Charlotte, NC – Champion Motor Graders is building on the enhanced features of its
C Series tandem axle models with the introduction of C Series updates for the company™s
line of single-axle drive compact graders. Like the Champion C80 C and C86 C models, the new C60 and C66 C Graders are now designed with a reengineered front axle providing the highest ground clearance and the tightest turning radius of any grader in their class. C Series units also intoduced a new moldboard and blade lift arrangement and a stronger mount for the Champion articulation cylinder.
Front axle thinks big
Bryan Abernathy, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Champion Motor Graders, says the
C Series updates reflect Champion basic belief that the operators of compact graders face the same challenges as big graders and they should be able to run equipment that™s equally capable of doing the job!
Abernathy points to the redesign of the C Series front axle as one example of big thinking. The obstacles you encounter on a job site don™t get smaller just because you have a smaller machine! The C60 and C66 now have the ability to clear more of those obstacles than any other grader this size. Now raised 6 inches higher, the ground clearance of the C Series front axle tops 22 inches. The box-type axle design provides the height to hide the steering cylinder, tie rod and other moving parts behind the axle and provide additional protection to the critical parts. Now compact graders can go where the big graders go, says Abernathy.
Moving in smaller circles
According to Abernathy, however, the crowning achievement of the redesigned new front axle is the tight turning radius it gives to C60 and C66 Graders. As a class, compact graders are all about superior maneuverability in restricted spaces. From that standpoint, we just set the bar higher for the entire grader category. The C Series front axle allows 50 degrees of steering angle left and right, an improvement of 15 degrees ober previous models. With the frame fully articulated, the single-axle machines are able to turn 360 degrees within a 17 ft. 6 in. circle.
Development of the C Series updates was led by Jeff McKee, Champion™s Vice President of Engineering and Customer Support. McKee says, Although we did completely re‘engineer the axle, we decided to keep certain bullet proof features from the old axle such as the combination of tapered roller bearings and replaceable bushings. He explains that high stress areas such as the king pin spindle assembly use a tapered roller bearing for support. The tapered bearing also allows for making adjustments over time to keep the spindles tight and working like new. Large surface areas such as the oscillation pin and wheel lean pin ride in a replaceable bushing. These bushings are long and provide maximum surface area for the shaft to ride in. This large surface area is what makes the bushing last almost as long as a bearing which extends the service interval and reduces up-keep cost.
Articulation cylinder enhancements
McKee and Abernathy acknowledge that tight turns and challenging terrain add stress to pivotal points in their machines, so the C Series engineering also examined ways to improve strength in the frame articulation. Replaceable ball joints were removed from the design and clevis-style mounting put in there for optimum strength. Similar to the front axle design, the articulation cylinders are mounted on spherical bearings for increased service life.
Moldboard and blade lift arrangement
In some cases, Abernathy admits, bigger really is better. The C Series blade lift arrangement is an example. Operators in a big grader appreciate the feel they get from a wide stance blade lift when they are feathering out the grade. It gives them a better sense of control. With the C Series Graders, the blade lift stance of our smallest graders has been increased more than 35%, 14 inches to a full 4 feet across. Abernathy says that, in field trials, operators claimed that the widened blade lift gave the compact graders a feel very similar the controls of a large grader.
Feedback from operators also led to a taller moldboard, designed to minimize spillover. Experienced grader operators told us they like to tilt the board forward and keep their eyes on the bottom edge of the moldboard. With our new board, the additional height allows them to do that and get a roll going to increase their productivity.
About ChampionOne of the oldest names in the equipment industry, Champion Motor Graders has specialized in the development of compact graders and attachments for over 25 years. Champion engineering and manufacturing, based in Charlotte, NC, are dedicated to the production of compact machines that assure customers of the same productivity and quality standards they expect from the best in full-size construction machinery. The Champion line-up now includes five basic models with operating weights from 12,000 to 15,500 lbs., featuring the full range of single-axle, tandem and all-wheel 4×4 and 6×6 drive systems. Champion continues to develop a growing range specialized equipment for the road maintenance and paving industry.