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bluedog225
03-11-2010, 05:59 PM
I am thinking about renting a Cat D4 size bulldozer for a day. I'd like to scrape a road into my land (about 400 yards) through pasture and 1-3 inch brush/trees. I am also going to clear and level a small building site (about 15 ft x 15 ft), clear a fence line, and push some dirt around a creek to see if the soil has enough clay to hold water.

Land is gently sloping (10-15 degrees max). I don't plan on doing anything dramatic.

I got a lot of good tractor advice here recently. Are there similar, non obvious, ways to screw up and get hurt with a dozer? It seems pretty straight forward to me.

Any insight appreciated.

Thanks

Tom

rbgarr
03-11-2010, 06:16 PM
Just don't do this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwuNK2gNiRo

;)

Bob Smalser
03-11-2010, 06:18 PM
It seems pretty straight forward to me.


Hardly. It takes the right touch and lots of practice to do a clean job clearing and grading.

Get recommendations on the best local cat skinner and hire the job out......even at a grand a day, it'll be cheaper. You may be able to rent one for less, but he'll get 4X the amount of work done than you will in the same time, and to a higher standard.

Paul Pless
03-11-2010, 06:20 PM
Just don't do this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwuNK2gNiRo

;)i give you killdozer: link
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24n77GgRtrw)

Paul Pless
03-11-2010, 06:21 PM
Hardly. It takes the right touch and lots of practice to do a clean job clearing and grading.

Get recommendations on the best local cat skinner and hire the job out......even at a grand a day, it'll be cheaper.Where's the fun in that?

Seriously you're very correct though.

S/V Laura Ellen
03-11-2010, 06:24 PM
Just don't do this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwuNK2gNiRo

;)

Why not? It looked like fun!

J. Brown
03-11-2010, 06:35 PM
Hiring a independent contractor is good advice. I've rented a fair bit of heavy equipment and (fun aside) I've found that it takes a lot longer to get good on a dozer than on an excavator or loader. You basically need a level set in your butt and it's quite hard to doze a level road without moguling it, even with a steady hand and a 6-way blade. Pushing dirt around or clearing land with a brush rake is fairly easy. It was blading roads up and across slopes that I found hard to master. Your mileage may vary.

switters
03-11-2010, 06:36 PM
you shouldn't build your own boats either.

Mr.Smalser and the others are right of course. But the last time I had to dig a foundation I rented a new holland and went for it, let the kids have a turn, good fun all around. However, if you rent it for the day you may find you should have had it for twice that long or longer, and hence your "savings" disappears pretty quick.

Best of luck,

PeterSibley
03-11-2010, 07:39 PM
When I need work done I hire an operator , the best I know of ....he brings his machine , not the other way around .Bob's right .

The bloke I hire is a Sikh ,his machine is a 75 hp Fiat Agri .A$85 per hr and he's fast !

Nice to see someone wanting to hire a dozer , not an excavator ! Everyone seems to have gone over to excavators and for some work they are much, much slower .

delecta
03-11-2010, 07:56 PM
I'm experienced in working a track loader and when I needed some blade work done I hired someone that was well versed in how the machine worked.

He left the keys to a late model Cat D6 and I mounted that bitch and was prepared to move a few yards. Well.....Let me tell you, seeing it done and doing it yourself are two different things.

It was so fast that I couldn't control the blade fast enough to make a smooth grade. If you cut the throttle down enough to allow you to control the blade at "your speed" it wouldn't push.

We hired him to grade a lot of a new house I built which had some issues in the back yard. In two hours he cut that lot down to the tune of about 300 yards that had to be trucked away. That was exactly what we wanted him to do .

The next day my brother said, amazing how much money he made for us in just a few hours.

Somethings are better left to the more experienced. I'm not calling them smarter or more talented, just more experienced.

Garret
03-11-2010, 09:46 PM
OK - Sure you can hire an expert. It'll get done faster & possibly for less. Maybe even better. But - you won't learn anything.

I'll differ for the most of rest & say go for it -as long as you're psychologically capable of eating a slice of humble pie & hiring a pro to finish the job.

I have rented a dozer to do work. Got it pretty close - then finished it off with my tractor & grader blade. Would a pro have done it quicker? Yup. Hiring a carpenter to build a shed woulda been quicker too - but quicker ain't always the goal, is it?

Michael D. Storey
03-11-2010, 10:42 PM
Back in the 70's I taught myself to use a D-6 to create a railway grade for a Museum.
It takes more than a day to get it right.
Do remember that they can be dangerous, deadly, machines. But, they are a ton o' fun. Push over a tree. Shove rocks around. Have fun.
Even pros that I know admit to enjoying using a good sized dozer. A D-4 can tilt the blade, allowing you to create a berm, etc.
Practice, Practice, and be careful. Go slow.
If you are new to it, your best grading will be going backwards. Go slow, avoid hills, be willing to get off and look around often.

