M Series Motor Graders Caterpillar 12M3 AWD

The M Series 3 brings the latest emissions reduction technology to the most durable, productive and comfortable motor graders on the market. From building roads to maintaining them, M Series Motor Graders are designed to help you get more work done in less time. Outstanding durability, unprecedented operator comfort and ease of service help to maximize your return on investment. M Series 3 Motor Graders meet U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage V emission standards.

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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 Control Cross Slope

Cat Grade Control 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.

Power Train

  • 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.

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.

Machine and Implement Controls

Two electro-hydraulic joysticks with electronically adjustable control pods help position operators for optimal comfort, visibility and productive operation.

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.


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.

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.

Serviceability and Customer 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.


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

Structures and Drawbar-Circle-Moldboard

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.

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.

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.

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.

Emissions Technology

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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.

Specificatii tehnice


Base Power (1st Gear) - Net 133 kW
Engine Model Cat® C9.3 ACERT™
Bore 115 mm
Stroke 149 mm
Speed at Rated Power 2,000 rpm
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Forward 2nd 141 kW
AWD On: Gear - Net Power - Forward - 2nd 164 kW
AWD On: Gear - Net Power - Forward - 4th 172 kW
AWD On: Gear - Net Power - Forward - 1st 149 kW
Base Power (1st Gear) - Net - Metric 133 kW
AWD Off: Gear - Net Power - Forward - 4th 160 kW
High Ambient - Fan Speed - Standard 1,400 rpm
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Forward 3rd 149 kW
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Reverse 3rd-6th 149 kW
AWD Off: Gear - Net Power - Forward - 1st 141 kW
AWD Off: Gear - Net Power - Forward - 8th 172 kW
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Forward 1st 133 kW
AWD Off: Gear - Net Power - Forward - 2nd 149 kW
AWD Off: Gear - Net Power - Forward - 5th 164 kW
AWD On: Gear - Net Power - Forward - 7th 188 kW
Torque Rise 38%
AWD On: Gear - Net Power - Forward - 3rd 168 kW
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Reverse 1st 133 kW
VHP Plus Range - Net 133-172 kW (179-231 hp)
AWD On: Gear - Net Power - Forward - 5th 188 kW
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Forward 6th 164 kW
AWD On: Gear - Net Power - Reverse - 2nd 141 kW
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Reverse 2nd 141 kW
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Forward 7th 168 kW
AWD Range - Net 141-188 kW (189-252 hp)
AWD On: Gear - Net Power - Forward - 8th 188 kW
AWD On: Gear - Net Power - Forward - 6th 188 kW
Emissions U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IV
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Forward 5th 160 kW
Maximum Torque - AWD On 1247 N·m
AWD Off: Gear - Net Power - Reverse - 1st 133 kW
Standard Capability 43 °C
AWD Range - Net - Metric 141-188 kW (192-255 hp)
VHP Plus Range - Net - Metric 133-172 kW (181-234 hp)
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Forward 4th 156 kW
AWD Off: Gear - Net Power - Reverse - 3rd-6th 149 kW
AWD On: Gear - Net Power - Reverse - 3rd-6th 149 kW
AWD Off: Gear - Net Power - Forward - 6th 168 kW
Maximum Torque - VHP Plus 1138 N·m
AWD Off: Gear - Net Power - Forward - 3rd 156 kW
VHP Plus - Gear - Net Power - Forward 8th 172 kW
AWD On: Gear - Net Power - Reverse - 1st 133 kW
AWD Off: Gear - Net Power - Forward - 7th 172 kW
AWD Off: Gear - Net Power - Reverse - 2nd 141 kW
Displacement 9.3 l
Number of Cylinders 6
Derating Altitude 3050 m
High Ambient - Fan Speed - Maximum 1,550 rpm
High Ambient - Fan Speed - Minimum 500 rpm
High - Ambient Capability 50 °C
Power Train
Forward/Reverse Gears 8 Forward/6 Reverse
Transmission APECS, Direct Drive, Powershift
