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Disrupting Dozers

How a Two-Headed Beast Machine is dominating earthmoving cut zones


The crawler dozer has been an essential element of equipment in the earthmoving industry for nearly a century. The dozer is a utilitarian tank of a machine, able to shove around dirt or push-load a scraper by using the large front blade. Menacing ripper shanks hang down in the backend of the dozer, able to shred apart soil at the push of a lever. The “click-clacking” of the tracks and black plumes of exhaust have symbolized dominance and brute force power on the jobsite.

While the classic dozer has effectiveness in power, there are several key noticeable inefficiencies of crawler dozers on the jobsite, including operating speed and being a large capital expenditure with high maintenance costs.

Construction and mining jobsites are fast paced environments, which are focused on cycle time productivity. The top end speed of a crawler dozer maxes out at 8MPH. Due to this slow operating speed, the dozer tends to be the bottleneck in jobsite productivity in critical activities such as push loading a scraper or smoothing out dumped material in the fill zone.

The purchase of a crawler dozer is a large upfront capital expenditure. Having many intricate parts and having to purchase additional options such as ripper shanks, the price adds up to be a substantial dedicated piece of support equipment in the fleet. But the costs do not stop there. The frequent repair expenses on undercarriage components can quickly add up to be an expensive ongoing cash outflow for the contractor.

The identified shortcomings of the crawler dozer leave the door open for innovation disruption within the construction equipment marketplace. Could a machine with triple the top end speed of a standard crawler dozer be better able to keep up with push loading scrapers, as well as maintaining groundwork as a piece of support equipment? Instead of purchasing an expensive dedicated machine, why not purchase attachments that can effectively hook-up to a power-unit that the contractor already may have in their fleet? The contractor could then easily remove the attachments from the tractor and use the power-unit for other purposes. How about a machine that runs on wheels instead of steel tracks to minimize maintenance expenses? Enter K-Tec Earthmovers, and a pair of attachments that are disrupting dozers in the earthmoving industry.

In today’s society, it is common for specific pieces of machinery to have acronym’s to describe it’s intended purpose. For the mass-consumer market, consider the Recreational Vehicle (RV), Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), or All Terrain Vehicle (ATV). In the construction equipment market, the Compact Track Loader (CTL), Rigid Dump Truck (RDT), and Articulated Dump Truck (ADT) are acronym examples as well. K-Tec is creating a new product category in the earthmoving market, by introducing the Earthmoving Support Tractor (EST).

By using a 500+HP tractor as the basic power unit, K-Tec is creating an efficient support equipment solution to contractors who already have this machine in their fleet by adding two effective attachments known collectively as the Earthmoving Support Tractor (EST); the K-Tec Ox Block, and the K-Tec Tricerabox.

On the front of the EST, the K-Tec Ox Block is a pusher block purposefully designed for push-loading scrapers for increased capacity in an expedited cut zone time to improve productivity. The Ox Block is mounted by replacing the tractor’s front suitcase weights, offering balanced weight to the front of the unit. The Ox Block has automatic cushion-push technology, featuring hydraulic cylinders to reduce strain on operators and equipment. The Ox Block also comes standard with high-mounted LED lights, so that the machine can work on night shifts for critical around the clock operations. The Ox Block is narrower and positioned higher than a traditional dozer blade, which helps to minimize the chance of contact and damage with the rear scraper tires. Furthermore, the tractor has higher speed to return to the cut in time to push the next scraper, compared to a crawler dozer.

The K-Tec Tricerabox is a 14’ wide box blade that is mounted to the 3-point hitch on the rear of the EST, engineered to engage the ground and manipulate soil. The three functions of the Tricerabox include the leveling blade pulling material forwards, ripper teeth sinking down into the soil, and blade backwards for pushing dozing material. The Tricerabox has seven ground ripper shanks that are hydraulically operated to lower for engaging the ground for ripping up hard soil or aerating wet jobsites. The Tricerabox also has a back blade, for the operator to complete backfilling of soil work to fully smooth out the cut and fill zones. The 3-Point Hitch may also be modified to have a scraper hitch hook-up, making it the ultimate piece of support equipment, where the tractor can fill in as a bulk dirt hauler for another power-unit that may be down for maintenance.

The K-Tec Earthmoving Support Tractor is an excellent way to utilize the second life of a tractor in becoming an integral piece of earthmoving support equipment. The operator will enjoy using the tractor as it has a comfortable environment inside a full-suspension cab that is sound suppressed and isolated from the chassis. The large window visibility and swivel tractor seat make it ergonomically enhanced for all functions of the K-Tec EST. Tractors also have a buddy seat in the back, which is ideal for training new operators on the efficient use of the EST. Another advantage of the tractor is that the operator has storage area space and a tool box for being able to take care of minor mechanical repairs on site. The fully hydrostatic tractor also offers a tight turning radius for machine maneuverability, making it an ideal disruptive force compared to the traditional crawler dozer.

The two-headed beast machine, known as an EST, consisting of a tractor pushing with an Ox Block while simultaneously pulling a Tricerabox is rolling onto jobsites and dominating the classic dozer in efficiency and productivity. Contractors who are looking to gain a massive advantage over their competition may best investigate these effective K-Tec attachments for an ideal piece of support equipment to enhance their earthmoving success.

Source: K-Tec Earthmovers Inc.