S B
03-11-2010, 11:11 PM
First thing survey the road, doesn't have to be anything spectacular,string will do. Peg it off and remove the trees by hand. Grub the topsoil/sod off. Tip the blade and pile material from sides to the middle,creating ditch. Grade road,nothing to it. Have fun. Bring your camera.

seafox
03-11-2010, 11:28 PM
maybe a litle early but one thing that very suprized me a couple summers ago was how fast a fire can start in the right conditions i went to fuil a track hoe, boss manovered close to the fuil truck and suddenly a spark from the track had a fire with 4 foot flames going right in my face. I kicked it out so fast a visiting salesman didn't even know why I was dancing. earlyer the bos had started a fire on the mountain side and chased it for three hours before he got it put out, burned about 2 acres. a month before we had gone 5 miles up the canyon to dig test holes for an engineer. they had me bring along a 6500 gallon water truck in case we sparked a fire. at the time I thought they were just being silly or maybe overlyy worried becasue it was not on grand they owned. looking back if a fire had started- man that water cannon would have been a butt savior

elf
03-11-2010, 11:28 PM
And check with your town for environmental regulations before you begin. Filling a creek would not be something I'd think acceptable to the town.

Garret
03-11-2010, 11:33 PM
And check with your town for environmental regulations before you begin. Filling a creek would not be something I'd think acceptable to the town.

Good thought. Here in Vermont, it's the Agency of Natural Resources that handles streams. Streams include 1 ft wide seasonal rivulets here - so be careful - the fines can be large.

coelacanth2
03-12-2010, 12:13 AM
He's in Texas...he can probably"disappear" any interlopers, dig them into the road or spoil pile from the pond project. My hunting buddy used to remind (objectionable) suitors to his daughters, "I've got 500 acres and a backhoe and a sack of lime. They'll never find you..."

Iceboy
03-12-2010, 08:39 AM
I know my dad sure didn't like it when I got his stuck on the side of a marsh while cutting a skid trail. Getting it out required hiring a much larger version of the stuck one. That being said, don't deny yourself the fun of doing your own stuff. It's only money and the experience can last a lifetime!

Dan McCosh
03-12-2010, 10:14 AM
I seem to remember from a summer or two working on a road crew that grading with a with a dozer was one of the trickiest jobs with heavy equipment--at least with the tolerances we were working with. I seem to remember you started with backhoes, then loaders and scrapers, then graduated to bulldozers and graders. I can't imagine learning it in a day or so.

bluedog225
03-12-2010, 10:42 AM
Thanks everyone. Of course, the thread isn't finished until Paladin tells his bulldozer story.....(blew up, burned up, dropped from plane, killed a bear with one.....:D)

Bill R
03-12-2010, 11:05 AM
Growing up, I often used a small one to cut logging trails and skid logs out of the wood with the farmer I worked for. Never could master a nice smooth grade. Got good at moving rocks and knocking stuff over though...

Dan McCosh
03-12-2010, 11:09 AM
I might have added we were building an interstate highway, and the cats were D12s. The tower crane operators probably had the trickiest job, setting highway sections in place up some 160 feet. The grading was on the entrance ramps.

cjp1063
03-13-2010, 12:21 AM
I pulled a D5 out of the ground at Fort Campbell in the mid 1980's. 82nd AB dropped it and the chutes blew off at 800 feet just after exiting the plane. came out in about 7 pieces and was barely recognizable. If I could figure out how to get those pictures on here.... If you aren't concerned about the cost do it yourself, if you are then do what everyone else is saying hire someone else.

Typhoon
03-14-2010, 03:13 AM
You have a tractor? Buy/hire a dozer blade for it, they hook onto the three point linkage at the rear.

Regards, Andrew.

SamSam
03-14-2010, 07:44 AM
Are there similar, non obvious, ways to screw up and get hurt with a dozer? It seems pretty straight forward to me.

We had a guy with so much experience he grew complacent, stepped onto the track before the machine quit moving and got all his toes cut off.

Make sure it has overhead protection if you're demolishing stuff.

Maybe a neighbor needs something simple done that might help pay some of the rent.

Go ahead and rent it for the fun. The smoother you leave things at the end of the day, the better. On the blade up and down control, it is usually positive, where you put it is where it stays. Some have a "float" position, usually all the way forward on the control, that puts the hydraulics in neutral and just relys on the weight of the blade alone to level things.

Paul Pless
03-14-2010, 08:29 AM
You have a tractor? Buy/hire a dozer blade for it, they hook onto the three point linkage at the rear.

Regards, Andrew.You mean either a scraper blader or a box blade? Neither will allow a small tractor to push 3 to 5 inch saplings out of the ground.

Paul Pless
03-14-2010, 08:30 AM
We had a guy with so much experience he grew complacent, stepped onto the track before the machine quit moving and got all his toes cut off. ouch

SamSam
03-14-2010, 09:12 AM
ouch
It was only on one foot. ;)

I got to thinking of other " non obvious, ways to screw up and get hurt with a dozer?". There was a guy having his wife guide him onto the trailer in his bulldozer. He apparently got too close to the edge, the dozer rolled off and crushed his wife. Ouch. Well, that was his side of the story, anyway.

Garret
03-14-2010, 09:53 AM
You have a tractor? Buy/hire a dozer blade for it, they hook onto the three point linkage at the rear.

Regards, Andrew.

I've seen a lot of grader blades that are all bent up + 3 point hitch mounts that are broken from people using a tractor to do too much. The latter can cost thousands to fix.

A grader blade is really only good for already loose or very easily loosened stuff - like gravel or plain dirt. Saplings, etc. will definitely mess one up.

My experience anyway....

Tealsmith
03-14-2010, 02:09 PM
A box blade with scarifiers will work up soil that isn't too dry or rocky.