Tossing up between the Cat 140H and 140M grader? There’s a reason Caterpillar top the list of best grader brands: they’re reliable, durable and maintain their value (great for resale!).

With Cat’s graders dating back to 1928, it’s no surprise their 140-class graders are a popular choice among the construction industry. These machines make building and maintaining roads simple with a stable blade and adjustable controls. Over the years, Caterpillar has continued to refine their motor grader design with integrated technologies and an overall better cab.

So, H or M? There are subtle and not-so-subtle differences between Cat’s 140M and 140H class graders, and sometimes it’s tough knowing what the main differences are. So, we’ve compared these models side-by-side to give you a greater understanding of what exactly has changed in the 140 series over the last 25-odd years.

Let’s start with some video walkarounds to give you a better picture of these machines.

Cat 140H Grader

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

The 140H is the classic motor grader. First launched in 1995, it has all the grunt you’d expect from a traditional grader. And the reliability to make it a popular choice among operators. Our 140H equipment focus article shows you why this machine maintains its position in the industry.

Cat 140M Grader

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

As mentioned in our Cat 140M equipment focus article, this machine pushes the traditional grader to new heights through the addition of a powerful turbo-diesel engine and new tech for better efficiency. No matter if you’re trenching or levelling, both machines have the capability to make light work of your construction project.

Main Differences Between The 140H And Cat 140M Grader:

Under The Bonnet

Caterpillar 140M Engine 140H Engine
Cat 140M Cat 140H grader engine

The 140M grader has more power than its predecessor—due to the upgrade of the turbo-diesel C7 ACERT engine. Not surprising when the 140H is almost 25 years old!

But, even without the turbo-diesel engine, the 140H still packs a punch with its compact 6-cylinder engine. It’s an impressive design that enables high-torque output, variable horsepower and fuel efficiency to reduce your operating costs.

Heavy-duty work is more efficient with the 140M grader. The purpose-built engine maintains grading speeds, has superior torque, and will handle short-term load increases. Not only that, but the hydraulic demand fan also means no overheating, while the engine idle shutdown timer saves fuel and reduces emissions.

In The Cab

140M Controls 140H Controls
Cat 140M grader cab Caterpillar 140H cab

It’s also important to note the change from lever to joystick controls, and the refreshed comfort of the cabin in the M series machine. These joystick controls give users the benefit of reduced hand and arm movement by up to 78%. Which provides greater comfort for the operator, less fatigue and optimised efficiency—for productivity that will give you a positive return on your investment.

The 140H is quite a comfortable cabin design for its time. With an adjustable suspension seat and armrests, large windows and reduced engine noise it continues to be a great choice for operators.

Blade Angle And Moldboard

140M Grader Blade 140H Grader Blade
Caterpillar 140M grader blade Cat 140H grader blade

The depth of cut, turn radius and moldboard width and height is highly comparable between both models. Both the 140H and 140M grader blades are manufactured with heat-treated rails, hardened cutting edges and end bits. They also feature aggressive moldboard angles that allows materials to roll freely along the blade. The main difference is in the curvature of the 140M blade and link bar, which makes positioning for sloping and ditch cutting easy.

So, what’s the difference? Let’s delve into the machinery specs to see how the Cat 140M and 140H stack-up on paper.

Comparison Specs


Cat 140M Cat 140H
Engine Cat C7 6 cylinder ACERT turbo diesel Cat 3176 STA engine, variable HP
Net Base Power 183 HP 165 HP
Transmission Direct drive, power shift, countershaft Direct drive, powershift
Fuel Capacity 416 L 397 L
Top Speed 46.6km/h fwd, 36.8km/h rev 44km/h fwd, 34.7 km/h rev
Turn Radius 7.6 m 7.5 m
Max Operational Weight 23,538 kg 21,261 kg
Moldboard Width 3700 mm 3658 mm
Moldboard Height 610 mm 610 mm
Max Depth of Cut 715 mm 715 mm
Blade Pull at Max Weight 20,769 kg 19,135 kg
More specs More specs

Price Comparison

According to Machines4U website data, prices vary for the 140H and Caterpillar 140M motor graders depending on its condition, attachments and age:

A brand new model of the 140M grader comes at a high price (double that of the 140H), but may be worth the investment, if it’s within your budget. This model will give you:

  • Greater engine performance
  • New integrated technology
  • Joystick control functions
  • Efficient power train
  • Responsive hydraulics
  • Fuel efficiency

If you want to get results without the high price tag, the Cat 140H is a great alternative that will grade the earth efficiently.

So, these are some of the main differences between the 140M and the 140H graders. If you have one of these machines, tell us about it in the comments below, or check out listed Caterpillar graders for sale.

*Data has been curated from Machines4U listing information, accurate at the time of publication.

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