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Buying a Dozer or Earth Moving Equipment

April 10,2010

Anytime most of us envision a work site where there is the potential for demolition or earth work, the first piece of equipment which will come to mind is a bull dozer. Dozers can range in weight from 100,000 pounds (50 tons) to 160,000 lbs or 80 tons. Dozers are in the heavy equipment category and essential in open pit mining. Dozers aka rolling stock or mobile equipment usually are fitted with a heavy blade which is attached to the front of the equipment.

Types of dozer blades can vary depending on the project scope or work which is to be performed. The common types of blades which are used on a bulldozer include:

1. Universal blade- a universal blade is a curved shape blade which is required to move or push bulky materials.

2. Straight blade- a straight blade is generally used for fine grading.

3. Combination blade- as the name suggest, this blade is a combination of a straight blade and a universal blade and which manages a dual purpose of fine grading and carrying bulky materials forward.

Dozers have come a long way since their inception in the 1920's and are even used in the military where they tow tanks, prepare roads and displace burnt equipment from rough terrain areas.

They are usually equipped with steel tracks which enables them to work on muddy or rough terrains. These tracks offer stability or traction on sandy or muddy terrain.

Bulldozers can be equipped with a rear attachment. The most common attachment is a called ripper shank or tooth which helps loosen densely-compacted soils. A large bulldozer usually has only one shank on the ripper, and a small bulldozer generally has multiple shanks.The shank is considered a wear part or ground engaging part which is replaceable as and when required.

Contractors interested in purchasing used heavy equipment or machinery have turned to the Internet to help locate quality assets. Whenever buying used equipment ensuring a qualified individual completes a proper inspection of the equipment is recommended. A review of the tracks to determine remaining wear life, component hours and overall equipment hours, checking maintenance records is also prudent. Most companies keep records of all work performed on the equipment and requesting these records is common.

Some companies which manufacture dozers include Caterpillar, Case, Terex, John Deere and Komatsu. It pays to select equipment which will be suited for the type of work you intend to use it for. Over or under sized equipment will increase operating costs and actual location of where the asset is being used should also be a consideration, this is done to ensure the manufacturer provides service and support in that region.