Caterpillar’s new D5 dozer is set to succeed the heavy equipment manufacturer’s renowned D6N dozer.
With 170 hp and an operating weight range of 17,179 kg to 19,170 kg, the new D5 is equipped with a fully automatic 3-speed transmission with lock-up clutch that offers faster cycle times, as well as more power and fuel efficiency.
The update from D6N to D5 is part of an effort to make all Cat dozer model names simpler.
The D5 dozer is available in Standard or Low Ground Pressure (LGP) configurations, with either a push arm or Variable Pitch Angle Tilt (VPAT) blade.
“These machines do some heavy dozing, some spreading and some finish dozing. It’s kind of a wide variety of tasks,” said Sam Meeker, Caterpillar’s product application specialist for dozers. “It’s a great machine to use for any of those tasks.”
The D5 dozer improves upon the performance of the D6N with more weight and horsepower, improved steering capability and various technology offerings to improve upon productivity.
For weight, both the standard and XL versions of the machines weigh about 180 kg to 225 kg more than their predecessor.
“This puts us right in the top of the class in term of productivity,” Meeker said. “The LGP version has about 1,800 more pounds … she’s been having some good dinners.”
In the D5 dozer cab
The new cab delivers more space, multiple seat and control adjustments for comfort and a new 25 cm touchscreen operator interface.
“It’s the same cab as the D6XE. It’s a very significant growth of the cab in this tractor,” Meeker said.
As well, a standard high definition rearview camera shows prominently in the main display.
“You can read a name off a shirt with that camera,” Meeker said.
Overall visibility is enhanced with about 15 per cent more cab glass area, plus a steeper hood angle that provides 30 per cent better forward visibility to the blade and work site.
Frozen clay defiant
For northern climates where frozen clay is an issue, Caterpillar has redesigned the dozer’s C frame to deter build-up of material.
“Frozen clay breaks hydraulic lines. We’ve done a lot of work to make it clean off easier and more resistant to that type of material getting into there,” Meeker said.
To avoid the clay issue, the nose of the C frame was raised about 10 cm and hydraulic lines have been rerouted.
“We took the cylinder where the lines used to come out on the bottom and we flipped them over, put them on top and put a guard on them,” Meeker said. “There’s just less lines down there and they’re spaced out a bit better.”
D5 dozer tech
Technology offerings on the D5 dozer are led by updated, factory integrated Cat GRADE with 3D. Advanced Inertial Measuring Units (IMU) provide greater speed and accuracy without position sensing cylinders.
“The IMUs are just crazy fast. They report like 200 times per second. It’s amazing how quick these sensors are,” Meeker said.
As well, smaller antennas are integrated into the cab roof for better protection, and GPS receivers are mounted inside so they can be secured by locking the cab doors.
A more intuitive GRADE operator interface works like a smart phone, making it easy for operators to quickly learn. The Android OS platform allows installation of custom apps for more versatility. As well, AutoCarry is included with GRADE with 3D to automate blade lift to maintain desired blade load, improving load consistency and reducing track slip.
Additional GRADE technologies include:
- Cat GRADE with Slope Assist provides basic blade positioning assistance without added hardware or a GPS signal. Updated main display makes the system more intuitive and easier to use.
- Cat Slope Indicate is standard, showing the machine cross-slope and fore/aft orientation on the primary monitor for quick and easy reference.
- Attachment Ready Option (ARO) provides optimal mounting locations, brackets and hardware and simplifies installation of an aftermarket grade control system. The new D5 makes it easier to install any brand of grade control system, with specific mounting locations for grade control components.
In addition to GRADE features, simple on-board technologies help with top performance and quality grades. For example, Blade Load Monitor gives real-time feedback on current versus optimal blade load to help optimize pushing capacity.
“It gives the operator a real-time display of what the blade load is. I like to say we’ve thrown a bit of gamification in here,” Meeker said. “It helps to keep the operator engaged and it helps to give them a real-time reading.”
Another new feature is Traction Control, which detects track slip and temporarily reduces track power to allow the operator to adjust blade load and limit track slip. Second generation Stable Blade works seamlessly with operator blade inputs for smoother surfaces when grading manually.
“We’ve done some testing with traction control on, and traction control off, and it’s about a five per cent productivity gain for traction control,” Meeker said. “We’re really excited about it.”
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The D5 dozer helps make steering and slope work easier with advanced controls that automatically manage the powertrain and brakes. There are no extra operator input required — the built-in features just work in the background.
Hill Descent Control maintains preselected machine speed, without using the service brakes, for added control when working downhill.
Hill Hold automatically engages the brakes to hold position when in neutral on a slope.
Decel Brake Pedal controls machine speed all the way to a complete stop, or for smooth inching control.
Steering Radius Control uses steering and decel pedal input to automatically downshift for a tighter turning radius and more maneuverability.