A heavy equipment operator can be many things, and their workday is very different, depending…
Motor graders, or just graders, depending on your terminology, do more than just smooth over the surface. Graders are actually precision tools designed to do a range of tasks.
For their size, graders are able to carve a road to an exact thickness and, more importantly, a precise grade; hence the name ‘grader’. When we talk about grade we are referring to a very slight angle or slope that all roads have.
Roads, particularly those designed to take fast traffic, have a number of problems to counter. The first is fairly obvious if you think about – water deposited by rainfall. If roads didn’t have a slope the water would pool causing many problems for motorists traveling at speed, the toughest being a cars tendency to aquaplane, or go into an all wheel slide, when encountering sheets of water. The slope of the road helps that water to run off instead of collecting in sheets.
The second problem that cars face occurs on bends, particularly long sweeping bends. For most cars, handling a bend at speed could cause the vehicle to roll. What prevents this roll is the angle, or camber of the finished surface. This angle forces the car to remain upright with all four wheels on the road.
Without the use of graders these slopes and cambers would be almost impossible to produce. An experienced grader operator can complete a portion of road base to the exact requirements of the planers. The next time you’re driving at speed on a highway, feel the increased g-force as you drive around a bend; then think of the grader that made that bend safer.
To become a grader operator you need training followed by hands on experience. ATS Heavy Equipment Training Schools deliver high quality training. They may even be able to help you find your first job working as a motor grader operator.