Brakes - Service Multiple Oil Disc
Brakes - Service - Surface Area 23000 cm²
Brakes - Parking Multiple Oil Disc
Brakes - Secondary Dual Circuit
Hydraulic System
Circuit Type Parallel
Pump Type Variable Piston
Pump Output 210 l/min
Maximum System Pressure 24150 kPa
Reservoir Tank Capacity 64 l
Standby Pressure 6100 kPa
Operating Specifications
Top Speed - Forward 46.6 km/h
Top Speed - Reverse 36.8 km/h
Turning Radius - Outside Front Tires 7.8 m
Steering Range - Left/Right 50°
Articulation Angle - Left/Right 20°
Forward - 1st 4.1 km/h
Forward - 2nd 5.5 km/h
Forward - 3rd 8 km/h
Forward - 4th 11 km/h
Forward - 5th 17.1 km/h
Forward - 6th 23.3 km/h
Forward - 7th 32 km/h
Forward - 8th 46.6 km/h
Reverse - 1st 3.2 km/h
Reverse - 2nd 6 km/h
Reverse - 3rd 8.7 km/h
Reverse - 4th 13.5 km/h
Reverse - 5th 25.3 km/h
Reverse - 6th 36.8 km/h
Service Refill
Fuel Capacity 394 l
Cooling System 57 l
Hydraulic System - Total 100 l
Hydraulic System - Tank 64 l
Transmission - Differential - Final Drives 70 l
Diesel Exhaust Fluid 22 l
Engine Oil 30 l
Tandem Housing - Each 76 l
Front Wheel Spindle Bearing Housing 0.5 l
Circle Drive Housing 7 l
Drawbar - Width 76.2 mm
Circle - Diameter 1530 mm
Circle - Blade Beam Thickness 40 mm
Drawbar - Height 152 mm
Circle - Height 138 mm
Front Frame Structure - Width 305 mm
Front Frame Structure - Height 321 mm
Drawbar - Thickness 12.7 mm
Front-Top/Bottom Plate - Width 305 mm
Front-Top/Bottom Plate - Thickness 22 mm
Front Axle - Height to Center 596 mm
Front Axle - Wheel Lean - Left/Right 18°
Front Axle - Total Oscillation per Side 32°
Height 506 mm
Width 201 mm
Sidewall Thickness - Inner 16 mm
Sidewall Thickness - Outer 18 mm
Drive Chain Pitch 50.8 mm
Wheel Axle Spacing 1523 mm
Tandem Oscillation - Front Up 15°
Tandem Oscillation - Front Down 25°
Blade Width 3.7 m
Moldboard - Height 610 mm
Moldboard - Thickness 22 mm
Arc Radius 413 mm
Throat Clearance 166 mm
Cutting Edge Width 152 mm
Cutting Edge Thickness 16 mm
End Bit - Width 152 mm
End Bit - Thickness 16 mm
Blade Pull - Base GVW - AWD 16170 kg
Blade Pull - Maximum GVW - AWD 22512 kg
Blade Down Pressure - Maximum GVW - AWD 13294 kg
Blade Down Pressure - Base GVW - AWD 8151 kg
Moldboard - Blade Width 3.7 m
Blade Range
Circle Centershift - Right 728 mm
Circle Centershift - Left 695 mm
Moldboard Sideshift - Right 660 mm
Moldboard Sideshift - Left 510 mm
Maximum Blade Position Angle 90°
Blade Tip Range - Forward 40°
Blade Tip Range - Backward
Maximum Lift Above Ground 480 mm
Maximum Depth of Cut 715 mm
Maximum Shoulder Reach Outside of Tires - Right 1978 mm
Maximum Shoulder Reach Outside of Tires - Left 1790 mm
Ripper Shank Holder Spacing 533 mm
Ripping Depth - Maximum 426 mm
Ripper Shank Holders 5
Penetration Force 9440 kg
Pry-Out Force 12607 kg
Machine Length Increase, Beam Raised 1031 mm
Front, V-Type, 5 or 11 Tooth - Working Width 1031 mm
Mid, V-Type - Scarifying Depth, Maximum 292 mm
Mid, V-Type - Scarifier Shank Holders 11
Front, V-Type, 5 or 11 Tooth - Scarifier Shank Holder Spacing 116 mm
Rear - Scarifying Depth, Maximum 426 mm
Front, V-Type - Working Width 1205 mm
Front, V-Type, 5 or 11 Tooth - Scarifying Depth, Maximum 467 mm
Mid, V-Type - Working Width 1184 mm
Mid, V-Type - Scarifier Shank Holder Spacing 116 mm
Front, V-Type, 5 or 11 Tooth - Scarifier Shank Holders 5/11
Rear - Working Width 2133 mm
Rear - Scarifier Shank Holders 9
Rear - Scarifier Shank Holder Spacing 267 mm
Operating Weight - Typically Equipped 20236 kg
Weights - AWD
Gross Vehicle Weight - Base - Total 17966 kg
Gross Vehicle Weight - Maximum - Front Axle 7745 kg
Operating Weight - Typically Equipped - Total 20236 kg
Gross Vehicle Weight - Base - Rear Axle 13217 kg
Operating Weight - Typically Equipped - Front Axle 5945 kg
Gross Vehicle Weight - Maximum - Total 25013 kg
Gross Vehicle Weight - Maximum - Rear Axle 17268 kg
Operating Weight - Typically Equipped - Rear Axle 14291 kg
Gross Vehicle Weight - Base - Front Axle 4749 kg
Height - Top of Cab 3308 mm
Length - Counterweight to Ripper 10136 mm
Width - Outside Front Tires 2511 mm
Length - Front Axle to Mid Tandem 6123 mm
Length - Front Tire to Rear of Machine 8912 mm
Length - Front Axle to Moldboard 2552 mm
Length - Between Tandem Axles 1523 mm
Width - Outside Rear Tires 2511 mm
Width - Tire Center Lines 2140 mm
Height - Front Axle Center 596 mm
Height - Exhaust Stack 3256 mm
Height - Top of Cylinders 3040 mm
Ground Clearance - Rear Axle 339 mm
Steering ISO 5010
Brakes ISO 3450
Sound ISO 6394; ISO 6395
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