Compact Motor Grader Buying Guide

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Compact motor graders, road graders, or maintainers, whatever you call them, are essential equipment at any construction site. It is a versatile and powerful, heavy-duty machine with a long blade that helps with many construction tasks. In comparison with conventional motor graders, compact motor graders are much smaller and more maneuverable, making them a perfect choice for use in tight spaces.

In addition to their compact structure, these heavy machines are light on the purse. Hence, they are an ideal choice for all businesses with a limited budget. However, purchasing a compact motor grader that suits your needs perfectly requires an in-depth understanding of motor graders. Though it is impossible to gain much knowledge about them in a few minutes, this ultimate guide to buying a compact motor grader can help you make an informed decision.

Keep reading this blog, as it will help you learn more about compact motor graders and what they do and provide you with some of the most helpful tips for buying them.

1. Compact Motor Grader and Its Uses

Compact Motor Grader and Its Uses

A compact motor grader is one of the most essential pieces of construction equipment used to grade and level surfaces. It comes with a long blade that can be lowered and heightened as needed to create a smooth, even surface. Most commonly, compact motor graders are used in construction, agriculture, and landscaping.

Buyers looking for a maneuverable, versatile, and affordable heavy-duty machine that makes landscaping, agriculture, and construction work easy can invest in a compact motor grader. Here is the list of tasks that motor graders can proficiently accomplish:

  • Creating Ditches: Compact motor graders can expertly build ditches required for drainage and irrigation.
  • Grading Roads: Building an even and smooth surface for traffic is possible with a compact motor grader.
  • Snow Removal: Removing snow from sideways and the road could be difficult without a motor grader.
  • Surface Levelling: Levelling surfaces of construction sites and agricultural land is a work compact motor grader holds excellence in.

Apart from these, a compact motor grader can create building foundations, parking lots, and cleared land. The list of tasks this heavy-duty machinery makes easy is long!

2. Factors to Consider While Buying a Compact Motor Grader

Factors to Consider

Now you understand how much work a compact motor grader can make easy. It’s time to determine which motor grader will suit your needs the best. In order to select the best compact motor grader, you have to test drive many of the most popular graders, and only after that can you make an informed decision.

Bear in mind that impulsive decisions or commitments made under the influence of a salesperson with hard selling tactics are always regretted. Do your homework and choose machinery that suits your needs. Here are a few things that you must consider before making a decision regarding the purchase:

  • Power: You can find compact motor graders with different power ratings. It is imperative to select a grader with enough horsepower to handle all the tasks that you intend to do with it. For instance, if you plan to do heavy and complex tasks with the grader, it would be best if you chose a grader with a higher power rating.
  • Size: The size of the grader can also influence your decision since compact motor graders come in a variety of sizes for working in different settings. If your machinery is intended to be used in tight spaces, it’s better to go with a smaller size. Select a large grader if there is no restriction on spaces on the work site.
  • Features: With each passing day, more and more features are added to machinery to enhance its performance and working abilities. It is essential to purchase a compact motor grader with the features you actually need instead of the offered features. The most common features graders boast include blade angle adjustment, 360-degree visibility, and automatic grade control.
  • Price: One of the most crucial factors that compact motor grader buyers need to consider is its price. The price of a grader ranges from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands. Invest in a compact motor grader that is within your budget. Stretching the budget for unnecessary features is never recommended for any sort of item.
  • Hydraulics: You must check the hydraulic system of the compact motor grader before buying it. The hydraulics of a compact motor grader determine its strength and responsiveness. Consider investing in a machine with hydraulics strong enough to accomplish all the tasks in the required time without any hassle.
  • Attachments: A business or individual should buy a compact motor grader that is versatile enough to support most of the attachments. The first thumb rule is to plan the attachments you intend to work with and determine their suitability to ensure you choose the perfect motor grader for your project.

3. More Tips to Buy the Right Compact Motor Grader

More Tips to Buy the Right Compact Motor Grader

In addition to all the above factors, while buying a motor grader, this list of tips will also come in handy in making the right and informed decision. Go through the list to know what secret tips it has for you!

Do Your Homework

Checking the price, power, size, and features can help you determine what each has to offer to you, but don’t forget that these are all offered features and you can’t figure out the reliability by just looking at them. You must spend a handsome amount of time digging deep into the reviews of each compact grader shortlisted to learn about the experiences of other buyers. We avoid buying small things without checking their ratings, so how are you supposed to buy such big machinery without research? Most reviews of the grader must be positive, and the ratings should be high.

Test Drive Different Models

Just like we test drive different cars before booking one, it is essential to test various models of the compact motor grader to determine which is perfect for your next project. You can note down the positives and negatives of each grader you test drive and then compare them to select the best compact motor grader.

Purchase from a Reputed Dealer

You should buy a compact motor grader from a dealership that has a good image in the market and builds top-notch quality graders for customers. To determine the best dealership, you can either check their reviews or connect with the people owning graders to discuss the quality of after-sales service they get from a particular dealer or manufacturer. Some of the most reliable and reputed dealerships are Caterpillar, Komatsu, Case, and John Deere.

