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Dozers

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Dozers Overview

A bulldozer is typically equipped with a sizable blade or metal plate, simply known as a dozer blade. The blade is used to push large amounts of rubble, sand, gravel, dirt, and other material. Also, these machines are typically fitted with a ripper at the rear of the machine.

Most bulldozers are powerful, large, and heavy machines.

Because of their tracks, they are very stable and mobile over rough terrain. The dozers wide tracks distribute its weight over a large area giving them excellent holding capabilities on a variety of ground surfaces. In soft mud or sand the wide tracks stop the dozer from sinking.

In short, a bulldozer is just a tractor fitted with tracks and a blade. As for buying a dozer…new bulldozers for sale are freely available, but often some great second hand bargains can be found in ‘dozer for sale’ ads online.

The blade

There are three types of blades:

  • The short straight blade which has no side wings or lateral curve and is used for finer grading.
  • The universal blade also known as a U blade") which is very curved and tall, with large side wings for carrying more material.
  • The Semi -U or “S-U" combination blade. This blade is shorter, has smaller side wings and less curvature. This type of blade is typically used in a quarry for pushing and moving large piles of rocks. Furthermore, these blades can be fitted at a right angle to the frame, or at a different angle. The angle can be varied by using an additional 'tilt cylinders' while the dozer is moving.

*Sometimes the bottom edge of the blade is sharpened to cut things like tree stumps.

The ripper

The ripper could be best described as a claw like device capable of ripping or loosening compacted materials. In addition, the ripper has more uses as a single shank as it is more suitable for heavy ripping. But can also come in pairs to suit certain work requirements, such as breaking up ground, which is too hard to be ploughed. A tungsten alloy steel tip or ‘boot’ is fitted to the ripper, and is replaceable as they wear out in hard going such as rock breaking and rock ripping.

Uses of Dozers and Dozer Prices

Bulldozers are ideal on construction or building sites as they have many uses including levelling large amounts of material quickly. They are also used on a wide variety of sites including quarries, mine sites, farms, engineering projects, and around factories to name a few. Often, because of their tremendous power and stability, they are used for pushing or pulling other machines. A good example of this is when another machine gets stuck in soft or unstable ground.

When fitted with extra wide tracks (swamp tracks), the dozer is indispensable in swamps, and on ground unsuitable for other machinery.

In addition, dozers have a transmission arrangement that is designed to benefit from the track system by providing exceptional tractive force. It is because of these features that bulldozers can be operated on roads, forestry, various construction sites, and clearing land. Also, because of the above mentioned features the bulldozer is very useful in any other projects requiring powerful and highly mobile, durable, earth-moving machinery.

Some bulldozers are modified and made smaller for such operations as mining. Others are made lighter for the use in shifting snow on snow fields or other areas where a more delicate machine is required.      

Armed forces

The armed forces widely use bulldozers for a variety of uses. Some of these uses are: clearing terrain and obstacles, earth moving, detonating explosive charges, and opening routes. The driver is often protected from debris and firearms by fitting armour plating to the machine, thus allowing the bulldozer to operate in the combat zone.

 

Prices

It is beyond the scope of this article to pinpoint accurate prices for Bulldozers as they vary considerably. Following are some broad examples of Caterpillar bulldozers (as they are the more common), and what you can expect to pay for a dozer in Australia.

To begin with, in the following examples, new Bulldozers compared to second hand or used models.

Brand new D10T Caterpillar bulldozer @ $1,399,000

Which may be compared with a similar used D9T Cat- 2010 model @ $460,000 with 10,000 hours on the clock. It may be fair to say that the later model has more power as well as more bells and whistles but they are both capable of carrying out similar work.

Or some used dozers, in no particular order, for sale:

  • D6 Cat- 2010 model @ $190,000 with just 3,600 hours on the clock.
  • D5M Cat-2000 model @ $110.000 with about 5,000 working hours.
  • D8T Cat-2008 model @ $320,000 with 9,200 working hours.
  • Or how about this smaller affordable D4C Caterpillar @ $54,000 with 3.950 hours.

As with all machinery, it pays to shop around for a well-maintained bulldozer. The hours on the clock may not mean anything if the machine has not been looked after or properly serviced at regular intervals.

Facts:

*Sometimes, a very small bulldozer is referred to as a calfdozer.

*Occasionally, other machines such as front loaders are wrongly referred to as a bulldozer.

*The first bulldozer was built on 18th December 1923 by J. E. McLeod, a draughtsman and James Cummings, a young farmer.

*The largest producer of bulldozers in the world is Shantui followed by  Caterpillar Inc.

*The Caterpillar D9, is the best-known bulldozer worldwide

 

In conclusion:

Bulldozers come in a range of sizes. When the right model is used for the task in hand, they are indispensable, as they are designed to push a lot of heavy material with little effort, making them a time efficient machine. 

 

 

 

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