Cat 12M3/12M3 AWD Motor Grader


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Base Power (1st Gear) - Net 179 HP
Bore 4.5 in
Stroke 5.9 in
Base Power (1st Gear) - Net - Metric 181 HP
Maximum Torque - VHP Plus 840 lb/ft
Standard Capability 109 °F
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Forward 1st 179 HP
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Forward 2nd 189 HP
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Forward 3rd 200 HP
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Forward 4th 210 HP
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Forward 5th 215 HP
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Forward 6th 220 HP
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Forward 7th 225 HP
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Forward 8th 231 HP
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Reverse 1st 179 HP
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Reverse 2nd 189 HP
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Reverse 3rd-6th 200 HP
Displacement 567.5 in³
Derating Altitude 10000 ft
High - Ambient Capability 122 °F
Power Train
Brakes - Service - Surface Area 3565 in²
Hydraulic System
Pump Output 55.7 gal/min
Maximum System Pressure 3500 psi
Reservoir Tank Capacity 16.9 gal (US)
Standby Pressure 885 psi
Operating Specifications
Top Speed - Forward 29 mile/h
Top Speed - Reverse 23 mile/h
Turning Radius - Outside Front Tires 25.59 ft
Forward - 1st 2.5 mile/h
Forward - 2nd 3.4 mile/h
Forward - 3rd 5 mile/h
Forward - 4th 6.9 mile/h
Forward - 5th 10.6 mile/h
Forward - 6th 14.5 mile/h
Forward - 7th 19.9 mile/h
Forward - 8th 29 mile/h
Reverse - 1st 2 mile/h
Reverse - 2nd 3.7 mile/h
Reverse - 3rd 5.4 mile/h
Reverse - 4th 8.4 mile/h
Reverse - 5th 15.7 mile/h
Reverse - 6th 23 mile/h
Service Refill
Fuel Capacity 104 gal (US)
Cooling System 15 gal (US)
Hydraulic System - Total 26.4 gal (US)
Hydraulic System - Tank 16.9 gal (US)
Diesel Exhaust Fluid 5.8 gal (US)
Transmission - Differential - Final Drives 18.5 gal (US)
Engine Oil 7.9 gal (US)
Tandem Housing - Each 20 gal (US)
Front Wheel Spindle Bearing Housing 0.13 gal (US)
Circle Drive Housing 1.8 gal (US)
Drawbar - Width 3 in
Circle - Diameter 60.2 in
Circle - Blade Beam Thickness 1.6 in
Drawbar - Height 6 in
Circle - Height 5.4 in
Front Frame Structure - Height 12.6 in
Front Frame Structure - Width 12 in
Drawbar - Thickness 0.5 in
Front-Top/Bottom Plate - Width 12 in
Front-Top/Bottom Plate - Thickness 0.87 in
Front Axle - Height to Center 23.5 in
Height 19.9 in
Width 7.9 in
Sidewall Thickness - Inner 0.63 in
Sidewall Thickness - Outer 0.71 in
Drive Chain Pitch 2 in
Wheel Axle Spacing 60 in
Blade Width 12 ft
Moldboard - Height 24 in
Moldboard - Thickness 0.87 in
Arc Radius 16.3 in
Throat Clearance 6.5 in
Cutting Edge Width 6 in
Cutting Edge Thickness 0.6 in
End Bit - Width 6 in
End Bit - Thickness 0.6 in
Blade Pull - Base GVW 25269 lb
Blade Pull - Maximum GVW 34262 lb
Blade Down Pressure - Base GVW 16038 lb
Blade Down Pressure - Maximum GVW 29309 lb
Moldboard - Blade Width 12 ft
Blade Range
Circle Centershift - Right 28.7 in
Circle Centershift - Left 27.4 in
Moldboard Sideshift - Right 26 in
Moldboard Sideshift - Left 20.1 in
Maximum Shoulder Reach Outside of Tires - Right 77.9 in
Maximum Shoulder Reach Outside of Tires - Left 70.5 in
Maximum Lift Above Ground 18.9 in
Maximum Depth of Cut 28.1 in
Ripper Shank Holder Spacing 21 in
Ripping Depth - Maximum 16.8 in
Penetration Force 20812 lb
Pry-Out Force 27794 lb
Machine Length Increase, Beam Raised 40.6 in
Front, V-Type - Working Width 47.4 in
Front, V-Type, 5 or 11 Tooth - Scarifier Shank Holder Spacing 4.6 in
Front, V-Type, 5 or 11 Tooth - Scarifying Depth, Maximum 18.4 in
Front, V-Type, 5 or 11 Tooth - Working Width 40.6 in
Mid, V-Type - Scarifier Shank Holder Spacing 4.6 in
Mid, V-Type - Scarifying Depth, Maximum 11.5 in
Mid, V-Type - Working Width 46.6 in
Rear - Scarifying Depth, Maximum 16.8 in
Rear - Working Width 84 in
Rear - Scarifier Shank Holder Spacing 10.5 in
Operating Weight - Typically Equipped 42647 lb
Gross Vehicle Weight - Maximum - Front Axle 17075 lb
Gross Vehicle Weight - Maximum - Rear Axle 38069 lb
Operating Weight - Typically Equipped - Front Axle 12055 lb
Operating Weight - Typically Equipped - Rear Axle 30592 lb
Gross Vehicle Weight - Base - Front Axle 9343 lb
Gross Vehicle Weight - Base - Rear Axle 28077 lb
Gross Vehicle Weight - Maximum - Total 55144 lb
Gross Vehicle Weight - Base - Total 37420 lb
Operating Weight - Typically Equipped - Total 42647 lb
Height - Top of Cab 130 in
Length - Counterweight to Ripper 399 in
Width - Outside Front Tires 98.9 in
Length - Front Axle to Mid Tandem 241 in
Length - Front Tire to Rear of Machine 351 in
Length - Front Axle to Moldboard 100 in
Length - Between Tandem Axles 60 in
Width - Outside Rear Tires 98.9 in
Width - Tire Center Lines 84.3 in
Height - Front Axle Center 23.5 in
Height - Exhaust Stack 128 in
Height - Top of Cylinders 120 in
Ground Clearance - Rear Axle 13.3 in


