I can't run a dozer...

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by mrusk, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Well i started that land clearing job i posted about 5-6 weeks ago. I rented a deere 450lgp dozer for a week to do some work on that job. I never ran a dozer before. I hoped right up in it when it got dropped off and made a fool of my self on it before i handed the keys over to my foreman.

    Seems like a dozer is alot harder to operate efficently then a excavator.
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    I haven't ran a hystat dozer, but I had no problem hopping in the old dozers that used the brakes to steer.

    You just need to keep an eye on your cutting edge.
  3. earthmover

    earthmover LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 122

    I like the hystats better than peddle steer. Less fatigue and much easier to run.
  4. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 487

    My first expedience with a dozer came when I was driving one of my dump trucks (sub for a paving co) anyway I would haul their equipment from time to time, toward the end of the day the plant manager called me on the two way and had me hook up to a brand new trailer then go and pick their brand new Cat dozer which barley fit on the 20 ton trailer, when I loaded the dozer the only way i could legally pull it down the road was th angle the blade and hang a wide load sign on the front and rear.
  5. fhdesign

    fhdesign LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    Very different machines, keep at it and you'll get the hang of it, just takes a little time.
  6. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    I've never run a hystat dozer, but I ran a Deere 450G a couple years back. It has the 2 lever steer, didn't like that very much. To me, a hystat dozer is just about like running a pilot operated skid steer; direction and speed in one hand, implement control in the other.
  7. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    It takes time and experience in different conditions to operate a dozer at a high level. A quality operator can leave a yard at a finish caliber grade, if he wants to take the time to. There is a high learning curve, but IMO it's the best machine that can develope a jobsite and leave it at a near finish. I get the most satisfaction out of dozer work.

    I like the J Series Deere's. I'm back and forth between a Deere 450J LT, and a Case 650K LT for my next dozer. Both are very nice and similar machines.

    What kind of work are you doing with the dozer?
  8. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    CASE should be releasing it hydrostatic version of the 550 very soon.
  9. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    KSSS, if Case would ever release a 550 hystat with the same type of factory cab that a 650 has, they would sell like hotcakes. I still can't get a definite yay or nay from my dealer as to whether or not they are releasing one in a 550 size, let alone a release date. It's pretty frustrating considering my family and I have bought around 20+ pieces of Case equipment over the years, mostly dozers.

    My dealer is trying to sell me the 650K. They are nice machines, but too heavy for working around tight lots with large overdigs on basements. The 650K's weigh about 5K lbs. more with a cab and rippers than our current 550H's do. The Deere 450J's are about 2.5K lbs more than my dozer, which is a much more ideal size, and both machines perform very similar.

    Case has an option that Deere doesn't that I really like, and that's the tilt over cab. It lets you get to all the hydraulic pumps and lines in minutes. Since I'm not trading in as frequently as in the past, that is a nice option if I need to work on it after the warranty runs out.

    The service at my Case dealer has been great over the years, but the salesmen have come and gone like a revolving door. I've never even met my current "area" salesman. All that has played a big role in me not buying a Case for my last two machines. They have been too worried about just selling a machine instead of working with me on trade in, release dates, etc...

    KSSS, I know you come across info since you're pretty tight with Case, so anything you know about a release date or details on a 550K would be much appreciated. I'm going to wait until early spring of next year to trade in before I need tracks again. At that time, if nothing is new from Case, I'm probably leaning more towards the Deere right now. My Deere CTL along with guys I know running 450J's has left a nice opinion on Deere equipment. I wish Case would put the same effort into their small dozers that they do in their industry leading backhoes. Deere definetly has the market in my area for finish dozers.

    Sorry, mrusk. I didn't mean to hi-jack your thread, I just had to vent!:usflag:
  10. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,504

    I have a little seat time on a old D4 Cat with all the levers. I can tell you from my experience with skids,track loaders, and dozers is knowing where that blade is. Allot of people try to see the edge which is good but after you get material flowing you often cannot see the edge. I then look at how much material is flowing into the bucket or out the edge. This will vary on the type of material conditions and so on but for the most part it is a key. Another thing is especially in finish grading the light cuts do allot more dirt movement than you think. You have to constantly be moving the bucket or edge of blade to get things good. Once you get it half way level you wont have to move the bucket or blade near as much. A guy really has to get out and play (experiment) before he takes on jobs. You also need to feel your machine or be apart of it. If you feel the machine coming up in the front than your most likely way to deep. It's a combination of things I guess. Im learning more and more each day. I think it gets kinda addicting once you see you can level something. Preactice is the key. A dozer will may it look like a concrete floor if your good. I had a guy put in a waterway for me a few years back and I helped. He went a quater of a mile flying shaping it with a Komatsu dozer and never once got of to check the dimensions. when the engineers checked it he was dead on. I would love to be have as good as he was.

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