The new High-Speed Dozer

Introduction

Bulldozer. The name appears from the word bull doze, a very strong medicine doze for bulls. And the present bulldozers are carrying their names rightly. Not because of the reason mentioned here, but because it is slow, just like a bull when it is used as draft animal. We see the bulls from time to time on TV where they endlessly slow move forward as draft animals for a primitive plow. We see how heavy, sluggish and difficult they are to maneuver where they slowly move forward and obviously would prefer to continue straight ahead. From this consideration the name bulldozer for sure fits better than intended. The bull has completely disappeared as draft force in all modern societies because it is too heavy, slow and carries out too little work. In my opinion the present bulldozers have the very same weaknesses, and it is high time that the present bull is replaced by a new modern machine that carries out the same work in a much more efficient way. A machine that gives you much lower investment expenses in comparison to the work it is able to carry out, that weights considerably less in comparison to the work it does and is much simpler and more interesting to work with. And last but not least, a machine that uses considerably less fuel and resources and emits much less CO2. The changes from the bulldozer are so large that we wish to call it "High-Speed Dozer" instead of bulldozer. This is because we here talk about a completely new generation earth mowing machines that must not be mixed up with a traditional bulldozer.

History

First some history to create understanding for why I think I know about these things. During my entire adolescence and long into grown-up age it was lots of clearing ground work in the countryside where I lived. Especially it was much leveling of hills with bulldozer. I therefore had the possibility through many years to study leveling of fields with bulldozer at close range. I could therefore see the possibilities and above all the limitations and the problems with the present bulldozers, because apart from the appearance of some larger models of bulldozers surprisingly little has happened with the bulldozer solution. Leveling of farm fields has therefore at least everywhere in my farming surroundings, ebbed away because it became far too expensive in comparison to the earnings the farmers achieved by leveling their fields. It was simply not profitable, even if it for many still had been desirable to get more user friendly and rational fields and larger cultivation areas. I have therefore studied every dozer function carefully and evaluated if that exact function could have been done better and if other solutions should be added. The material flow with the dozer can be done more efficient and faster by making the dozer with a different design. I am not unknown to any problems, cleaning or maintenance that can appear on a bulldozer. It is therefore obvious to me that the dozer must be more users friendly. I know from my own experience how important it is that all parts are easy to change and repair. During my military service I was foreman rep. team construction equipment (bulldozers, wheel loaders, excavators and other types of construction machines). When I suggest so large changes, it is important that you understand that this is not only loose thoughts and ideas. The reason is that I think the present bulldozers are poor. They are in my opinion, far too costly in comparison to the job they do and that I intend to change.

Before I finish the history I want to tell you about my technical and designing education because that is also important to explain why I have been able to calculate, design and shape a new and much better and above all much cheaper dozer in comparison to the leveling capacity. I am educated Master of Science, Mechanical engineer. I have through many years worked with development, inventions and innovations. I have been an excavator designer. It is the same type of mass we move and it is the same clients. Therefore I know this business from the inside and I know the clients. And even if the numbers is different, the theories, the calculations and forces are comparable. Therefore it is almost obvious that part of the present bulldozer design was the very first that vent by the board. I have invented and developed products that have ousted old products in conservative and demanding businesses like the oil industry, the construction business and shipping. I own and manage manufacturing companies based on own inventions. Therefore I know quite well what will be demanded from products, production costs and prices.

What is wrong with the existing bulldozer

Here I have an unexpected answer. The fault with the existing bulldozers is to find inside the heads of the producers of the present bulldozers, from the chairman and down. They believe that to cut loose and move earth is something quite special that only they have knowledge of, and therefore they have not managed to notice that there are others that do similar jobs, cutting loose and move soil in enormous large quantities every single year, in a much more energy efficient manner with much cheaper equipment and learn from it. I think of plowing in farming all over the world. Here the farmers cut loose and move 450 000 metric tons of earth for every 100 hectare (250 acres) every single year during only a 40-50 hours period, with slight plows and light tractors with modest engine power at high speed. The only difference is that a plow only moves the earth masses 16 inches instead of 300 ft, but it is the heavy part of the work, cutting loose the soil and start moving it the farmers do. The simple and little force demanding part, only moving the loose earth is for sure simple in comparison and favor the bulldozer in the calculation. Why on earth have the producers of bulldozers not tried to learn, at least a bit of the knowledge from this. Probably because they have not thought of it.