Operator Station

Good visibility is key to your safety and efficiency. Angled cab doors, tapered engine enclosure and a sloped rear window make it easy to see the moldboard and tires, as well as behind the machine. An optional rear vision camera further enhances lines of sight all around the machine.
12M3 Motor Grader Operator Station
In-Dash Instrument Cluster
A redesigned message display shows machine performance and diagnostic information, including DEF tank levels. Now located in the center console, it also displays Cat Grade Control Cross Slope readings conveniently in front of the operator.
Comfort and Control
Experience the most comfortable cab in the industry. Joystick controls replace levers, so hand and arm movement is reduced by 78%, helping reduce operator fatigue for better productivity. Rocker and control switches are in easy reach. An updated seat with softer cushions and three-position cushion tilt adds to your overall comfort. You can even upgrade to a heated or heated/ventilated seat. An optional seat belt indicator feature is also available. Control pods can be adjusted electronically, making it easy to set your ideal operating position. Multiple isolation mounts significantly reduce sound and vibration for a more relaxed work environment. The high capacity Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system dehumidifies and pressurizes the cab, seals out dust and helps keep windows clear. Pop-out louvers circulate fresh air. An optional deluxe radio with CD features MP3 and Bluetooth technology.

Machine and Implement Controls

Two electro-hydraulic joysticks with electronically adjustable control pods help position operators for optimal comfort, visibility and productive operation.
12M3 Motor Grader Machine and Implement Controls
Joystick Functions
The left joystick controls machine direction, steering, articulation, return-to-center, wheel lean, gear selection, left moldboard lift cylinder and float. The right joystick controls drawbar, circle and moldboard functions as well as electronic throttle control and manual differential lock/unlock. The steer tire angle matches the joystick position. A brake tensioning system holds the joystick in position until the operator moves it. The steering control automatically reduces steering sensitivity at higher ground speeds for predictable control. Infinitely variable roller switches control the rear ripper and/or front lift group (when equipped). Optional Programmable Auxiliary Hydraulic Pod controls up to six additional hydraulic circuits.
Electronic Throttle Control
Electronic Throttle Control helps improve productivity by providing the best match of horsepower and torque for the demands of the application.
Articulation Return-to-Center
Automatically returns the machine to a straight frame position from any angle with the touch of a button.
Selectable Blade Lift Modes
Choose the blade lift modulation mode that best fits your application or operating style: Fine, Normal, or Coarse.


