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Common Problems of Bulldozers & How to Solve Them

Common Problems of Bulldozers & How to Solve Them


Commonly used on a construction site, a bulldozer is essential to demolition, construction work, and land clearing, and with such a large system, avoiding future problems with this heavy equipment is essential for a well-run job site.

In a bulldozer, there is a distinctive exhaust system that rises straight up from the air tank before curbing back on either side of the operator's seat. Then, the blade is stationed in front of the engine and pushing mechanism, with the tracks beneath on either side. Finally, the cabin is typically located right above the blade and engine.

With the unique construction of these semi trucks, bulldozers pose as a piece of complex equipment with many moving parts, which can lead to several problems over time.

While wear and tear is inevitable, proper dozer maintenance is essential to maintain a well-running machine. To help you ensure your bulldozer remains in top shape and to avoid the common bulldozer fails, here are the must-know problems you will encounter with a bulldozer and bulldozer tips and tricks for anyone operating this machinery.

#1. Faulty Cylinder Pins

Faulty Cylinder Pins

In every hydraulic system, the cylinder is tightly locked by pinks. Over time, these pins will endure regular wear and tear, causing them to break down due to constant contact with cylinders and require essential construction equipment repair.

To see if you're dealing with faulty cylinder pins, open the pint nuts and feel the pins with your fingers. If there are broken pieces, you can clean them out with a wire brush. However, if they are too worn out, replacing the entire piston rod assembly will be important.

#2. Worn Cylinder Seals

Another common issue that ensures a bulldozer fails is cracked or worn seals. Since bulldozers are exposed to harsh conditions, their seals will crack and wear out over time. While this can often happen slowly, it's hard to notice the issue until it's causing more serious problems with your dozer, often requiring a costly repair.

Worn-out seals can cause oil leaks which can hinder the operation of the hydraulic cylinders. In addition, the cracked bushing can break in cold weather. This can increase the risk of leakage if there is a hole along the seal, too. To prevent these leaks, immediately repair any cracking or worn-out seals.

#3. Oil Leakage

Oil Leakage

The oil system is one of the most important elements of the bulldozer. Since the hydraulic system relies heavily on oil to transfer power from the engine crankcase to the hydraulics, ensuring that there are no leaks and performing regular oil changes will help ensure the cylinders run smoothly.

Oil isn't just important to transfer power, but to cool down the cylinders, assist with transmission, and aid in other components inside the machine. While oil leaks are common, particularly with older machines, this issue can be due to more than a bad gasket or worn-out O-rings. In addition, dirt around the oil drain plug can cause these damaging leaks.

To solve this problem easily, clean off any dirt and ensure proper lubrication is present during all operations.

#4. Broken Shafts & Linkages

Linkages and shafts are the mechanisms that help move the dozer blade and are a great place to look for common issues with a dozer.

When linkages and shafts fail, you can no longer move the blade or raise and lower it into position. When encountering this kind of issue, you must fix it immediately. This won't be an easy task, which is why regular maintenance is essential to protect the bulldozer from this issue and prevent future problems.

No matter the age of your machine, check the linkages and shafts for wear and damage, and ensure they are properly lubricated. In addition, avoid putting too much pressure on these mechanisms. Too much pressure can cause broken linkages and shafts. To combat this, lower the oil pressure inside the hydraulics, which will require you to replace the hydraulic filters.

A worn-out filter is no longer capable of protecting the system from high oil pressure and will cause damage to the moving parts in the dozer.

#5. The Main Clutch Slips

The Main Clutch Slips

Another way a bulldozer fails is if the main clutch slips. When this happens, the engine speed runs as normal but won't emit black smoke, and while it works normally, the dozer will struggle to climb a slope or move at all. This is one of the most common reasons for failures in a dozer and is caused by worn main and driven plates, a lock pin of the adjusting plate in open welding, or a main clutch lever in an improper place.

Clutch slips can be very challenging to deal with, but can typically be fixed by rotating the adjustment plate repeatedly, though this can cause damage to other areas if done improperly. With this in mind, any suspicion of a clutch slip should be looked at by professional services for proper inspection.

#6. Heavy Main Clutch Lever

There are a few reasons the main clutch lever will feel heavy. This may be due to a blocked oil filter, an insufficient oil supply, a main clutch hydraulic system that is short of oil, damage to the booster, or a bimetal sleeve that is burned.

If there is a heavy failure of the clutch lever, start by looking at whether the oil level meets the system requirements. If the oil circuit is normal but the main clutch lever is heavy, check whether the safety valve of the booster is stuck or drained.

#7. Noises When Shifting Gears

Noises When Shifting Gears

Abnormal noise when shifting gears can be due to an adjustment disc that is too tight or a hand brake that has a poor braking effect.

In the case of a tight adjusting disc, it can be hard to separate from the main clutch, so the power can't be cut off causing the gears to make abnormal noise. To fix this, the adjustment plate should be adjusted counterclockwise back into the right position.

If the braking effect of the hand brake isn't right, the clutch will be disengaged, making it challenging for the gears to engage thus causing a weird noise. If this is the case, the small brake band will need to be adjusted or replaced.

#8. Track Movement Issues

Bulldozer construction equipment may sometimes encounter a trackside that stops working when the engine gets too hot. This may be a sign that the steering clutches are faulty. If the steering clutch on the opposite side fails to release when you turn left or right, the worn-out clutch will need replacing to solve the problem.

#9. Dozer Won't Move Forward or Backward

Dozer Won't Move Forward or Backward

If your bulldozer won't move forward or backward, check the oil. If there is metal or debris in the hydraulic filter, this indicates a problem with the pump or the drive motor. If this is the case, disassemble the pump and have it serviced.

#10. Electrical Malfunctions

Electrical problems can majorly impact your construction equipment and your work time. To address these mechanical issues, check the drain valve at the bottom of the tank for water if your bulldozer won't turn on. Then, check the fuel filter, as it may need to be cleaned or replaced. To keep your machinery running smoothly, regularly clean the fuel lines and tank after they are used to prevent costly repairs.


From issues with tire pressure to the steering clutch and safety valve, there are several issues with bulldozers that will cause costly construction equipment repair needs. To avoid these expensive repairs, our top dozer tips always include the regular maintenance and inspection of this construction equipment for a long-lasting vehicle.

Whether your bulldozers suddenly stop working or you encounter issues with a battery or other maintenance needs, our dozer cylinder repair company is here to help. With expert services, our team can guide you on the best maintenance and replacement needs for a well-run machine. To learn more, contact us today about your equipment.

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