Volvo G946C Scores Top Grades in Demanding Conditions

Thu June 05, 2014 - National Edition

Volvo’s twin pinion driver provides the moldboard with up to 52,000 ft.-lbs. (1,191 Nm) of circle turn torque, while it is supported by 700 sq. in. (4,516 sq cm) of Duramide bearing surface.
Volvo’s twin pinion driver provides the moldboard with up to 52,000 ft.-lbs. (1,191 Nm) of circle turn torque, while it is supported by 700 sq. in. (4,516 sq cm) of Duramide bearing surface.

Whether operating in gravel or heavy clay, the Volvo G946C motorgrader — available with an optional dozer blade or scarifier — performs with the accuracy and productivity that customers expect from Volvo Construction Equipment. The 38,510 lb. (17,470 kg) machine’s heavy-duty circle, moldboard and drawbar (with a blade pull at base of 24,957 lb. (15,177 kg) provide a stable and reliable platform, for even and precise grading, while the ergonomic human-machine interface (HMI) helps the operator stay in control at all times, according to the manufacturer.

Volvo’s twin pinion driver provides the moldboard with up to 52,000 ft.-lbs. (1,191 Nm) of circle turn torque, while it is supported by 700 sq. in. (4,516 sq cm) of Duramide bearing surface. The exterior teeth in the grader’s circle turn system provide a large rotation circle, offering enhanced productivity and eliminating material build-up and tooth damage, for low maintenance requirements and a long service life. The new design also features a slide bearing, which holds the blade steady at full extension, for maximum precision in fine grading applications. In the drawbar system, the off-set ball stud bolts to the drawbar to ensure it stays parallel to the ground when rotating. The system is able to accommodate changes to tire size or cutting edges, avoiding cutting or welding during servicing as well as providing optimal uptime.

Quick and Accurate Response

The Volvo G946C’s load-sensing hydraulics balance flow to all grading functions through custom-designed spools in the main valve. The system quickly and accurately maneuvers the blade to the correct position, for smooth and fast response at all operational speeds, according to the manufacturer.

To further enhance precision, the grader’s all-wheel drive system includes a creep mode, which only engages the hydrostatically-powered front-wheels. This mode is especially useful in fine grading applications, as the rear tandem wheels roll freely behind the machine, without damaging the freshly graded surface.

Control Cab

From the G946C’s spacious ROPS/FOPS-certified cab, the operator remains in command at all times, due to all-round visibility and ergonomically positioned controls. The clean and comfortable environment, with effective noise insulation and climate control, helps to eliminate operator fatigue, for an accurate and productive work shift.

The direction of the grader is determined by a precision steering wheel. However, operators may prefer to use the optional joystick, which also provides proportional response, thereby simplifying machine operation. Nevertheless, the steering wheel always takes priority over the joystick system so that the operator can instantly correct steering, for increased safety and control. The joystick also includes a stop-at-center articulation feature, which uses sensors to accurately return the motorgrader’s articulation to the center, whenever required.

Besides enabling the operator to steer, the joystick also provides ergonomically friendly control over all the hydraulic functions, the transmission system and attachment performance. The operator can customize the joystick system to their own user profile via a touch screen. A separate screen displays diagnostic information from the Volvo Contronics, which continuously monitors and records machine operation and performance in real time. Integrated with Volvo’s MATRIS function logging system, Contronics facilitates ease of operation, providing the operator with all the necessary information for optimal performance.

If required, the G946C motorgrader also can be fitted with a third-party grade control system, using the technology ready option. Volvo engineers have worked with the world’s leading suppliers of grade control systems to develop a common interface and installation package. This ensures high productivity and precision in fine grading applications, regardless of customer preference, according to the manufacturer.


The G946C features the latest D8 Tier IV Final/Stage IV-compliant engine, with a base net power of 225 hp (168 kW), combined with an industry-leading transmission. The 11-speed transmission provides more gears, both in the work and travel ranges, allowing the operator to select the most fuel-efficient gear for the task in hand. The redesigned transmission also has an improved cooling capacity and is automatically calibrated for smooth, efficient gear shifting and increased productivity. The operator can shift quickly between any forward and reverse gear, without using the brakes or inching pedal, by pre-programming the unrestricted shuttle shift to go from one gear to another when the gearstick is moved forwards or backwards. The V-ECU prevents the engine from stalling by automatically shifting the transmission into neutral.

At Your Service

To maximize the uptime of each machine, the G946C has been designed with ease and speed of maintenance in mind. No tools are required to access components covered by daily service checks — fluid levels can be checked visually or electronically from the operator’s seat, while cab air filters are serviced from outside at ground level. All other components are accessed using a single key — the same key that is used to start the engine. Some components do not require any maintenance. The fan that regulates the temperature of the vital components, for example, can be reversed to allow self-cleaning of the cooling units.

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