roads around major cities and rural road development projects in the country, the road Construction Equipment (CE) sector is growing at a fast pace.

If we look at the road CE sector, then particularly motor graders are seeing an unprecedented growth path. In fact, even the used motor grader equipment market is excelling in the country and it has become the hottest selling item in the overall used equipment market in India. There are many used motor graders available in the market for resale. The best part about them is that they are priced much lesser than the new equipment but offer the same advantages like the new equipment if are in a good condition.

So, if you as a constructor or contractor are looking to buy a used motor grader equipment, then you need to consider the below mentioned points before making the purchase decision...

1. Steering of the motor grader: It is the steering that allows the operator to control the motor grader. So, it should be examined thoroughly. In order to check the steering, the engine should be turned on, the clutch should be pressed and the steering wheel should be turned in both the directions. In case if the clutch pedal kicks up as the steering wheel is manipulated, it is indicative of that there is some problem with the cushion valve which can result in a locked steering system.

2. Hydraulics of the equipment: It is the hydraulics which provides the right power to the machine. So, checking hydraulics is a must. For checking the health of hydraulics correctly, you need to look at the ground beneath the machine for any fluid leaks as you can easily spot it here. These fluid leaks can affect the grader’s performance to a very large extent. Also, the hydraulic system should be checked to ensure that there is no damage to the piston rods. After checking under and around the equipment, it is important to observe all the cylinders, lines and hoses, both inside the engine compartment and out. If the hydraulic pump makes a lot of noise every time you engage the hydraulics, it indicates some internal problems.

3. Motor grader’s circle: The circle of the motor grader generally absorbs most of the force during grading process. So, if the motor grader’s circle is not maintained properly and fully functional, the equipment may become practically useless. Hence, it is necessary to check the cracks, welds or plates on the circle. Even the teeth should be examined carefully for any wear as any slightest damage to it can affect operations. Further, the circle’s surface should also be checked for any signs of uneven wear. If the circle is improperly aligned, then pinion gear teeth may see uneven wear and tear. The best way for circle inspection is moving it through all its motions as this will help you identify any undue play on turn cranks or linkage system.

4. Mouldboard: The cutting edge of the mouldboard which is bolted along the bottom of mouldboard and along the sides need to be straight, all the bolts in position and the side rails at the top of the board smooth and free of impact damage. You need to ensure that the mouldboard does not possess any signs of deterioration.

5. Frame of the motor grader: You need to take a walk around the motor grader carefully observing the frame of the machine. Through this way, you will be able to locate any fishplates which are generally metal reinforcements placed over or even behind a repaired crack. Always ensure that the frame is not leaning to one side and measure the distance between the tandems and the rear wheels for consistency.

6. Articulation point: When buying a used motor grader, it is very necessary to check the articulation point as well. It should be ensured that the front and back half of the motor grader is in line and there is no difference in the level i.e., if the cab is sitting higher than the engine compartment or vice versa, this means that the articulation point is bent or loose. You need to check that the front and back of the vehicle is properly aligned. Any problems with the alignment are usually indicative of a bent or loose articulation point.

7. Linkage system: It should also be checked carefully. This is because any strain and stress can be caused when tyres are turned and leaned and this could damage the frame as well as the linkage system. Do pay heed to the inside of the frame and on the front axle for any evidence of damage.

8. Controls: Controls of the motor grader equipment should be tight and in place.

9. Brakes: If a strange noise is heard when the breaks are put, it may mean that there is some problem with the breaks. The problem has to be sorted before you buy the used equipment.

10. Body alignment: The body of the motor grader may have cracks, plates and repairs. So, you need to check with seller of the used equipment that whether the repairs were done by a qualified welder or not.

11. Overall structure of the equipment: You should also pay attention to tyres and underneath and finally check the cab and other general operations of the motor grader.

In a nutshell

While purchasing used motor grader equipment, it is very important to consider the structural, mechanical, hydraulic and ground-engaging components of the equipment as they can tell the overall health of the machine. Last but not the least, price is also an important factor to be considered. So, select the equipment with caution. Inspect carefully and compare different models before you make the purchase decision.

Since a large number of road projects are already under execution and many more are in the pipeline, the overall growth prospects for used motor graders is undoubtedly very good.