Dozers are robust machines used on construction sites primarily for moving large loads of debris or moving obstructions out of the way using a blade located at the front of the dozer. Most dozers incorporated track systems to distribute weight of the vehicle for a lower ground pressure, preventing the machine to sinking into the ground or marring valued surfaces yet offering greater traction than tired wheels over a wide variety of surface materials or ground conditions.
The major components of the dozer include a blade and a ripper. The ripper is a shank located in the back of the bulldozer. Usually there is only one, although multiple shank rippers may be present. Dozer operators use rippers to tear up the ground, such as in agricultural applications.
The blade can be replaced with other attachments. The most common replacement is a bucket, which is useful for jobs such as soil excavation and loading into trucks. Adding a bucket to a dozer essentially converts it into a “loader tractor.”
In addition to moving large objects and debris at construction sites, dozers are also used in applications such as deforestation, earth removal and ground leveling. Some applications may benefit from specific types of bulldozers or blades. For instance, straight blades are often best for grading surfaces and evening soil. U-shaped blades, sometimes referred to as universal blades, are best used for pushing, hauling and scooping jobs. Both straight blades and U blades are used for smaller jobs only, incapable of bearing great weight of heavier jobs. Heavier jobs may require a combination blade, giving advantages of both designs to push and clear debris as well as work with heavy loads.