Bulldozers clear debris, move unwanted materials and earth, clear the ground from tree stumps and shrubs, level the ground, carve roads and knock down walls and obstructions. They are most commonly seen at construction sites.
Variations of the bulldozer are used by the military for combat, for moving materials and loading onto trucks, clear snow from roads and prepare fields for winter sports. A small version, called a calfdozer, is used in mining sites and other cramped areas. They may also be equipped with a ripper at the back to break hard surfaces into movable rubble.
Purchasing a bulldozer is an expensive affair. The following are some pointers on the things you should know before buying:
Features of a bulldozer
As bulldozers are bulky, powerful and heavy pieces of machinery, the first thing to consider is your own space restrictions and requirements. Main features you need to check out are:
Size of the bulldozer
The width blades can vary from 9-14 feet and the height of protective cabs can vary from 8-12 feet. You may be planning to use it where it needs to enter a gate or garage. The dimensions of the blade should be small enough to allow easy passage.
Power of the bulldozer
The power of the engine varies from 40 hp to 400hp. Common bulldozers have 100-200 hp engines while special ones that are used by the military or for very heavy work such as trash operations have very powerful engines.
Types of blades
The type of blade plays an important role in the kind of work done by the bulldozer. The typical types are:
* U-blades or universal blades are curved for better hold of materials.
* S-blades or straight blades are used for leveling the ground.
* S-U blades are used to push small piles of heavy materials.
* Sharp blades are used to cut down tree stumps, bushes, etc.
Track span of the bulldozer
They have wide tracks for traction and to support and distribute their weight. Weight distribution ensures that the underlying surface is not damaged. If it will be used on a very loose surface, the wider the tracks, the better.
Importance of test driving a bulldozer
Test driving is extremely important. Keep these things in mind during the test drive:
* Can you board and de-board easily?
* Can you see the blade edges from your seat?
* Do you get a clear vision?
* Is the seat comfortable?
* Can you reach all the controls easily?
Maintenance and service of the bulldozer
The structure of the bulldozer should allow easy access to the hydraulic pumps and the engine, and easy replacement of track links. They do a lot of heavy work and need frequent maintenance. This is usually provided by the dealer, along with scheduled services.
Bulldozers are a heavy investment. They may cost from $30000 to $100000 depending on engine power, size and your location. The best way to go about it is to get quotes from multiple dealers and compare features, after sale service and price. Get references from previous clients of the dealer before making your final buying decision.