Cat’s new 120 GC motor grader needs less operator input

By Jenny LescohierDecember 07, 2021

Adapting engine power and torque to application demands, the 120 GC features electronic throttle control to improve grading productivity

The new Cat 120 GC motor grader is designed to offer high-performance features with reduced fuel consumption, low maintenance costs and easy-to-use controls. 

The 120 GC joins Cat’s family of 11 motor graders and is designed for low- to medium-duty applications including government and municipal work, county road maintenance and finish grading.

Its powershift transmission and balanced machine design ensure appropriate drawbar power to the ground with the Cat C4.4 engine, Caterpillar said. Adapting engine power and torque to application demands, the 120 GC features electronic throttle control to improve grading productivity.

With precisely matched engine power ranges for the standard rear-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive, standard Eco mode operation increases fuel economy up to 5%, lowering owning costs. The hydraulic cooling fan, with optional reversing fan for high debris applications, only runs when necessary to further reduce fuel consumption.

With its familiar steering wheel and lever layout consistent with the 120, 140 and 160K models, the hydraulic system provides more precise and predictable control for a consistent grade. Its transmission with torque converter eliminates the need for an inching pedal, so only throttle and brake pedals are required to simplify operation.

The drive system’s no-spin differential automatically unlocks in the turn to eliminate required input from the operator. The parking brake automatically engages when the machine is in neutral and the service brake is disengaged.

The 120 GC’s standard drawbar circle moldboard increases durability with hardened circle teeth and replaceable wear inserts protecting main component structures. This design stays factory tight to provide long-term precision grading, while the circle drive slip clutch option protects the drawbar, circle and moldboard from potential damage if the machine strikes an immovable object, Caterpillar said.

The available Circle Saver option reduces daily greasing requirements and repairs to the circle and pinion. The grader’s new front axle design maximizes bearing life to minimize maintenance.

A narrow machine width of 7.9 feet plus cab choice of standard or low-profile to reduce overall transport height to 10.25 feet improves machine transportability.

For operating comfort, the cab offers an option between mechanical or air suspension seat, while the control console and steering wheel easily adjusts to the operator’s preference. 

The optional Digital Blade Slope Meter shows the operator the grade without relying on manual grade checkers. Available all-wheel drive increases traction and efficiency, while the increased engine power that comes with the option improves performance on slopes and with poor underfoot conditions.

The 120 GC offers 10-foot, 12-foot, and 14-foot moldboard options to meet a range of road coverage requirements, and a newly redesigned mid-mount scarifier improves visibility to the attachment while decreasing overall machine length.

Improving machine performance, the 120 GC features a common front bolster for a choice of front lift group, counterweight, or front blade option, which aids in spreading more material faster. The rear of the machine accommodates a ripper or tow hitch option.

For a look at the latest motor grader models, click here

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