A Cat C9.3 ACERT engine gives you the performance you need to maintain consistent grading speeds for maximum productivity. Every U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IV ACERT engine is equipped with a combination of proven electronic, fuel, air and aftertreatment components. Applying proven technologies systematically and strategically helps meet your high expectations for productivity, fuel efficiency, reliability and service life.
Hydraulic Demand Fan
The hydraulic demand fan automatically adjusts speed according to cooling requirements. When cooling demand is reduced, you benefit from more power to the ground and improved fuel efficiency.
12M3 Motor Grader Engine
Engine Idle Shutdown Timer
This standard feature can be software-enabled by your Cat dealer to shut down the engine after a set period of time to save you fuel and help reduce emissions.
Reversing Fan
When working in a high debris environment, adding the reversing fan option improves airflow to cut down the need for constant cleaning.

Emissions Technology

Aftertreatment Technologies
Emissions reduction technology on the M Series 3 Motor Grader is designed to be transparent, with no action required from the operator. There is no need to stop. Regeneration runs automatically at cold start-up and, if needed, in the background while you work.
12M3 Motor Grader Emissions Technology
Aftertreatment Technologies
Caterpillar designed Tier 4 Interim products with Tier 4 Final standards in mind. To meet the additional 80 percent reduction in NOx emissions required by EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IV emission standards, Caterpillar engineers only needed to add one new system to the already proven aftertreatment solution in use, Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR).
Diesel Exhaust Fluid
Selective Catalytic Reduction utilizes Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), which can be conveniently filled from ground level. Simply refill the DEF tank when you refuel. A gauge on the dash shows your fluid level. When you turn the machine off, a pump will automatically purge the DEF lines. A light located inside the rear engine compartment will turn off, telling you the purge is complete and that it is safe to turn off the electrical disconnect. If the engine/aftertreatment temperatures are high, a Delayed Engine Shutdown will activate automatically to cool the machine and then purge the lines. For complete aftertreatment information, please refer to your machine's Operation and Maintenance Manual.

Power Train

Front and Rear Axles
  • Standard Automatic Differential Lock/Unlock monitors machine and application parameters to unlock/re-lock the differential during operation, improving production and enhancing comfort while protecting the power train.
  • Full Electronic Clutch Pressure Control optimizes inching modulation for smooth shifts and directional changes.
  • Programmable Autoshift option simplifies operation by allowing you to program the transmission to shift at optimal points to match your application.
  • New standard Economy Mode can be turned on to help save fuel by reducing engine speed so the machine works in a more efficient range. The average fuel savings is up to 10 percent, depending on the application.
  • Power Shift Countershaft Transmission maximizes power to the ground.
  • Engine Over-Speed Protection prevents downshifting until an acceptable safe travel speed has been established.
12M3 Motor Grader Power Train
Front and Rear Axles
The sealed spindle keeps front axle bearings lubricated and protected from contaminants. The Cat “Live Spindle” design places the larger tapered roller bearing on the outside, where the load is greater, extending bearing life. A bolt-on modular rear axle improves serviceability and contamination control with easy access to differential components.
Hydraulic Brakes
Oil-bathed multi-disc service brakes are hydraulically actuated for smooth, predictable braking and lower operating costs. Brakes are located at each tandem wheel and have a large total brake surface area to give you dependable stopping power and longer life.

