Crawler dozers: How hydrostatic transmissions improve safety

November 4, 2014  |  News & Trends

safe operation of hydrostatic drive dozersEquipment World has published an excellent article that explains why hydrostatic drives are now the dominant type of drive train for crawler dozers. One benefit of this drive train technology the article alludes to is that it makes dozers safer.

Hydrostatic drive on modern dozers provides numerous benefits to new and seasoned operators alike:

  • They are significantly more productive in most applications compared to powershift dozers. In some applications, one large hydrostat dozer can do the work that formerly required two to three conventional machines.
  • Smoother operation means improved control of loads during both straight-line dozing and especially during power turns, where the machines automatically increase throttle to maintain the dozer's ground speed.
  • Hydrostats are the perfect partner to GPS-enabled machine control, which makes it easy for an operator of a large dozer to use it for precision finish grading.
  • Operators of many hydrostatic dozers can customize shift and blade control parameters, enabling them to tailor the machine's performance to the needs of the job and their personal preferences.

How hydrostatic drives make dozers safer

Here's what all this means from a safety standpoint:

  • Dynamic braking means operators of hydrostatic dozers only have one brake pedal to worry about. In contrast, powershift dozers have both deceleration and brake pedals. When you ease off the the throttle of a hydrostatic drive bulldozer, the hydraulic pressure within the system brings the machine to a stop. That means the dozer won't roll backward when the operator stops it on a slope.
  • Smooth operator: Hydrostatic transmissions enable operators of pipe laying dozers to ease pipe into the trench more smoothly, critical when there are workers in the trench helping to place the pipe. Infinitely variable speed enables the operator to creep the machine forward, without the jerkiness caused by upshifting or downshifting.
  • Easier to operate: Hydrostatic dozers help inexperienced operators become productive faster, and make experienced operators even more productive. There is less in the cab to pay attention to, because these sophisticated machines take care of power management and, in some cases, blade control. This frees him or her to pay more attention to nearby machines and people, helping to improve jobsite safety.

The next time you look at a hydrostatic drive bulldozer, remember all that this technology makes possible from both a productivity and a safety standpoint. Now you know!

Interested in related products? See: Tips from the Pros: Crawler Dozer or Crawler Dozer Instructor Kit

Tags: bulldozer, dozer, pipelaying, safety

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