What have we done differently in the new high-speed dozer

I will here choose some of the points that explain why they have lost their way with the bulldozer solution and how we have made the new high-speed dozer to avoid these weaknesses.

a. We use Flagear complete continuous gear that allow high speed

Today the bulldozers still have speeds that have not increased since the bulldozer was invented in the 1920's. 3 step gear boxes with working speeds only 3-7 km/h (1.8-4.3 mph) and maximum speeds only 12-14 km/h (7.4-8.7 mph). The high-speed dozer is designed for quite different speeds. That assumes that the dozer is equipped with the complete continuous gear box that makes it possible for the speed to vary completely continuous from 0-30 km/h (0-18.6 mph) forward and backward. We achieve by this the following great advantages:

The bulldozer design that now is in use has been almost unchanged through 70 years. A concept that only increase in size becomes a dinosaur, because everything can not all the time be increased in size. Then neither the proportions nor the solutions will match. Everything around are also changing and the demand for efficiency in comparison to weight and use of materials is now completely different from what it was two generations ago.

b. Using steering wheel

Today the bulldozer still use clutches to stop the power on one belt when turning. It is a bit strange that this has not been improved. We have made a solution that makes it possible to turn with steering a wheel in the same manner as one does on all other usable vehicles where one want to drive fast and precise forward and backward. We achieve by this the following great advantages:

c. Use weight transfer from the earth mass instead of only the track grip from dozer weight

Already in 1916 Harry Ferguson had understood that it was clever to use weight transfer from the soil when one plows to give pressure on the driving wheels and thus give the possibility of using lighter machines. Everyone that today produces farming tractors fields have understood that, but those who make bulldozers still base only on bulldozer weight. Quite unbelievable, but it maybe is so when one still think as when one used bulls as draft animal. We on the other hand have designed the high-speed dozer blade in such a way that we can use the weight transfer principle by transferring the forces that comes into existence when loosening the earth mass from the ground and the weight of the loose mass to give better track pressure. We achieve by this the following great advantages:

d. Use automatic depth control on the dozer blade to be able to increase the speed and impose less strain on the dozer

Even though Ferguson already in 1925 patented the automatic depth control for plow mounted on farming tractors the bulldozer business has still not done anything similarly. We have, on the other hand, designed the high-speed dozer with automatic depth control. Some will then probably claim that this will be something quite different, but to the extent that this is different it is in disfavor of the plow, because the plow must keep a much more even depth due to the top-soil so that the plow does not plow to deep (into the subsoil) or to shallow so that the soil is not properly turned. In addition the plow is run with about twice the speed as the bulldozer and that would have made the depth control simpler on the bulldozer. We will increase the speed because that has so great importance to the leveling efficiency. We achieve by this the following great advantages:

e. Use springing dozer blade to increase the speed considerably

When one started to plow with larger plows and tractors the manufacturers of plows began to deliver the plows with different stone releasing devices to secure that neither the plow nor the tractor was damaged if the plow hit large stones or the bedrock. The solution from the bulldozer manufacturers is the old classical. Run slowly and completely oversize the blade many times. We on the contrary have designed the blade with a completely new design with springs so that it will spring away and avoid harmful strains just like the plow releasing devices. In this way we are able to increase the speed tremendously. With this we achieve the following advantages:

f. Use lighter dozer blade

Have you ever calculated the strength of a bulldozer blade? If you have not, you are not alone. The manufacturers of bulldozer blade have obviously never done that either. If they had done that, they had never delivered anything so heavy and oversized as they do. It maybe is amusing because then they can brag about how large the bulldozer is since the bulldozers today broadly speaking is classified only based on weight and not from what they do. We on the other hand have designed and calculated the high-speed dozer blade with quite a new design from the strain it is exposed to. We achieve with this the following great advantages:

Production

When we evaluate the present bulldozer solutions, we will easily see that the designs descend from an earlier time, before all the new production tools like laser cutting of plates and welding and assembling by robots. Of course the manufacturers use these new tools, but if you really shall get economical payment from these new technologies then the entire design must be made from the beginning. One has to take this and the new trends in efficient design in consideration. I see on the detail solutions that this has not been done when designing the present bulldozers. It is not the engineers and the management at this manufacturers that shall bear the costs and then one can see on the products that they clearly do not care changing the solutions. When I look at these types machinery I also see that it is quite necessary that it appears new generations of elements like couplings between shafts and wheels, pipe couplings, movable shaft couplings, etc. This is necessary to reduce the material consumption and the production costs, the assembling costs and not least the costs for inspection, service, maintenance and repairs.

Reduced emissions

If the bulldozers manufacturers had taken these things that here is mentioned into consideration they could easily have reduced the CO2-emission and fuel consumption 50 - 80 %. The bulldozers can be produced with considerably less use of materials and resources that in its turn gives less emission. It costs less energy to move back and forth a 25 metric tons high-speed dozer than to drag along 100 metric tons.

Contact

If you are interested or have opinions, please contact us on email:flaco@fladby.com.

© Tron-H Fladby/ 18.04.2008