1 min read / May 1, 2019 / Staff Writer
Nearly every road within Montague County, Texas, is maintained by county employees who handle everything from grading to ditch cleaning, for close to 200 miles of roadway. Only 10% of the county roads are pavement. The rest are gravel, which takes nearly constant maintenance to keep them in good condition.
In 2018, Montague County Precinct 2 began using two Komatsu GD655 motor graders to spread rock on roads and shoulders, as well as to clean ditches.
“The visibility is better than the competitive graders that we replaced,” said crew foreman Wesley Link. “You have a full view of the blade when feathering rock or cutting into ditches, so we’re more productive. We can get the job done in fewer passes.”
Link added that the GD655-6’s dual-mode transmission makes a significant difference. The machine delivers high ground speeds and tractive effort, while providing standout control at low speed, while also incorporating the anti-stall features of a torque-converter transmission.
“Even at lower rpms you get the full functionality and quickness of the hydraulic system,” shared Link. “That gives us better fuel economy, and when working at lower speeds, it keeps moving without stalling. With the competitive brand, we had to throttle up to get the hydraulics to work, and at idle the motor would, or would almost, stall out.”
Operator Jay Clement shared that he values the relatively high road speeds of the GD655-6, 218-horsepower graders, which allow him to move from the maintenance yard to the project site faster. “We drive them to and from wherever we are working, so having a machine that can get there faster means we can get to the job and finish it more quickly than before,” said Clement. “They are also comfortable with plenty of room in the cab.”