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Tim Forestell
August 9, 2022

The Best Bulldozer Attachments and When To Use Them

Useful across many different construction and landscaping projects, bulldozers are one of the most popular pieces of heavy equipment. Bulldozers can also be referred to as crawler loaders or dozers.

The reason why dozers are so common in construction is that they are powerful machines that are great for earthmoving, excavation, leveling, transporting materials, demolition, and more. Being a tracked machine, dozers are really good at navigating rocky, muddy, or sandy terrains. With attachments and modifications, the performance of dozers only increases.

Dozer attachments in this specific case are not the ones that you'd attach to a skid steer or compact track loader. While skid steers and compact track loaders do have dozer attachment options, we will be covering specifically attachments for bulldozers as they have great options as well. Plus, while dozer modifications can be made to smaller compact equipment like the skid steer, they don't have the same power that bulldozers bring to the table.

In this blog, we will cover:

The Types of Dozer Attachments and When To Use Them

There are four standard types of dozer attachments: rippers, winches, blades, and rakes. Each attachment completes a very specific task so it will be extremely useful to know what your job requires before deciding what equipment or attachment will work best.

Winch Attachments for Dozers

Winches are extremely useful cable or rope-type attachments that you can add to your dozer. Often offered both as electrical or hydraulic options, winches are easily attachable to the back of bulldozers. Winches are great for moving large objects, like fallen trees and rubble, and shifting big objects into position or out of the way.

Blade Attachments for Dozers

Made for clearing or stripping the land. Not all dozer blade attachments are made the same as some work better for pushing soft material depending on whether the blade has sides or not, which we will get into more later. The blades are also useful in cases of moving materials, backfilling, or grading areas for construction.

Ripper Attachments for Dozers

Easily recognizable and an often used attachment of dozers, the ripper attachment is great at moving large rocks or breaking up dirt and large objects. Resembling a claw, rippers are available in a couple of options including single or multiple shanks. 

Single shank rippers are good for shifting material or tearing heavy material apart. They are especially useful when going for deep ripping jobs that require more breakout force or penetration of a singular area. Multiple shank rippers are more common when the job doesn't require as much depth or if materials are less stabilized and looser.

Rake Attachments for Dozers

Bulldozer rake attachments are another great modification that assists with moving bulky or large materials around the job site. Typically, rake attachments work great at removing roots, rocks, debris, or trees that have fallen. Dozer rake modifications are also extremely useful because they don't disturb the soil underneath the objects.

The Most Common Dozer Attachments

While rippers, rakes, blades, and winches are the most common types of dozer attachments, there are a few that stand out above the rest. Nowadays, standard dozers come with winch and rippers already attached and it just comes to switching the kit depending on needs. As such, below are the most commonly used attachments and their functions.

Straight Blades (S-Blades)

Straight blades, also known as S-blades, are the shortest type of blade attachments for dozers. They are great for moving fine-grained or high-density materials so they're often used on projects that require stripping or evening the material or ground. Because they don't have side wings, they're not great for lifting materials or for pushing low-density materials as they won't contain them well enough.

Dozer with a Straight Blade
Dozer with a Straight Blade

Universal Blade (U-Blade)

The universal blade's main feature, on the other hand, is the fact that it has large, expansive side wings and a curved shape. This attachment allows materials to be pushed across lots of land with efficiency and is great for softer materials like soil or sand. Normally the u-blade is used for projects like ditching, pushing, or hauling because of the side wing size. Universal blades also have the largest height and width making them great options for large-scale jobs.

Semi-U (S-U-Blade)

The S-U-Blade is a combination of everything good about the universal blade and straight blade. The side wings are smaller than that of the u-blade and the shape is less curved but the blade attachment provides more versatility across jobs and projects. It is also better used for soil or sand-like materials but can handle moving heavier materials as well. Common jobs of the S-U-Blade include hauling, ditching, and stumping.

Dozer with an S-U-Blade
Dozer with an S-U-Blade

Angle Blade

The angle blade dozer attachment is hooked up to the center of the bulldozer frame. The reason this is important is that the whole purpose of this blade is that it can be angled 30 percent to each side, moving things out of the way or pushing materials in a more practical way. This makes it a great feature in the case that you'd like to use a bulldozer to move snow or soft materials. However, the angle blade has no side wings meaning that there might be some spilling to either side.

Blade Rakes

Blade rake dozer attachments are the perfect choice for contractors who are looking to clear smaller areas. That is because blade rakes are designed specifically for smaller job sites because of their size. Sometimes you don't need the largest attachment available so blade rakes are a great compromise.

Stacking Rakes

When working on job sites, sometimes you just need to use a rake for a quick minute and don't need to do a whole removal of the blades underneath. That's what makes stacking rakes so great. You can attach stacking rakes over the blade, allowing you to clear brush or do rake-focused jobs without the headache of removing whatever blade you have underneath.

Closing Thoughts

If you're looking to rent a bulldozer, it's important to make sure that you know the ins and outs of the project that you'll be doing. That information will help you determine what attachments you need, what type of ripper you should be utilizing, and the type of blade or rake you need to get the job done. With access to suppliers across all of North America, our team at DOZR can help you find the best dozer and attachment for the job. Call our team now or visit the DOZR Marketplace for your next bulldozer rental.

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Tim Forestell
Tim Forestell is one of DOZR’s co-founders and CCO. Tim got started in the industry as VP Operations for Forestell Landscaping before founding DOZR with Kevin and Erin. Aside from the amazing team at DOZR, his favourite thing about DOZR are the customers. Working with DOZR renters every day gives him a peek at the evolution of different projects and hearing stories about projects being developed from start to finish.
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