What to Look For When Buying a Used Dozer

What to Look For When Buying a Used Dozer
What to Look For When Buying a Used Dozer
Author: Small Business Expert | August 19, 2020 | Topic: Used Equipment

What To Look for When Buying a Used Dozer

For many companies, buying a used bulldozer is an excellent way to get your hands on a piece of equipment and save a little cash at the same time. When purchased from trusted dealers, used bulldozers offer construction businesses excellent reliability and long-term performance. However, there are a few things to consider when choosing a used bulldozer.

Knowing what to look for in a dozer can help you find the best used option for your business. In this guide, we'll explain how to buy a used dozer and provide tips for finding the best one for your applications.

Consider What Jobs You'll Use It For

Your first consideration when buying a used dozer should be the tasks you need it for. The bulldozer you need for a construction job is different than the one you'd use for demolition. You might need a dozer with a ripper to tear up the ground or one with a blade that can help you move heavy loads. Consider what the landscape of your work is like and what tasks you'll need your dozer to accomplish.


What Type of Bulldozer Will You Need?

Different dozer styles lend themselves to different jobs. The three primary types of bulldozers are:

  • Crawler dozer: These dozers look somewhat like a tractor, and use tracks instead of wheels — these give it added traction on difficult surfaces. A crawler is good for heavy materials and working on any irregular landscapes.
  • Wheel dozer: By using wheels instead of tracks, a wheel dozer is easier to maneuver and better on sensitive ground where you don't want to leave track marks or damage the surface.
  • Mini dozer: This compact dozer provides more maneuverability, even with its tracks. It is faster and easier to handle. Plus, it offers versatility for an array of scenarios, making it good for residential or small-space landscaping.


What Kind of Attachments Will You Need?

So, what should you look for when buying a dozer? The type of blade you use will also need to change according to your project. You can use the following blades with most dozers, though different industries can have specialized blades with features unique to that environment:

  • S-blade: This blade is the shortest option and lacks wings on the sides. It is best for tasks like back-filling, grading and ditching, due to its limited carrying abilities.
  • U-blade: The U-blade is curved, with wings on the side to aid in pushing and material handling tasks. This shape helps keep materials in the blade when moving — It is also the largest blade.
  • S-U blade: A combination of the two, the S-U blade is curved — but not as much as the U-blade — with smaller side wings. This shape makes it more versatile and great for pushing soil around, which is helpful for back-filling, crowning and ditching.
  • Power-angle-tilt (PAT) blade: The PAT blade is incredibly versatile and helps with scraping, leveling, grading, land clearing and much more. It can move in nearly every direction to aid in maneuverability.
  • Angle blade: This blade is good for moving material out of the way since it can form a sharp angle to the left or right. It does not have side wings and is also good for shaping, stumping and ditching.

Where Will You Buy It?

As you start the process of buying a used dozer, you'll find a wide variety of options available — but, not all sellers are created equal. Generally, you can purchase a dozer from a private seller, an auction or a reputable dealer:

  • Private sellers: When you buy from a private seller, they probably won't look out for your interests. Their primary goal is to sell you the dozer, so you have to be extra careful.
  • Auctions: Buying from an auction is similar to buying from a private seller. Always check out the different components, do extensive research and bring along a trusted second opinion, like a technician. You'll also want to test drive it.
  • Reputable dealer: Buying from a trusted dealer means you can obtain a warranty, extensive records and the knowledge that the seller wants you to be happy with your purchase.

Make sure you are able to get as much information on the bulldozer as possible, such as the hours of use, any repairs or part replacements and other necessary data. With the improvement of online shopping options, you can often find this data on the dealer website, along with photos.

Inspecting Before Buying

Inspection is a vital part of picking a used dozer. It can alert you to problems the seller might not be aware of or is trying to hide. If you're not confident in your own ability to inspect a dozer appropriately, consider bringing along someone who can. Here are some indicators of what to look for when buying a used bulldozer:

  • Excessive wear and signs of repair: While you should look over the whole dozer, pay special attention to damage or wear to the blade, the cutting edge and trunnion pins. You'll also want to keep an eye out for signs of welding and plate lines on the blade, which can signify repairs or refacing. Cracks, loose belts, leaks and rust are significant red flags.
  • Undercarriage wear: The undercarriage of a dozer can lead to costly repairs or an expensive full replacement if it's on its way out. Inspect the undercarriage for excessive or uneven wear. Look for flattened bearings or worn trackpads.
  • Hydraulics: Watch the hydraulics for signs of problems or leaks. Make sure they control easily and that the blade functions correctly.
  • Hours: Hours are a significant indicator of use, but replacements of the undercarriage or engine can make them less influential. Use hours to gauge the lifespan and wear of the tool.
  • Maintenance: Ask for an evaluation of the equipment, like maintenance records and machine history. This information can give you a much more comprehensive overview of the machine and allow you to judge how well it has been cared for.
Inspecting Before Buying

Maintaining the Dozer After You Buy

Maintenance is critical to the life of a used dozer, both before and after you buy it, but perhaps more so in its later years. Be sure to keep up with preventative maintenance tasks, including:

  • Regularly inspecting key components, including the undercarriage, belts, tracks and engine functionality.
  • Changing the oil, fluids and filters.
  • Greasing critical parts.
  • Keeping hydraulic hoses, batteries and blades in good condition.

When you work with your local Cat® dealer for servicing and maintenance, you can even improve the resale value of your bulldozer with extensive records, original Cat parts and preventative maintenance. Maintenance can both extend the life of your dozer and improve its efficiency. Plus, you can prevent safety issues if you identify problems as soon as possible.

Cat® Certified Used Equipment | Backed By Unmatched Service and Support

Browse Cat Certified Used Dozers Today

Cat dozers are built to last and are one of the most popular brands on the used market due to their longevity. We offer everything from as-is machines to Cat Certified Used equipment, which is low-hour, well-maintained and backed by a Cat warranty, so you can be confident in its performance.

Our representatives can help you find the best used dozer for your work, budget and business. Whatever the job, we can help you find a used Cat bulldozer that can get it done. Take a look at our dozer offerings today for more details.

Browse Cat® Certified Used Dozers

Browse Used Dozers

Browse Cat® Certified Used Dozers
Browse Cat® Certified Used Dozers