One of the most popular vehicles in any municipal fleet is the grader – or should I say graders. This is especially so in northern regions where winter snow is an annual occurrence. Graders aren’t as versatile as many other vehicles in the heavy equipment department, but they are certainly the best machinery when it comes to snow and snow damage.
If you ever drive through mountainous country, especially some of the county backroads, one feature will stand out – there are a lot of sections that are made using gravel. There’s a good reason for this – gravel allows free drainage of water, doesn’t get muddy, and vehicles rarely get bogged down in it.
Winter snow and ice can do a lot of damage to roads, however, once the thaw sets in, gravel roads can be returned to full use fairly quickly by just having a grader level them out again. In winter, those same graders will be seen working as snow plows to clear the roads of snow and ice.
Learning to become a grader operator requires two steps. The first step is to develop a basic set of skills through heavy equipment training. That enables you to take the second step, and that is to refine your skills on the job. Some careers require years of study before you are competent to begin work. Grader operators only require a couple of weeks of heavy equipment training. However, it then takes years to hone those skills with every job teaching you something new.
If your local region suffers from regular snow and ice in winter, then graders are most likely the most popular vehicle in your county’s fleet. In fact, they are probably out right now repairing roads damaged from winter snows.