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Smooth transition from flat to slope

Welder Dave

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Oct 11, 2014
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Canada
I was wondering if a grader will follow slope contours if taking light cuts? I need to do some more finish work on my 1/4 mile oval track. It has 3 to 4% banking in the corners and lower portion of the track but the outside half of the track is basically flat with only a very slight slope. How do you make a smooth transition from flat to slope an then back to flat on the other end of the corner?
 

cuttin edge

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Nov 9, 2014
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2,761
Location
NB Canada
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Finish grader operator
Anything that changes between the front and back wheels will be cut or filled as long as there is pressure in the MB. If they are not drastic changes in cross fall, you should be good. Get yourself a slope meter if you don't have one. Make sure all your tires are equal, park some place you know is perfectly level. I use our scales. set your meter at 0%. To be sure, sometimes I turn around and park in the same spot facing the other way to make sure it still reads 0. Sometimes you can use a smart level. The 730 has enough room in the windshield frame, but they are really sensitive, and I find you have to be stopped to read it. Remember it reads where you are and not where you are going. You have to be pointing straight with the road, if you are on a 3% crossfall, and turn towards the shoulder a bit, or the center, it throws off your reading. Anyway, unless you start gathering a foot tall windrow, you should be fine. That big MB on your machine would not be long throwing out a big windrow if you started cutting too much.
 

Welder Dave

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Oct 11, 2014
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Thanks for explaining that. I'm generally just taking light cuts just to smooth things out. I think if I can get all the slopes and transitions just how I want them and don't cut too deep the grader will follow the contours. I'm hoping to get an experienced operator out to do the initial shaping and show me how to maintain it after it has been ridden and drove on. I know you have to pull material back down that gets thrown up. I need to learn how to scrape a few inches off to smooth it out and then redistribute the material back on the track. Either top to bottom, bottom to top or both. I think I read to scrape from top to bottom and then go bottom to top to put the material back. Otherwise you'd just be digging the track deeper everytime you smoothed it out. The material does get pulverized as it rolls across the moldboard. Once it's put back, it gets packed and watered. It also gets worked up a few times to get more moisture in the ground to prevent dust and hopefully make the track a little tacky. I can get the track smooth but if I could learn how to repair it after an event and restore it to the same contours would be awesome.
 

Cat 140M AWD

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Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
291
Location
Montrose S.D
Occupation
Motor grader operator
I’ve done a little grading for our local dirt track and I’ve found is start at your top pull material across track to bottom then rebuilding your banking and fill in any imperfections in track it will take you a good amount of time in the seat to get good at doing this type of work but there’s only one way to learn and that’s to do it I second getting yourself a slope meter that will at least give you a visual of where your at hope this helps and good luck.
 

Welder Dave

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Oct 11, 2014
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Canada
I have a level that would tell me the slope when I'm stopped. I may need to order a Slopemeter level. A local place had one but wanted $550 for it! Kind of ridiculous. I think I saw them online for a couple hundred bucks less.
 

cuttin edge

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Finish grader operator
They're not cheap, just make sure it's percent not degrees. I think cat had small plastic stick on ones, that's all you really need.
Slopemeter-2NS-crp2-300x225.jpg
. This is what I run. The one I had on my 730 was right on the money. I have the same one on the Volvo, and it's always off
 

Welder Dave

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Oct 11, 2014
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Canada
Those ones are really expensive. It's the one a local place had for $550 a couple years ago. I found it online for $299cad. less shipping and duties. I found another one online that does up to 5.5% slope for about $175 with shipping. Not sure what duty would be. I only need about 3% slope. Thinking a lower range might be a little more accurate or not bounce around as much? They also have that does up to 10.5%.


 
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Welder Dave

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Oct 11, 2014
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Canada
They say good to -40. Like the Slope Meter brand but man are they pricey in Canada. Oop's, just noticed the 2nd link is degree's not percent. I think there is another model that goes to 18.5% but I don't think I'd ever need more than 5.5% grade.
 

IceHole

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Aug 14, 2023
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694
Location
AK
I've stuck a level on the dash.

Old timer that did the driveway gravel before paving on my first had a level taped to the box on the skip loader.
 

Welder Dave

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Oct 11, 2014
Messages
12,733
Location
Canada
I bought a digital level that shows percent grade but it's too sensitive when you're moving. You have to be stopped. From what I've read the slope meters for equipment use a thicker liquid to dampen the movement of the indicator. Ideally it would nice if I could drive around the oval and watch the grade go gradually from flat to 3% in the corners.
 

shaggs

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Oct 31, 2013
Messages
29
Location
victoria australia
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grader operator/leading hand
the speedway i built the track for ( 1988 to 20220) have a ssm slopemeter this goes to 50%. our track is 400mtrs and currant shape is 3to 4%at the pole then every 3- 4mtrs increases to 5-7 then 10-12 ,15 and the last run at the fence is around 20% we aim for a salard bowl shape to hold the cars on the track and off the fence.after ameeting we would rigid harrow or power harrow the black/ hard areas then sheepsfoot the whole track and grade the loose down roughly shaping as we went , wet up if needed and wheel roll at the finish. the slopemeter has anice steady bubble no vibration if set up correctly and calabrated now and then it is a good tool
 

Welder Dave

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Oct 11, 2014
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Don't know what's going on with ebay Canada or the seller?? I decided to go with the 0-18% slope meter just in case I need a slope over 5% but the 0-18% meter doesn't ship to Canada. The 0-5% does and it's coming from the same seller. It makes no sense. It's listed on ebay Canada. I sent them a message asking if there is a way to purchase the 0-18% in Canada. Anybody else ran into something like this before? Maybe it's a sign telling me to go with the 0-5%?


 

JAJ

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Mar 22, 2022
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183
Location
Australia
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Owner operator of small fleet
I have the one in degrees that you had the link for in my 12G grader, it works very well I think. I haven't compared it to the Slopemeter ones but I don't think you will be disappointed.
I don't have to worry about the low temp problems you get so I cant comment on that issue.

In Australia the genuine Slopemeter ones are very expensive as well, hence buying the ones you found. I got the degree one because a large government contract I was going to tender for wanted the crown done to a degree spec not percent for some reason, no idea why... I didn't end up going for the tender so I really should get the percent one to fit in with everyone else now.
 

Welder Dave

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That's good to hear that you have a similar slope meter that works good. I couldn't find any real reviews on them. The Slope Meter ones are way higher in price, almost triple in Canada.
 

Welder Dave

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Oct 11, 2014
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12,733
Location
Canada
I saw another slope meter that had % as well as inches per foot. It was a little more money and not sure if it could be delivered in Canada. It had the nicest display in my opinion. Some of the small plastic ones seemed way too expensive for what they were. If you click on documents it shows the details a lot better.

 
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