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Discussion Forum

How to run a Caterpillar Dozer safely...

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Johnnie O

03-06-2003 08:56:18

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Hello. I'm new here and a new dozer owner. Ive always run tractors and trucks, but never a tracked machine. Like Alex in the previous post, I could use lots of advice. Where do I even start here.. Stuff like: Can I "turn" with a loaded blade, or does all work need to happen with both tracks pushing forward? Can I reverse direction without coming to a complete stop (powershift)? And any other Cat D6D tips you'll have....

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03-09-2003 18:24:14

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 Re: How to run a Caterpillar Dozer safely... in reply to Johnnie O, 03-06-2003 08:56:18  
Remember when you have lots of space or are moving to another part of the job these machines seem so slow ,but in a close space they seem to move at the speed of light.

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Taylor Lambert

03-07-2003 08:04:57

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 Re: How to run a Caterpillar Dozer safely... in reply to Johnnie O, 03-06-2003 08:56:18  
One of the best things to do when you exit the macine is to push the gearshifter lock out down. I was in a rush to get off a D5B and forgot stepped over it and had knocked the machine in gear. Also a good rule to follow if you get off the machin put the blade down, and pull the parking brake. A dozer ca roll on vene a slight slope if its blade is left up and brak off. A 22 year old oiler was killed when he got off the a D7G and left blade in the air and service brakes off. it was on a slight uphillgrade and the dozer sat there then started rolling and he had his back to it. Also becarefull pushing brush.

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johnnie o

03-07-2003 10:01:00

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 Re: Re: How to run a Caterpillar Dozer safely... in reply to Taylor Lambert, 03-07-2003 08:04:57  
Thank you all for the advice. What do you mean about brush?

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David - OR

03-07-2003 17:47:58

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 Re: Re: Re: How to run a Caterpillar Dozer safely... in reply to johnnie o, 03-07-2003 10:01:00  
If you push anything other than dirt with the blade, there is a potential for the objects being pushed to roll over the top of the blade or snap back towards the cab. If you don't have a full metal cage around the cab, the objects can strike you, with potentially serious results. Read the attached article for a rather gruesome example of this, albeit with an excavator instead of a dozer.

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Deas Plant.

03-07-2003 03:13:43

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 Re: How to run a Caterpillar Dozer safely... in reply to Johnnie O, 03-06-2003 08:56:18  
Hi, Johnnie O. One real good guide that won't steer you wrong is, "If the machine sounds or feels like it is straining to do something, IT IS."

You can turn a loaded 'dozer blade -- SLOWLY. The faster you try to turn it, the faster you will lose the load around the outside corner AND the more strain you will put on the drive train, frame and undercarriage.

With a clutch-and-brake steering system, when you want to turn a loaded blade, do it a little at a time. Dis-engage the steering clutch on the side you want to turn to very briefly and re-engage it again. The tractor will usually turn slightly. Repeat this process until you have achieved your turn.

If the tractor doesn't turn but rather stops moving, the load on the blade is too heavy to turn in that manner. This where modern technology may come to your rescue -- if you have it. If your 'dozer is fitted with a hydraulic blade tilt cylinder, tilt the blade down on the side you want to turn to. This increases the load on that side, dragging the whole tractor that way. In a way, it is not unlike a banked race track. If you have a fair amount of material to turn in that direction, losing a few blade-fulls to make a banked track is usually worthwhile as it lessens the strain on the machine AND the operator. You will still have to use the steering clutches to make the turn, but it is easier.

If you are travelling uphill when you want to change direction with a powershift, simply de-celerate, let the machine roll to a stop or very nearly stopped, make your change and let the decelerator up again.

When travelling downhill, decelerate, use the brake to bring the tractor to a stop, make your change and let the decelerator up again.

Even when changing up or down without changing direction, it is a good idea to decelerate immediately before making the change.

Cat Powershift transmissions, as I understand it were and are designed for full power, on-the-go shifting BUT it is simple common sense to lessen the load and shock of any change to prolong machine and component life. Even on the earlier Powershift (Pre-hydrostatic drive) Cat track loaders which only have a hand throttle, I usually throttle back before making a shift, then throttle up again.

Speed kills tracks and undercarriages. SALT - Sealed And Lubricated Track - tracks are a BIG improvement. I am currently operating a Cat 953 track loader with SALT tracks. We are in a spell of wet weather at the moment so, although they are loose enough to need adjusting, I have not adjusted the tracks until the weather dries up again. This is to allow a little extra slack so that dirt and mud building up in the tracks doesn't make them too tight. When the weather dries up, I will adjust the tracks again. This will be the SECOND adjustment in 14 months of working 5 1/2 days a week, 9 1/2 hours a day. WITH a LOT of SHARP turns. That beats the old dry tracks.

Simple common sense is a tool-of-trade for a good operator. So is a good awareness of how what you are doing with the machine at any given time is affecting the machine. See the first paragraph.

As I understand it, most Cat track machines, or at least the 'dozers, are designed to go to 45 deg, before tipping. I believe this is a U.S. defence force requirement.
Most operators will press the 'chicken switch' before they get that far.

Also, I have been told most Cat powershift machines have a built-in safety feature in that their transmission pumps will not pick up sufficient oil to drive the machine once you get much beyond about 30 to 35 degrees. I have had D6's, D7's and D8's stop when travelling along the slope on batters around 1 1/2 to 1. They would reverse out if travelling forward when they stopped or drive out forward if reversing but they would not continue to travel in the original direction.

At those times, I was quite often running around on the batter in second gear as the machine felt quite stable. It just stopped driving.

Basic maintenance is a must. Check all oils and water every day, grease the machine daily, more so in dusty conditions, examine it all round regularly for any signs of wear, leaks, cracks or bits that are falling off or have already done so.

Hope this helps.

Happy operating.

You have a wonderful day. Best wishes. Deas Plant.

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03-06-2003 11:37:09

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 Re: How to run a Caterpillar Dozer safely... in reply to Johnnie O, 03-06-2003 08:56:18  
I've run dozers for 15 years, mainly CAT machines. I have a D4D D6D and D7G all PS trannsmission. From my experiences the D6D is pretty much bullet proof. Always decelerate when changing directions. When you decelerate and knock it out of gear to change directions just bump the brake before shifting into reverse. Yes you use the clutches when you have a loaded blade it won't hurt anything. But don't ride the clutches when turning. Either have it engaged or disengaged, don't ride it halfway. Running in reverse 3 wide open will cause aggresive wear on UC components.

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jd dozer mike

03-25-2003 20:33:42

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 Re: Re: How to run a Caterpillar Dozer safely... in reply to John, 03-06-2003 11:37:09  
About the brush pushing: I heard about a guy that did not have a brush guard or roll cage on his dozer. A log broke and came back like a catapult, it took his head clean off, yup he was dead before he knew there was an accient, I don't intend to gross you out but, this gets the point across.Just be alert and careful, LISTEN to your machine , it will "talk to you".

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