Structures and Drawbar-Circle-Moldboard

Easy Maintenance for More Uptime
Caterpillar designs motor grader frame and drawbar components to give you performance and durability. The one-piece forged steel circle stands up to high stress loads, and a sacrificial wear system helps keep your service time and costs down. The articulation hitch features a large tapered roller bearing to carry loads evenly and smoothly. It is sealed to prevent contamination and a locking pin prevents articulation for safety during service or transport.
12M3 Motor Grader Structures and Drawbar-Circle-Moldboard
Easy Maintenance for More Uptime
The drawbar, circle and moldboard are designed to make it easy to keep the components tight. One person can easily adjust or replace the patented top-adjust drawbar wear inserts from the top of the drawbar plate, reducing downtime to save you money. Durable nylon composite wear inserts maximize circle torque and component life. Sacrificial brass wears strips between the blade mounting group and moldboard can be easily adjusted and replaced. The Shimless Moldboard Retention System uses vertical and horizontal adjusting screws to keep moldboard wear strips aligned for reduced blade chatter and precise blade control.
Blade Angle and Moldboard
An aggressive blade angle, optimized moldboard curvature and large throat clearance help you work more efficiently by allowing material to roll more freely along the blade. Heat-treated rails, hardened cutting edges and end bits, and heavy duty bolts to give you greater moldboard reliability and long service life. The link bar allows extreme moldboard positioning for easier bank sloping and ditch cutting/cleaning.


Responsive Hydraulics
A proven load-sensing system and advanced electro-hydraulics give you superior implement control and responsive hydraulic performance that helps make your operator's job easier. Continuously matching hydraulic flow/pressure to power demands creates less heat and reduces power consumption.
  • Consistent, Predictable Movement - Proportional Priority Pressure-Compensating (PPP-C) valves have different flow rates for the head and rod ends of the cylinder, so you can count on consistent, predictable implement response.
  • Balanced Flow - Hydraulic flow is proportioned to give you confidence that all implements will operate simultaneously without slowing the engine or speed of some implements.
12M3 Motor Grader Hydraulics
Blade Float
Allows the blade to move freely under its own weight. By floating both cylinders, the blade can follow the contours of the ground. Floating only one cylinder permits the toe of the blade to follow a hard surface while the operator controls the slope with the other lift cylinder.
Independent Oil Supply
Large, separate hydraulic oil supplies prevent cross-contamination and provide proper oil cooling, which reduces heat build-up and extends component life. Cat XT™ hose allows high pressures for maximum power and reduced downtime.

Integrated Technologies

Cat Connect makes smart use of technology and services to improve your job site efficiency. Using the data from technology-equipped machines, you'll get more information and insight into your equipment and operations than ever before. Cat Connect technologies offer improvements in these key areas: Equipment Management - increase uptime and reduce operating costs. Productivity - monitor production and manage job site efficiency. Safety - enhance job site awareness to keep your people and equipment safe. Featured Cat Connect technologies include:
Link technologies provide wireless capability to machines enabling two-way transfer of information collected by on-board sensors, control modules, and other Cat Connect technologies using off-board apps, such as our VisionLink software.
Product Link™/VisionLink®
Product Link takes the guesswork out of equipment management. Track location, hours, fuel usage, productivity, idle time, diagnostic codes and more through the online VisionLink interface. Manage your fleet in real time so you can maximize efficiency, improve productivity, and lower operating costs.
Grade technologies combine digital design data, in-cab guidance, and automatic blade controls to enhance grading accuracy, reduce rework, and lower costs related to production earthmoving and rough, fine and finish grade applications.
Cat GRADE with Cross Slope
Cat GRADE with Cross Slope is an optional fully integrated, factory installed system that helps your operator improve grading efficiency and more easily maintain accurate cross slopes. The system automatically controls one side of the blade, reducing manual operator inputs by as much as 50 percent. Experienced operators can maintain peak efficiency levels throughout more of the work day, while less experienced operators can be more productive faster. The system is job-ready from day one, and scalable for the future with AccuGrade™ upgrade kits that provide additional 2D and/or 3D control.
Cat AccuGrade
AccuGrade is an optional dealer-installed grade control system that provides higher accuracy capabilities to the Cat Cross Slope system by adding Sonic, Laser, GPS, and/or Universal Total Station (UTS) technology when the job requires. In-cab guidance helps operators work more confidently and get to grade faster, in fewer passes, using less material, improving productivity and accuracy by nearly 50 percent over conventional methods. Grade stakes and checkers are minimized, making the job site safer and more cost effective. An AccuGrade Attachment Ready Option can be ordered as a factory or dealer-installed option. It includes built-in mounting points and internal wiring for easy installation of the AccuGrade system.


