• June 11, 2019
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Caterpillar 12M Grader Equipment Focus

Caterpillar 12M Grader Equipment Focus

The Cat 12M grader offers operational efficiency and productivity with maximum operator comfort.

Caterpillar claims this machine allows you to make the most from your investment with its ease of operation and serviceability. And coming in around the 200K mark, return on investment is high on the priority list.

So, how does the Cat 12M grader stack up? We look at the following to find out:

  • Cat 12M overview
  • The Cat 12M grader in action
  • Caterpillar 12M features
  • 12M grader specs
  • Cat 12M price

Cat 12M overview

The 12M grader sits nicely among Caterpillar’s M series motor graders. It’s on the smaller end of the scale when compared  to the 140M grader, but is still designed to make building and maintaining roads efficient.

According to Cat, you’ll get more done in less time with this motor grader thanks to the moldboard blade width and joystick controls. These easy-to-use controls save the operator hand and arm movement by up to 78%, and help to reduce fatigue.

The 12M motor grader also has an aggressive blade angle that has optimised curvature and large throat clearance. These features are responsible for allowing material to roll along the blade to improve grade efficiency.

The Cat 12M grader in action

Disclaimer: The grader in this clip may be an overseas model. The Australian model may vary from above.

Caterpillar 12M features

In The Cab

With good visibility and a spacious cab, the Cat 12M prioritises operator safety and comfort. It has angled cab doors and a sloped rear window to ensure optimal visibility of the moldboard, tyres and behind the machine at all times. New machines can even be fitted with a rear view camera.

This cab is not only great for visibility, but it also features easy-to-use joystick controls and control switches for better productivity. Operators can even adjust the control pod electronically to achieve their ideal position.

According to anecdotal feedback, the joystick controls and technology in the Cat 12M cab is easy to learn and, though a change from the old lever style, the improvements make using the machine more efficient.

Under the Bonnet

As with the Cat 140M, the Cat 12M is equipped with a C7 ACERT engine the provides consistent performance and maximum productivity. All of Caterpillar’s engines are purpose-built to generate more power with less fuel consumption, and the C7 ACERT does just that.

You’ll also find this engine helps the machine maintain a high torque and lugging capacity through load increases. This model also features an engine idle shutdown timer, which allows you to save fuel and produce lower emissions.

The hydraulic demand fan is another aspect under this machine’s bonnet that helps you get the most from your grader. This component adjusts speed according to the necessary cooling requirements, so that you can benefit from more power to the ground.


Caterpillar designs all of their machines with optimal serviceability to help increase uptime, reduce downtime and improve cost efficiency. They’ve done this by grouping service points and extending the service intervals of the Cat 12M grader to save on maintenance.

Components like the brass wear strips between the blade mounting group and moldboard are positioned for easy adjustment and replacement. The Cat 12M also features a shimless moldboard retention system with adjusting screws, so that the moldboard wear strips are always aligned. This helps to reduce blade chatter and assists with precise blade control.

Not only that but an automatic lubrication system comes as standard, so the machine maintains proper grease on all working surfaces. This increases component life and prevents damage to pins and bushings—meaning more uptime!

12M grader specs

Engine Model Cat C7 ACERT
Base Power (1st gear)—Net 183 HP (136 kW)
Transmission Direct drive, power shift, countershaft
Fuel Capacity 416 L
Forward/Reverse Gears 8 Forward/6 Reverse
Turning Radius, Outside Front Tyres 7.6 m
Top Speed 46.6 km/h fwd, 36.8 km/h rev
Moldboard Width 3.7 m
Moldboard Height 610 mm
Blade Maximum Depth of Cut 715 mm
Blade Pull—Maximum GVW 13,685 kg
Gross Vehicle Weight—Maximum Total 22,045 kg

Cat 12M price

Used Cat 12M graders for sale cost between $122,500 and $285,000, averaging at $199,176*. Prices vary depending on the age, usage, and condition of the machine.

Check out 12M graders for sale here, or at auction here.

Do you think the Cat 12M grader is the machine for you? Let us know in the comments below.

*Prices are indicative of Machines4U listing data by sellers/advertisers and are an approximation only. Data is correct up to and at the time of publishing. Prices may change and need to be verified with individual sellers.

Sources: Cat Product Brochure, www.cat.com, Heavy Equipment Forums

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