When asked which grader he prefers, without hesitation Cormican names the Volvo G990. With an operating weight over 48,000 pounds, the G990 is the largest of the Volvo motor grader line, which Cormican likes.
"Volvo graders are built very strong, and everything is bigger on them," he said. "I wouldn't trade my G990 for any other product. They are unbelievable when you see them in the dirt working."
According to Cormican, Volvo graders have better turning capability with a two-degree sharper turn over other manufacturers. He also prefers the front-end ground clearance and the 31-inch moldboard on the G990s, which minimizes the spillage over the top of the moldboard.
Steve Laine, sales representative for Nuss Equipment of Duluth, Cormican's Volvo dealer, explains that the powertrain of the Volvo graders is designed for higher torque at lower engine speed, which delivers more usable power to the ground with lower fuel consumption. The planetary drive axle has outboard brakes that provide stopping power at the wheels instead of through the drivetrain. The coordination of the engine, transmission and drivetrain gives the motor grader the maximum power at the ground for the traction needed.
"It gets better fuel economy with the 11-speed transmission," Laine explains. "Dale can grade 8 to 11 mph. He also has more torque when he gets into the heavier pulls."
Laine also notes the turning capabilities on Volvo motor graders are better because of improved front wheel main systems. That, coupled with the articulation, gives the G990 tighter turns.
"That turning capability is a big plus when Dale is grading the roads during the sugar beet harvest," Laine said. "When he gets to the end of a row, he can turn right on the road top without having to go into the ditch, or having to be at a four-way intersection."
Another favored feature with Cormican is the circle drive system, which moves the moldboard clockwise and counterclockwise. "It's the best circle drive system that I've seen. Nobody else has anything close to it," Cormican said.
The difference is in the design of the circle drive, according to Gary Atkinson, product manager for motor graders, Volvo Construction Equipment. The circle drive system utilizes a dual pinion drive instead of a gearbox to turn the circle assembly and moldboard from one side of the motor grader to the other. "Direct-acting hydraulic cylinders act on two circle turn pinions, which turns the circle," he said.
Atkinson adds that the circle assembly is designed with the teeth on the outside for a better mechanical advantage and more circle-turn power. "It gives you more power under load," he said.
A skilled operator will change his moldboard discharge angle continually to maintain good rolling action of the material while maximizing his cutting width, Atkinson points out. The ability to do this under heavy loads is a big advantage over the competition.
Cormican also appreciates the attention Volvo pays to operator comfort. A fully air-conditioned cab plus optimal visibility provides a comfortable and safe environment for the operator.
"Volvo makes it convenient for the operator in every respect," he said. "The Volvo cab is a great place to work."