One Big, Bad Dozer Turns 40

October 3 2017

Forty years ago, Caterpillar rolled off of its production lines 10 pilot models of the world’s largest, most powerful dozer, destined to leave a lasting legacy on the industry. The Cat® D10 dozer’s radically different design, high weight and horsepower, and resilient undercarriage answered the growing calls from large mining and big heavy construction operations for a more powerful dozer. 

The result of the team’s out-of-the-box thinking was a machine with no rival for weight, power or productivity. 

To address the market’s needs, Caterpillar tapped a team of Research and Engineering personnel to develop a new, more powerful dozer, the D10. 

Engineers started by flipping the final drive for a D9G upside down. 

By separating the drive sprockets from the track roller frame and elevating them above the tracks, more track remained on the ground for improved traction. The elevated sprocket design was also better able to absorb ground shocks for longer life and greater operator comfort. 

Beyond looking different, the new undercarriage design required the transmission to be mounted behind the engine to provide for the only track-type tractor final drive system with a common centerline between the steering clutches and brakes. It also allowed engineers to move both the dozer blade and ripper closer to the tractor, providing a concentrated center of gravity and improving the balance of the machine.   

The dozer’s modular concept helped to increase machine transportability, as removable components facilitated machine moves from location to location. Its modular design also substantially advanced assembly and service task efficiency. 

The original big and bad Cat D10 legacy lives on today with thousands of Caterpillar elevated sprocket dozers operating around the world. The elevated sprocket track concept has been expanded to today’s Cat medium and large dozer models as well as the current D10T2 model.