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Thread: Building a Mini Dozer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    621

    Question Building a Mini Dozer

    Been a while since I did a project but thinking of building a mini dozer. I've seen the MagnaTrac and that's about the size I want. Looking for a used one but the darn things just aren't around.

    So a guy near me has one somebody started. They used the rubber track and under carriage with hydraulic motor drives on both sides for the track drive, came from either a mini excavator or trenching machine. Then welded up a small bulldozer frame to the top, adding a nice loader attachment with cylinders. Thing is 50 inches wide and about 8 ft overall long, weight about 500 - 600 lbs or a little more.

    Has no engine or hydraulic pump. Also needs the valves for the drive.

    Are these rubber track, hydraulic drive setups good enough to make the mini dozer work, or am I wasting my time?
    Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Amateur Machinist

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Iowa
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    Default

    I don't understand the question.

    What part of the state are you in?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Regina and Assiniboia, Saskatchewan
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    Yep...they are. I just had to build a seat for one....a Ditchwitch walk behind dozer/frontend loader. At first I thought it was a joke...til I got on it pushing snow.
    The guys who use it excavating under a school say it will push like crazy and move a suprizing amount of dirt for such a small machine.
    I'd like to have one...very handy lil machines.
    Russ
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    iowa
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    Default

    Being in central Iowa you should be familiar with Sauer-Danfoss, they make motors and pumps for driving off road equipment. If hydro is good for the big boys it will be fine for you. Are you going open loop or closed loop ?

  5. #5

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    the little dozers can be quite handy. This one is a bit heavier, 3/8 to 1/2 inch plate, a bunch of counterweight and a steel track. Made by Trackmaster. Fun to push over small trees
    As it came

    rebuilt

    workin
    "Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment" R.M.Brown

    My shop tour www.plastikosmd.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Lafayette Indiana
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    My brother tipped over his Cat 307C last summer - the first "real" excavator Cat makes with steel tracks. Within minutes of it happening (coincidentally alongside the road), a couple of guys with a Kubota rubber tracked mini excavator came along and simply attached a chain, backed up, and tipped it back upright without struggle.

    I wouldnt see strength issues with using a rubber track machine as the basis, unless you start modifying the rubber track gear. Personally, I would rather invest the money in refurbishing a smaller older steel track machine. I suspect you will come out money and machine ahead doing so. Having worked on quite a few rubber tracked machines in the past, I would still rather own steel tracks. Steel tracks last significantly longer, are easier to work on, and have some residual value (scrap) after the track is worn out. They also will not stretch nearly as quickly if you do any amount of real pushing with the machine.

    You did say you wanted to push light snow or cut shallowly into loose topsoil right? If not, you do not want a hydraulic motor drive, period. On the mini excavators, the hydraulic drive motors typically are the weak point.
    Last edited by justanengineer; 02-21-2012 at 06:16 PM.
    "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Central Iowa
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    621

    Talking

    That is what I don't want to get into, having more money in building one up from the mini excavator / trencher base that what I could get a good used commercial one for that has resale value. I built a Cad digger backhoe and kind of found shop built stuff has little value.

    But not able to find a used mini dozer Struck, MagnaTrac or otherwise.

    If I could get this partly built one cheap enough maybe that is the way to go especially since I could use the rubber track unit on my driveway to clear snow.

    But I did not want to waste my time / money on it and find out it doesn't work as a dozer!!
    Last edited by wmgeorge; 02-21-2012 at 10:32 AM.
    Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Amateur Machinist

  8. #8
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    Apr 2002
    Location
    Central Iowa
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    621

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by plastikosmd
    the little dozers can be quite handy. This one is a bit heavier, 3/8 to 1/2 inch plate, a bunch of counterweight and a steel track. Made by Trackmaster. Fun to push over small trees
    As it came
    How many horsepower does this have and how do they power the tracks, transmission or hydrostatic?
    Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Amateur Machinist

  9. #9
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    Nov 2010
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    Lafayette Indiana
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    If youre looking for a mini dozer, I think my all time favorite is the Clark Army Airborne dozer.

    http://olive-drab.com/idphoto/id_photos_ca1.php

    Other than that, you might also try searching for a Cletrac, or if you want a machine that is guaranteed to hold value and be able to do real work, a Cat D2 can be had for ~$2k. Cat also made the Ten, Twenty, and 22 models, but those were intended for ag use, not digging.
    "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    Grand Blanc Michigan
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    3,668

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    Beware of old used bulldozers for sale. they are usually for sale for a reason. Principal among many reasons is worn out, or almost worn out tracks, rollers and sprockets. As a kid working for my dad I suffered the miseries of operating older clapped-out machines, trying to keep the 'dozer in its tracks, and prying and levering and winching them back in place when I failed. Worst time was when I ran out of both tracks while trying to load a machine onto a lowboy trailer on the side of the road.

    Rubber or steel, get something that you can replace.
    Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
    ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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