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The Auto Patrol

The industry’s first true motor grader was born when Caterpillar introduced the Auto Patrol. One key feature in this machine was the placement of the engine behind the operator, which greatly improved the operator’s visibility. The “Caterpillar Diesel No. 12 Auto Patrol,” as originally introduced, became known simply as a “motor grader” one year later. The original Auto Patrol had six forward speeds and two reverse speeds and weighed in at 20,360 pounds. The No. 12 was also equipped with pneumatic tires for greater speed, which was advantageous as the machine was primarily used for building roads and snow removal.

Since that time the modern-day motor grader has benefited from many product improvements, including articulated frames, an electronically controlled transmission, and the revolutionary joystick controls now found in the current models.

The No. 12 Motor Grader is one of five machines produced by Caterpillar to reach its seventy-fifth anniversary, including the D6, D7, and D8 tractors in 2010 and the D4 tractor in 2011.

“When you look at modern motor graders, you can still see many of the key design features of the Auto Patrol—more than eighty years later.”

Kevin Simmons, Yancey Bros. Co.

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