Reduce the need for expensive repairs with these dozer maintenance tasks.
Construction bulldozers, or dozers, are built tough, like the terrain they’re designed to handle. But they still need attention now and then. Regular preventive dozer maintenance helps you avoid costly downtime and expensive repairs and continue dozer work without interruption.
Wear the appropriate PPE when performing dozer maintenance. That might include a hard hat, safety goggles, a safety vest, work gloves and steel-toed boots.
General bulldozer inspection checklist
These daily tasks apply to most dozers. Find maintenance instructions for your particular machine in the bulldozer owner’s manual.
Before you begin, park the dozer on a level surface and lower the bucket or other attachment to the ground. Engage the parking brake and lock the transmission.
- Look for warning tags. Confirm that no one has placed warning tags on the operating parts of the bulldozer.
- Walk around the machine and look for obvious problems such as oil leaks around recoil seals, cracks around the push arm and roller frame, worn sprocket segments, loose bolts and worn tracks.
- Inspect all windows, mirrors, blinker lights and flashing beacons and clean them as needed.
- Check the battery connections for any signs of corrosion and tighten as necessary.
- Check the fuel level and top it off as needed.
- Check the fuel filter. Make sure it isn’t dirty or wet.
- Check the air filter. Make sure it isn’t dirty or wet.
- Confirm there’s a fire extinguisher. The cabin should contain one.
Dozer undercarriage maintenance checklist
Dozer undercarriage maintenance is the most important aspect of bulldozer maintenance because the undercarriage accounts for roughly half of a dozer’s lifetime repair costs. Daily inspection of all parts is a good way to spot unusual wear patterns.
- Check the bulldozer track tension. Any discoloration of the master links may indicate that the track doesn’t have the proper tension. To gauge the tension, check the tightness of the master link retaining bolts. Read the manufacturer’s guidelines for the proper tightening sequence and torque turn. If soil conditions change, check the track tension again.
- Inspect the carrier roller and the idler. Make sure the carrier roller is centered. Without the proper carrier roller centering, the track will not center properly. Also check for idler wear. Running a worn idler will shorten the working life of other undercarriage parts.
- Inspect the bulldozer track pads. Look for worn leading and trailing edges. Check for any rocks that may have gotten wedged under the trailing edge, which can contribute to bulldozer undercarriage wear.
- Clean the undercarriage. Use a track spade to clean off any mud. Clean the undercarriage daily if the dozer has been working in a material that hardens.
In addition to performing these maintenance tasks, prolong the dozer undercarriage life by operating the machine appropriately. Excessive speed and traveling in reverse create more wear. Faster wear on one side of the dozer is caused by always working slopes in the same direction and always turning in the same direction.
Dozer coolant, lubricant and grease checklist
A bulldozer has dozens of parts that rely on proper lubrication and cooling. Follow the bulldozer maintenance schedule for fluids and grease outlined in the owner’s manual. Make sure the engine and radiator have cooled before checking fluid reservoirs, and relieve the hydraulic system.
- Check the oil level. It should be within the normal range. Also check the oil for contamination.
- Check the hydraulic fluid and coolant levels. Confirm they are within the specified range.
- Inspect hydraulic hoses and coolant lines for any evidence of leaks or loose fittings.
- Apply fresh grease to grease points as needed. A good rule of thumb is two to three shots for small areas (hinges, u-joints, etc.), seven to 10 shots for common pins and cylinder bushings, and 20 shots or more for grease points that cover a large area.
If you need help maintaining a large fleet, contact the United Rentals' Customer Equipment Solutions team. Tiered offerings include an on-demand inspection, maintenance and repair plan and a managed maintenance plan that includes ongoing preventive maintenance and inspections.