It’s not an exact replica, but this bulldozer built from lawn mower and snowmobile parts looks pretty similar to the real deal. It not only bears the distinctive CAT colors and trademark but is also fully functional. You’ll also see that the dozer’s simple design makes it easy enough for a 2-year-old to use, as one stick controls the speed while the other turns. This is definitely one of the best gifts you could give a kid if you have the time and know-how to build one like this Dad.
A Step-by-Step Guide for Mini Dozer Building
If you really want to be Father of the Year like this guy and have the time, there’s actually a step-by-step guide available that explains how to build one. Unlike the dozer, though, this guide is for building a different Caterpillar model, the Twenty Two. You’ll see from the extensive design plans that this project isn’t for the faint of heart, and you need to have a lot of extra time to devote to it if you want to finish it while your kid is still a kid. The guide is a detailed process you can follow starting with the frame and body panels, then moving on to the pump, underframe, and wheels. After covering the first test run, the guide then goes in to building the blade.
Looking for a Cheaper Alternative?
It would be pretty amazing to build something like this for your kid, but there’s also an easier route to take if you want something similar that you can just buy. It’s called the Kid Trax Cat Bulldozer, and it’s a 12-volt battery-powered ride on constructed of plastic. Though not as powerful or impressive-looking, this dozer does offer some great features and capabilities:
- Twin motor power for turn-in-place steering
- Rubber traction strip tires
- Manually operated boom for lifting and dumping small items
- Forward and reverse
- Goes up to 2.5 mph
Modeled after the Cat D8 Dozer
The functional dozer replica here obviously doesn’t have an enclosed cockpit or many other features of the real thing, but it is apparently modeled somewhat after the CAT D8T, which is a large dozer with some impressive capabilities:
- 312 flywheel horsepower
- 364 max engine horsepower
- 3 forward gears with top speed of 6.6 mph
- 3 reverse gears with top speed of 8.8 mph
- 165-gallon fuel tank
- Digging depth of 24.6 inches
An educated guess would be that the dozer is about 6 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 3 feet tall with maybe an 8-inch ground clearance, but it’s hard to say how heavy it is. At any rate, here is how those measurements compare to the D8T as well as some additional measurements:
- 20 feet long, 8.8 feet wide, and 11.8 feet tall
- Track length of 10 feet, 6 inches
- Shoe width of 24 inches
- Operating weight of 86,900 pounds
The D8T also features differential steering for easier turning, a torque divider for more efficient power delivery, advanced auto shift that allows the operator to select the ideal operating speed, and load-sensing hydraulics to maximize work efficiency. As mentioned, it also has an enclosed cab that keeps much of the noise out. For steering, the dozer employs an ergonomic handle with a thumb roller to control turning and select gears. The dozer is made of high tensile-strength steel and has a heavy-duty undercarriage.
It would be interesting to see how well this mini dozer could push snow around, as the Twenty Two model replica is actually quite effective at plowing snow according to the guy who built it. Theoretically, you could also put a ripper attachment on the back of a dozer like this as well, but who knows how effective it would be for digging up earth.
About the Same Size as Calfdozers
It’s interesting to note that there are also much smaller dozers that are about the same size as the homemade dozer seen here. Known as calfdozers, they are used in areas where space is limited, such as in mines. These dozers typically have the operator seats up front and the wheel tracks in back. Of course, they are more difficult to operate than this dozer.
What Do You Think?
While it doesn’t go very fast and is a bit bouncy, building a mini dozer like this one that actually works is impressive. Is this something you would consider building for your kid? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!