Operator Presence Monitoring System
Standard system keeps the parking brake engaged and hydraulic implements disabled until the operator is seated and the machine is ready for operation.
Speed Sensitive Steering
Standard function makes steering less sensitive as ground speed increases for greater operator confidence and control.
Secondary Steering System
Standard feature automatically engages an electric hydraulic pump in case of a drop in steering pressure so the operator can steer the machine to a stop.
Hydraulic Lockout
Disables all implement functions while still providing machine steering control. This standard safety feature is especially useful while roading.
Brake Systems
Brakes are located at each tandem wheel to eliminate braking loads on the power train. Redundant brake systems utilize accumulators to enable stopping in case of machine failure.
Walkways and Grab Rails
Perforated steel tandem walkways and convenient grab rails give you a sturdy platform when moving on, off and around the machine.
Circle Drive Slip Clutch
Protects the drawbar, circle and moldboard from shock loads when the blade encounters an immovable object. This standard feature also reduces the possibility of abrupt directional changes in poor traction conditions.
Blade Lift Accumulators
Help absorb impact loads to the moldboard by allowing vertical blade travel. This optional feature helps reduce wear and aids operator safety.
M Series 3 Safety Features
  • Optional rearview camera with in-cab monitor
  • New optional seat belt indicator light reminds operator to fasten safety belt
  • Grouped, ground level service points
  • Laminated front window glass
  • Optional LED Lighting
  • Ground-level electrical disconnect switch
  • Ground-level engine shutoff switch
  • Anti-glare paint eases night operation
  • Optional front and rear fenders

Work Tools and Attachments

Moldboard Options
The 12M3 motor grader comes equipped with a 3.7 m (12 ft) moldboard. An optional 4.3 m (14 ft) blade is also available.
Ground Engaging Tools (GET)
A variety of tools are available from Cat Work Tools, including cutting edges, graderbits and end bits, all designed for maximum service life and productivity.
Front Mounted Groups
A front mounted push plate or front lift group are available. The front lift group can be combined with a front dozer blade or front scarifier for added versatility.
Rear Ripper/Scarifier
Made to penetrate tough material fast and rip thoroughly for easier movement with the moldboard. The ripper includes three shanks (with holders for five). Nine scarifier shanks can also be added for additional versatility.
Snow Removal Work Tools
Snow plow, snow wing and mounting options increase machine versatility and utilization throughout the year.

Smart Machine Systems

  • Cat Messenger, combined with full systems integration, enhances diagnostic capability for quick analysis of critical data.
  • Electronic Technician (Cat ET) lets service technicians access stored diagnostic data and configure machine parameters through the Cat Data Link.
  • Low Battery Elevated Idle raises idle speed when low system voltage is detected, ensuring adequate system voltage and improving battery reliability.
  • Automatic Engine Deration protects the engine by automatically lowering engine torque output and alerting the operator if critical conditions are detected.

Serviceability and Customer Support

Unparalleled Dealer Support
Cat motor graders are designed to help you increase uptime and reduce costs. Grouped service points and extended service intervals save maintenance time. New optional LED lights in the left hand compartment makes it more convenient to service the machine in low light.
Unparalleled Dealer Support
When it comes to supporting you, Cat dealers are second to none. From machine selection and purchase to maintenance support and rebuilds, Cat dealers have the experience and capabilities to help keep you up and running.


Fuel Efficiency
  • Integrated machine systems and technologies improve productivity for greater accuracy, allowing the machine to do more work per gallon of fuel.
  • New Economy Mode feature allows the machine to work in the most efficient engine speed range to help reduce fuel use.
Green House Gas Emissions
  • Reduced fuel consumption means reduced CO2 emissions.
  • M Series 3 Motor Graders meet U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IV emission standards.
Material Efficiency and Lifecycle Costs
  • Replaceable wear parts save maintenance time and cost, and extend major component life.
  • Major components are built to be rebuilt, eliminating waste and saving customers money by giving the machine and/or major components a second - and even third - life.
  • Approximately 95% of machine materials can be recycled (ISO 16714) to conserve valuable natural resources and further enhance machine end-of-life value.
• Reduced engine noise and quieter cabs mean lower operator and spectator sound levels.
  • Ecology drains help make draining fluids more convenient and help prevent spills.
  • Cartridge style hydraulic fluid filters provide safe clean draining of filters prior to replacement, helping to prevent fluid spills.
  • A variety of safety features help safeguard operators and others on the job site.



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