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Bulldozer Types and Their Applications – A Complete Guide

One surefire way for construction workers to increase their salaries is to increase their skillsets. Learning how to safely and efficiently operate heavy machinery will expose the workers to more work opportunities and higher pay.

Bulldozers are vehicles designed to either move materials or break materials down. The part of the bulldozer that interacts with the material is called the blade. Bulldozers are used in many types of projects, including construction, snow removal, forestry, and moving cargo. Knowing how to operate a bulldozer well can save the project time and money, as well as preventing on-the-work injuries.

Crawler Bulldozers

Crawler bulldozers have tracks instead of wheels in order to safely traverse softer terrains. Many crawler bulldozers have ripping apparatuses in the rear to break down hard surfaces. Both small and large crawler bulldozers move materials and objects around the construction site.

Wheel Dozers

Wheel dozers travel on wheels instead of tracks. Wheel dozers are also larger and swifter than crawler bulldozers. Bulldozer operators will use wheel dozers for operations that require high power and speed.

Mini Dozers

Mini dozers are small bulldozers that can fit in areas where larger bulldozers could not safely operate. Mini dozers are more maneuverable and versatile than larger bulldozers.

Become a Bulldozer Operator

How to operate a Bulldozer?

This earth-moving machine has front-mounted blades and a rear-mounted ripper to assist in smoothing ground for roads, runways, building sites, and golf courses. Once you learn how to operate a bulldozer, it isn’t that difficult.

Want to Know How??
Shiphold Dozers

Shiphold dozers are a specially-designed type of bulldozer. They specialize in moving cargo in and out of ships docked at a port.

Mulcher Dozer

Mulcher dozers are equipped with large mulchers in the front. Mulcher dozers are used for forestry and roadwork tasks.

Straight Blade (S-Blade)

An S-blade attaches to the rear of a bulldozer by the lower corners of the arms. The S-blade is often used for stripping and ditching operations, especially when the materials are fine-grained and range from medium to hard in density. However, its straight-edged shape makes it a poor blade for lifting and carrying.

Universal Blade (U-Blade)

The U-blade is the largest blade type. The side wings and curves of a U-blade make it an ideal blade for moving materials across long distances. The U-blade is often used to move soft or medium soil. The U-blade is used for ditching and hauling operations.

Semi-U Blade (S-U Blade)

The S-U-blade combines aspects of both the S-blade and the U-blade. The S-U blade has small side wings, and the blade is both relatively narrow and less curved. The S-U blade is often used on soft to medium soil for moving heavy materials and for crowning.

Angle Blade

The angle blade attaches to the center of the bulldozer’s panel so it can more easily remove obstacles and debris in front of the bulldozer. Since the blade is angled, debris is moved to the left or to the right of the bulldozer. In addition to operating on soft to medium-hard soil, the angle blade also works on snow and gravel. The angle blade is used in operations such as shaping and stumping.

Power-Angle-Tilt Blade (PAT blade)

The PAT blade can be angled, tilted, and lifted in many directions, making it a versatile blade for bulldozers. The PAT blade is best used on medium to hard materials for operations such as leveling and scraping.

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Who Invented the Bulldozer?

The first part of the bulldozer to be invented was the blade. Prior to steam locomotion, people used mules to push the blade and perform the moving operations.

The modern bulldozers had two known precursors. The first device was a steam traction engine with an endless chain tread, and its inventor was Benjamin Holt. The second vehicle was a device created by the Hornsby company of England in roughly 1904. The company repurposed one of their wheeled steam traction engines into a tracklayer or “crawler.” The Hornsby company sold the patent to their machine to Benjamin Holt around 1914.

Benjamin Holt founded the Caterpillar company. He coined the name for his company from a photographer who remarked that, when looked at upside-down, the top of the tracks to Holt’s tracklayers looked similar to caterpillars. Benjamin Holt formed the Caterpillar company in 1925 after merging with the C.L. Best Gas Tractor Company.

How to Become a

The minimum education to become a bulldozer operator is a high school diploma or a GED. However, many employers will seek additional education, including but not limited to auto mechanics and mathematics. Taking courses in heavy machinery at a vocational school is highly recommended.

After landing a bulldozer operator job, new employees often start an apprenticeship which can last up to four years. During this time, the apprentice learns how to operate, maintain, and repair bulldozers from their mentors. And some states will require that the apprentice get a commercial license or a heavy machinery license to operate the bulldozer.

Workers who are interested in getting both classroom and hands-on experiences with heavy machinery are urged to seek a mechanical college. Heavy Equipment Colleges of America offers certifications in heavy machinery that can give its students the skills they need to safely and efficiently operate multiple types of heavy machinery.

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Locations

CA – San Bernardino:  1955 W. 9th Street | San Bernardino, CA 92411
 
CA – Ft. Irwin:  306 Langford Lake Road | Bld # TR0403 | CA 92310
(Location is on a military base and is VETERAN ONLY – Career Skills Program (CSP)*)
 
Georgia:  581 Sigman Road, Suite 300 | Conyers, GA 30013
 
North Carolina:  1909 Bragg Blvd, Suite 94 | Fayetteville, NC 28303
 
Oklahoma:  6101 W. Reno Avenue, Suite 1000 | Oklahoma City, OK 73127
 
Washington:  4701 McChord Drive SW | Lakewood, WA 98499
(Location is on military base and is VETERAN ONLY – Career Skills Program (CSP)*and VA Education Benefits)

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CALIFORNIA LOCATION ONLY: Heavy Equipment College of America is a private institution approved to operate by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. Approval to operate means the institution is compliant with the minimum standards contained in the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (as amended) and Division 7.5 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. (https://www.bppe.ca.gov/). Access all Catalogs, Student Performance Fact Sheets and Brochures here.

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Heavy Equipment Colleges of America cannot guarantee employment or career advancement or any particular earnings or salary.

OKLAHOMA LOCATION ONLY: Heavy Equipment Colleges of America has a Certificate of Approval from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The school’s programs are approved by TWC. Students must address their concerns about this school of any of its educational programs by following the grievance process outlined in the school’s catalog. Students dissatisfied with the school’s response to their complaint or who are not able to file a complaint with the school, can file a formal complaint with TWC, as well as with other relevant agencies or accreditors, if applicable. Information on filing a complaint with TWC can be found on TWC’s website at www.texasworkforce.org/careerschoolstudents.

Heavy Equipment Colleges of America endorses the national certification program offered by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) and provides training to prepare candidates for CCO examinations.

*The Army’s Career Skills Program (CSP) prepares Soldiers for civilian employment through first-class apprenticeships, on-the-job training, job shadowing, internships and employment skills training. Soldiers are eligible to participate in an Army CSP up to 180 days prior to separation from the Army and after completion of the mandatory 5-day SFL-TAP workshop. To be considered for an open seat in a CSP you must contact the POC at the installation where you want to attend a CSP and submit your commander authorized/signed participation memo in advance of the start date.

WIOA/TAA funded training may be provided only to individuals who qualify for the program and not only if funds are available.