4. Some Popular Compact Motor Graders

Popular Compact Motor Graders

Now you have all the basic information about how you can choose the best compact motor grader for your next project. However, if you are still confused about which one would be a perfect choice or which are the most commonly used graders, nothing is worth worrying about. Here are the most commonly used compact motor graders:

  • Komatsu GD555: Well-known for its fuel efficiency and ease of operation, Komatsu GD555 is one of the most commonly used Compact Motor Graders equipped with several useful features, including a powerful engine, smoother operations, operator-friendly cab, and easy serviceability.
  • John Deere 620G: Another popular compact motor grader is the John Deere 620G, which offers exceptional performance, is built with the latest technology, and is easy to maintain and service. It is designed with customers in mind and, thus, can be seen on most construction sites.
  • Case 845B: If you are looking for a perfect compact motor grader for quarrying and infrastructure development, Case 845B could be your final destination. Its stronger throttle response, cold-start capability, and excellent visibility make it stand out from the crowd.

See the table for more information regarding the popular motor graders:

Motor Grader Model Engine kW Turning Radius Operating Weight Price (Approx)
Komatsu GD555 6.69 ltr 146 7.3 m 15135 $37,816.28
John Deere 620G 6.8 ltr 160 7.21 m 18325 $460,000
Case 845B 6.7 ltr 129 7250 mm 14605 $359,254.66
Volvo G740E - 157 7,798 mm 35610 $105,885.58
Caterpillar 252D 4.4 ltr 128 - 16100 $62,145.03
Note: The details mentioned above are just for informational purposes. Refer to the manufacturers’ website for in-depth details about the graders. The above listed are some of the common compact motor graders you might have seen in action on the project sites. However, before making any decision regarding the purchase, it is essential to determine what everyone has to offer and you will eventually select one that serves your needs the best.

5. What Makes a Compact Motor Grader the Best?

Compact Motor Grader

You might be wondering why the above compact motor graders are popular among the business; what specialities do they offer? To find an answer, let’s delve deep to know what makes a compact motor grader popular.

  • Fuel Efficiency: A compact motor grader with good fuel efficiency is always loved by businesses and operators. The most popular motor graders are fuel graders, so they are purchased more.
  • Maintenance: Compact motor graders that require low maintenance often succeed in the competition. People want machines that are easy and affordable to maintain in the long run.
  • Ease of Operation: With the addition of some features, a compact motor grader can be made easy to operate; for instance, automatic transmissions can enhance the capability of working at low RPM. Graders with such features gain popularity among operators quickly.
  • Versatility: Businesses prefer investing in compact motor graders that can be used for a variety of tasks. For instance, a motor grader must be able to create ditches if it can level surfaces and grade roads.
  • Maneuverability: The whole purpose of buying compact motor graders is that they can be used in tight spaces. If the grader is not maneuverable, there is no sense in investing in it. A grader with higher maneuverability will always be the first choice of buyers.

The things listed above are the things that contribute to making a compact motor grader the best, and you should only invest in machinery that ticks all the boxes, whether it is power, versatility, low maintenance, fuel efficiency, or anything else.

6. Should You Buy a Used Compact Motor Grader?

Used Compact Motor Grader

When you step into the marketing for buying a compact motor grader, you will be served with two options, either you can buy a new compact motor grader or consider a used compact motor grader. So, the question is should you buy a used compact motor grader? It is worth investing in a grader with not much wear and tear, decent hours on the odometer, and where you get 25-50% of the profit. You can consider investing in a compact motor grader if a certified and experienced mechanic approves it.

The mechanic will look over the entire grader to determine its exact value and for how much time it can be used. Also, you must consider the cost of maintenance if you invest in a used motor grader, as it increases over time. Buying a used grader is the best option for those who plan to resell it in the near future or don’t need to perform much work with it. On the other hand, if you need to keep the motor grader for a long time, consider investing in a new one.

The things one needs to check in a used compact motor grader are as follows: 

  • Leaks
  • Worn Cables
  • Hours meters
  • Movement or play
  • Dents, Cracks, or Bends
Pro Tip: It is possible to change or alter the numbers in the odometer. You can determine the wear and tear by looking at the brake pedals and seats to determine the accurate age of a compact motor grader.

7. Average Compact Motor Grader Machine Price


If you are planning to buy a compact motor grader and are blank about its cost, you might want to get an estimate of how much you should have in hand to bring a motor grader to the project site. The price of a motor grader can range between $6,000 and $585,000, averaging $266,663.

As mentioned in this blog, you have to determine your requirements and intended use to select the perfect compact motor grader for your next project. The price of graders greatly varies depending on their size, features, power, and brand. So, spend a handsome amount of time doing research and you will find a grader within your budget.

On the Final Note

Considering their maneuverability and fuel efficiency, people like you invest in compact motor graders. Investing in them is indeed a good idea, but determining which size and power rating grader you should buy could be complex. Also, deciding whether a grader is worth the demanded price can be difficult without knowledge.

This blog revolves around the same topic and contains all the information regarding graders, some of the most popular graders, and things to check in a used grader. It will help you buy the best compact motor grader that suits your requirements. So, reading this blog is a must before heading to the dealership to buy a grader.

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