Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Stockland road grader at Bartley Ranch loop trail

A grader is used to create or maintain a flat surface. Typically, a grader is employed in road and parking area construction. But it also is applied to maintain dirt roads on farms and ranches. For example, the shown old grader, manufactured by the Stockland Road Machinery Co. in Minneapolis, Minnesota (patented January 5, 1915), is on display along the Ranch Loop Trail at the historic Bartley Ranch in Reno, Nevada.  This grader is designed to be pulled behind a tractor or truck. Its blade is adjustable and rotates from side to side.

The information panel next to the grader explains its different uses:
A dirt road can be graded at an angle or crowned, allowing the water to sheet off to one side, collecting in a ditch or low pasture, thereby preventing pooling and potholes. This is also a handy tool for snow removal. In the spring as roads dry out, revealing typical wear, the grader can move fill material on the road, smoothing and filling the damaged surface.

Some modern graders come with GPS technology. But potholes don't send GPS signals. Even with modern road machinery, potholes and other road damage in the Reno/Tahoe area have to wait for their turn to be graded.

Keywords: history, grading, foundation, agricultural infrastructure, civil engineering, interpretive trail, walking tour.

More on graders:
Wikipedia > Grader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grader (April 3, 2012).

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