The bulldozer is an engineering vehicle known for its use in demolition, construction work, and land clearing. Bulldozers are often equipped with wide blades that help push dirt to the side so they can be loaded.
Bulldozers are also known for their distinctive exhaust system, which rises straight up out of the air intake before curving back down on either side of the operator’s seat. The blade is situated in front of the engine and pushing mechanism, with the tracks located beneath them at both ends. The cabin is usually directly above the blade and engine.
Why Do Bulldozers Need to Be Maintained?
Bulldozers are very complex equipment that has lots of moving parts. Like any other machine, dozers can develop problems over time.
Some wear and tear is inevitable, but you can minimize the issues by maintaining them properly, including opting for heavy equipment repair before they get worse.
Here are some things to consider when taking care of bulldozers:
1. Oil Leaks
The oil system is one of the most important things on bulldozers. The hydraulic system heavily relies on oil to transfer power from the engine crankcase to the hydraulics.
Oil is also used to cool down hydraulic cylinders, transmissions, and other components inside the dozer.
Oil leaks are common, especially for older machines. But it’s not always caused by a bad gasket or worn-out O-rings. Sometimes, it’s the buildup of dirt around the oil drain plug that causes the leak.
Cleaning off this dirt can solve the problem easily, but proper lubrication is still necessary whenever you’re in operations.
2. Bad Hydraulic Cylinder Pins
Hydraulic cylinders are tightly locked by pins. Over time, these pins may wear down or break due to constant contact with the cylinders. You can check for this problem by opening up the pin nuts and feeling the pins with your fingers.
If there are some broken pieces, you can simply clean them out using a wire brush. But if they’re too worn out, you need to replace the entire piston rod assembly.
3. Cracked or Worn Seals
Bulldozers are exposed to some of the harshest conditions on earth. It’s not surprising that seals will eventually crack or wear out. But this can happen slowly so you won’t easily notice them until they cause problems with the dozer.
Worn-out seals can cause oil leaks and interfere with the operation of hydraulic cylinders. Cracked bushings may break in cold weather when they’re not flexible enough to fit over the moving parts. This also increases the risk of leakage if there’s a hole somewhere along the seal.
4. Broken Linkages and Shafts
Linkages and shafts are responsible for moving the dozer blade. If any of these parts fail, you can’t move the blade or raise/lower it into position.
This means that you’ll need to fix this issue immediately. But it won’t be easy if this happens in the middle of your job site.
This is why it’s important to schedule regular maintenance on the bulldozer. Check the linkages and shafts for wear and damage and make sure that they’re properly lubricated. Use a new hydraulic oil filter.
Also, too much pressure can cause broken linkages and shafts. You’ll need to lower the oil pressure inside the dozer’s hydraulics, but that means you’ll need to replace all hydraulic filters for now.
A worn-out filter won’t be able to protect the system against high oil pressure, and this will definitely damage any moving parts inside the dozer.
5. Damaged or Worn Bushings
Bulldozers have lots of bearings and bushings, and these components are often overlooked when it comes to regular maintenance schedules.
But if you don’t pay enough attention to them, they’ll wear out over time due to friction caused by moving parts inside the machine. This leads to oil leakage and other problems that usually affect hydraulics.
6. Defective Fan and Belt
The fan is responsible for keeping the engine cool while it’s running in extreme conditions. It uses a belt to turn and transfer this rotational power into hydraulics. Any defect on these parts can lead to serious damage inside the dozer. You’ll need to replace all filters, gaskets, and seals as soon as possible.
7. Abnormal Noise from the Hydraulics
If you notice any unusual noise from the hydraulics, it may be a sign that there’s a problem with bearings or bushings inside the machine. Dozer blades will also make a different sound when they’re turned up, so this can also be a sign that something’s wrong with the hydraulics.
One of the common problems is leakage. It is usually caused by worn-out filters because these parts won’t be able to protect against oil leaks during heavy operation.
To make sure you’re taking care of your bulldozers properly, it’s important to be aware of the most common issues that can develop over time. With a few simple steps and maintenance strategies, you’ll not only keep them running smoothly but also save yourself some money in the process!