No Bull About It: The World's Largest Dozer

With its bulk of 300,000 pounds and its blade area of 90 cubic yards, the Komatsu D575A is unquestionably the world's largest and most powerful bulldozer. So what is it used for?

What Mount Everest is to mountains and what the Pacific is to bodies of water, the Komatsu D575A is to earth moving machinery. At 16' tall, 41' long, and over 22' wide, the D575A is, without question, the largest and most powerful bulldozer in the world. When a very large amount of space needs to be cleared away very quickly, this is the machine to use.

There are currently two D575As operating in the U.S., one of which is busy opening up landfills in North Texas. With its gargantuan blade, whose surface area comes to a staggering 90 cubic yards, and its ability to push or pull 480,000 pounds, the bulldozer makes short work of limestone, sweeping away massive chunks of the stuff the way a child shovels through beach sand. This excavation method, known as "ripping", is one of the machine's specialties. With explosives being barred near residential areas, having this behemoth tear away at the earth is, as strange as it may seem, an environmentally friendly alternative. Due to its sheer bulk, however, which requires six to eight trucks to transport, the D575A is not suitable for just any work site. Make no mistake, this machine is for big jobs only.

"These things are made for knocking over mountains," says Mike Detzler, president of Continental Equipment Co., the firm that leases the mechanized giant, adding that the D575A could "push downtown Dallas into rubble in two weeks." His enthusiasm is apparently shared by others. The excavation site has drawn contractors and curious onlookers alike who show up simply to watch the titanic marvel in action. At 300,000 pounds, and burning 440 gallons of diesel fuel in one shift of its 1,050 horsepower engine, the D575A's digging routine makes for something of a spectacle. When asked about the machine's circus-like appeal, Detzler quips humorously, "We thought about building an observation area and charging people ten bucks."

Source: Making Room in a Big Way
Roy Appleton
Dallas Morning News, July 3, 2000

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