11 March 2020, 15:43
Dressta’s new dozer makes its eagerly anticipated debut at ConExpo. The new TD-16N is a revolutionary dozer that sets a new benchmark for visibility.
Right from day one, the LiuGong Dressta design team’s brief was simple - create the best all-round dozer for the customer. The Red Dot award-winning team headed by Edward Wagner (Executive Director of New Technology) and Gary Major (Executive Director of Industrial Design) knew that listening to the operator was key to designing something truly unique. Ed recalls, “We literally started with the operator, the blade and the tracks and then built everything around them without compromise.” The result is a dozer with unrivalled all-round visibility encompassing 309 degrees. According to Major, “We set out to create the best visibility in class – I think we’ve achieved that, but the real test is to put a seasoned operator in a cab and ask him.”
To test the “theory” the Dressta team invited a select group of operators to preview and test the machine prior to ConExpo. Irish operator Neil John Mckeown was clearly impressed, “It’s like sitting without a cab – you have the visibility right round you.” These sentiments were echoed by American equipment owner and dealer Rob Winmill, “The visibility is second to none. Floor to ceiling glass, no obstructions, you can’t do better than that.” French operator Ignace Hoareau was more economic with his words but equally enthusiastic for the new design, his first impression was simply “Wow!”
The dozer features a mid-cab design over a mid-mounted automatic, dual path hydrostatic drive train. It comes with a standard 6-way angle blade and it is compatible with 2D and 3D grade control systems. Controls are easily accessible, intuitive, and easy to use thanks to the electro-hydraulic joysticks. With an operating weight of 19,090 kg (42,090 lb) and net horsepower of 170 hp (127kW), it has the power and performance Dressta is well known for.
This next generation dozer is a game changer when it comes to versatility thanks to its unique undercarriage design, which utilizes a single-track gauge for all track shoe widths. This allows the dozer to be reconfigured at any point in its life, from standard to LGP undercarriage, by simply just changing the track shoes and the blade. This feature increases versatility and will improve resale values by allowing future owners to reconfigure the machine to perfectly match their needs.
Whilst visibility and performance were high on the design team’s agenda it was not the only consideration; operator safety was also a priority. According to Major, “Every operator out there has a story about falling off the tracks... this is the first machine where you don’t have to get onto the tracks.” Firstly, the team designed non-slip steps at the rear of the machine totally negating the need to step onto the tracks. Complete with safety handrails, these steps allow easy access to and from the cab with three points of contact maintained at all times. The TD16N is the only dozer in its size class with this type of "no tracks" access. Secondly, they ensured that all access points for daily checks, maintenance and fuelling were reachable from ground level. Irish operator Neil John Mckeown was clearly impressed. “The steps up the back give really easy access – good idea! Daily checks are perfect, you don’t have to go on to the tracks, it’s all done from the ground.”
With the new TD-16N, Dressta are convinced that they have set the new benchmark for visibility and in so doing, have created a safer and more productive machine. According to Dressta Chairman, Howard Dale, “Everything we do, we do to make our machines deliver more. The superior visibility of this machine will certainly help operators be more productive and do a better job in less time. We also know that this machine will make the worksite safer for everyone. The easy access for daily checks and maintenance is going to reduce downtime and ensure that this machine keeps working and delivering.”
Clearly Dressta are very proud of this new dozer but actions always speak louder than words. Howard Dale in typically bullish form is clear that the only way to prove Dressta’s claims is to get operators into the cab. “What we are unveiling here at ConExpo is truly a unique machine that sets the new benchmark for the industry. My challenge to professional operators is to come and see it for yourselves, climb into the cab, take your seat, only then will you see what you’ve been missing!”