Motor Grader vs Bulldozer

Motor graders and bulldozers are both earthmoving machinery that have some overlap in their functions. These machines are used for moving dirt and debris to flatten a surface in preparation for projects such as road construction and mining activities.

This article will outline the differences between motor graders and and bulldozers and compare the benefits of each machine.

Features of a Bulldozer

Bulldozers are a tracked vehicle with a metal blade at the front of the machine that allows for the shifting of substantial amounts of earth. As dozers are tracked, this allows them to travel across all kinds of difficult terrain, such as rocky or sandy landscapes at mining sites. There are also dozers that can travel across muddy surfaces that other vehicles can’t because the bulldozer’s tracks distribute the machine’s weight equally. Therefore, bulldozers are much more versatile in terms of the types of terrain they can cover compared to graders, which are more commonly suited to open areas. 


If you require debris to be cleared from your worksite, then bulldozers are the machine for you.

Features of a Motor Grader

Like bulldozers, graders also move significant amounts of earth, but this machine focusses on the flattening of the ground. In colder climates motor graders also clear roads of snow. Motor graders are much more precise than bulldozers in their flattening of the ground as they use a flat blade under the vehicle to smooth the ground and remove any excess dirt and debris. This function is of particular importance for road construction where it is essential to flatten a surface before bitumen is laid. Motor graders also find use at mining sites, where dirt roads have to be smoothed before larger vehicles travel over them. For these projects, motor graders are quite a large machine but smaller models are available for residential projects. An articulate frame grader has a hinge in the middle of the vehicle that allows the grader to turn in smaller worksites. 

While graders are not a tracked machine like bulldozers, many models allow for the blade to be moved sideways or at angles through the use of a hydraulic system to flatten slopes or trim roads. Even though graders do not have the same off road capabilities as bulldozers, they are still clearly versatile machines.

What Machine is Right for You?

If you seek earthmoving precision over the raw power that comes with a bulldozer, then a motor grader is likely a good fit for you. Bulldozers are certainly suitable if you only need to move large amounts of debris but for the smoothness and scale that is required to flatten earth on dirt roads or before bitumen is laid, a motor grader is the more suitable machine.

Looking to Hire a Motor Grader?

If you need a motor grader for your next project, then contact Yellow Hire today. We are a specialist hire company that services Victoria and New South Wales and are more than happy to find a suitable machine for dry hire that fits your requirements. Contact us through our contact page or give us a call on 1800 784 453.