What's new in bulldozers? Check out the latest crawler dozers from all the major manufacturers.
The crawler dozer is a tracked earthmoving machine with a front-mounted blade. Also called a bulldozer, the range of models spans from small utility models, with 75 horsepower and an operating weight of less than 20,000 pounds, to those approaching 900 horsepower and weighing in at nearly 240,000 pounds. Large dozers often are involved in applications that involve moving massive volumes of material, such as mining, site-development, and roadway construction. Smaller machines often are used as grading tractors to establish final grades and contours in earthwork applications.
The lineup for most manufacturers with a broad range of crawler dozers includes a mid-range of models having horsepower ratings from around 130 to the mid-200s. This mid-range category represents the bulk of industry sales and perhaps the widest diversity of application potential, which might include road/bridge work, residential/commercial construction, landfill, site clearing, and energy development.
Power-shift transmissions often use electronic controls that can automatically shift gear ranges to precisely match speed and load demands for maximum tractive effort, and a number of models use a hydrostatic drive system that transfers engine power to the tracks hydraulically. In addition, machine control is simplified via using electronic controls for steering systems, many of which use a single joystick and allow full-power to both tracks when the machine turns.
More models in the market today also are being equipped with automated grade-control systems, which allow operators to achieve finished grades more quickly and accurately. Telematics systems have significantly increase the dozer's "intelligence." These systems allow the machine to report important information to assist fleet managers in achieving optimum value from equipment assets.