Motor graders are the culmination of the evolution of various machines. The earliest motor graders were no more than a wide board attached to a set of shafts pulled by a team of horses. The first iron framed graders were pulled by horses. In the late 1890s, tractors began to be used as graders when in the 1920s bulldozers began to be deployed to grade land. Motor graders have evolved to a three-axle tractor-like body with an extended “arm” under which the grading blade sits.
Motor graders are used in the construction and maintenance of roads and infrastructure. They create smooth, flat, or sloping surfaces with a long blade (8 to 24 feet long) located under the frame of the machine as they prepare a surface for asphalt. They are also employed to maintain dirt and gravel roads. The largest machines are found in mining sites where they make “haul” roads for heavy equipment.
Highlights of the report’s key findings are summarized to the right. Motor grader unit sales were relatively stable from 2012 to 2015, dropped xx percent in 2016 but have improved each year since then. Sales in 2018 were xx units. Production levels have followed a similar pattern as sales levels; however, in 2016 there was a dramatic drop when Volvo exited the motor grader market. In 2018, industry production in North America was xx units. In 2017, Caterpillar increased its imports of machines from Brazil and therefore its North American production levels dropped.
We estimate that the motor grader market value increased eight percent to $xx million in 2018 based on wholesale prices of machines to dealers. The increase is due to increased unit sales and sales mix. The field population has increased modestly to xx units, up from xx at the time of our last report. Import levels were xx percent of 2018 sales in line with xx percent in 2017. Caterpillar is the largest single importer of motor graders overall, importing approximately xx units in 2018. It imports its machines from Brazil. Case (Brazil), Komatsu (Japan) and Sany (China) also import motor graders; approximately xx units combined total in 2018. Export levels increased approximately xx percent year-over-year in 2018 and