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A bulldozer or bulldozer (also known as a track-type tractor) is a large motorized machine with a metal blade on the front that is used to push material: soil, sand, snow, gravel, or rock during construction.It is most often run on continuous tracks, but dedicated models are also produced with large off-road tires.Its most popular accessory is the scarifier, a large hooked device that can be mounted singly or in multiples on the rear to loosen dense material.Bulldozers are used in large and small construction, road building, mining and quarrying, farms, heavy industry plants, and military applications in both peacetime and wartime.The term "dozer" refers only to a motorized device equipped with a dozer blade.The term is sometimes used inaccurately for other heavy equipment, such as front-end loaders designed to carry material rather than push it.The term originally referred to blade attachments only, but now generally applies to any track-type tractor with a front blade.
Typically, bulldozers are large, powerful, tracked heavy equipment.Tracks gave them excellent traction and maneuverability on very rough terrain.The wide tracks also help distribute the weight of the vehicle over a larger area (reducing ground pressure), which prevents the vehicle from sinking on sandy or muddy ground.Extra wide tracks are known as swamp tracks or low ground pressure (lgp) tracks.The drivetrain of the dozer is designed to take advantage of the track system and provide excellent traction.These features make dozers excellent in road building, construction, mining, forestry, land clearing, infrastructure development and any other project that requires highly maneuverable, powerful and stable earthmoving equipment.A variant is the all-wheel-drive wheel dozer, which typically has four large rubber-tyred wheels, hydraulically operated articulating steering, and a hydraulically driven blade mounted on the front of the articulating joint.The main tools of the bulldozer are the blade and the ripper:
There are three types of bulldozer blades:
Straight (“S-blade”), short, with no lateral curves or flanks. Can be used for fine grading.
Universal (“U-blade”), tall and very curved, with large wings to maximize load.
Combined (“S-U” or Half U), shorter, less curved, with smaller wings.It is often used to push large rocks, for example in quarries.The blades can be mounted directly on the frame or at an angle. All can be lifted and some have extra hydraulic cylinders that can be tilted to change the angle to one side.Sometimes a bulldozer is used to push or pull another piece of earth-moving equipment called a "scraper" to increase productivity. Invented by James Porteous in 1883, the trailed Fresno scraper was the first design to do the job economically, removing soil from the cut area and depositing it as fill where needed. Dozer blades with a reinforced center section for pushing are known as "bull blades".Bulldozer blades are added to combat engineering vehicles and other military equipment, such as artillery tractors such as the Model 73 or M8 tractors, to clear battlefield obstacles and prepare firing positions.Dozer blades can be mounted on main battle tanks to remove anti-tank obstacles or mines and dig improvised bunkers.
A ripper is a long, claw-like handle that can be mounted singly or in multiples on the rear of a dozer to loosen tough and impacted material.For severe tears, a single handle is usually preferred. Rippers come with replaceable tungsten carbide tips called boots.Ripping not only loosens soils such as podzol in agricultural and construction applications, but also breaks up shale or pavement into small, easily handled gravel.A variant of the Ripper is the Stump Breaker, a single spike protruding horizontally used to split tree stumps.