Translation of pages 14 – 15
1977 Revolution in Bulldozer manufacturing
Caterpillar introduced a revolutionary and new propulsion concept and simultaneously, at 80 tons, the worlds largest bulldozer.
by Thomas Wilk
he beginning of the triumphal march to victory of the track equipped tractors was 1904. Ben- jamin Holt removed the wheels from a tractor and replaced them with two endless chain bands on which wooden slats were attached. His greatest competitor in this new propulsion method was Daniel Best who produced the Best Sixty weighing in at 9 tons including his chains. This machine was a best sel- ler and continued to sell well even after the merger of both companies and the creation of Caterpillar and Co, with the re-named Caterpillar Sixty remaining a sales hit. T
The race was on. Who would build the world’s largest and most powerful bulldozer? The heavier the bulldozer became, the better the penetration of the blade or rear ripping gear. The better the tracks could be made to follow the con- tours of the ground, the better the traction and with that, the amount of material that could be moved per
hour. Since there are many compo- nents in the running gear that could not just be doubled in size, two dif- ferent teams from Caterpillar whe- re engaged in the development of the revolutionary Caterpillar D10 Dozer.
This new machine was designed to leave the competition far be- hind with one team given the task of designing a completely new, sprung propulsion concept whilst the other team worked simultane- ously on other design points. The- se included improved productivity, a modular construction concept, simplified maintenance and repair, efficient operation and problem free transportation of the unit. The OK for the first D10 prototype was given to the engineers in 1973 with three more prototypes build and tested secretly. It was after two ye- ars of intensive testing when the engineering teams were confident that they were on the right path that a pilot series of 10 machines was constructed. These where tested in real world working conditions by
selected clients before Caterpil- lar made an announcement to the world press in September of 1977.
In 1978 and only after the 10 pre- production models had been tested and proven for 5,000 hours did full production start. It must have been a moving moment when the first cat D10 at 80 tons and with a power output of 700 hp rolled out from the assembly line in Peoria/ Illinois.
By betting on the new propulsi- on system, Caterpillar had moved the benchmark considerably high- er and exceeded all expectations with the Caterpillar D10 doubling the performance of the proven D9 model!
The main deciding advantages where the running frame rollers with the four main swing arms improving traction effort in a de- cisive way with the shock force minimized almost completely by moving the TURAS further up.