D71i-24: Can a single dozer do it all?
Want a single mid-sized dozer that saves you time, lowers your costs and makes your new operators more effective?
Do bigger jobs always require larger or multiple machines? What if you could get the same amount of work done with a mid-sized dozer that allows you to push large loads while also giving you the ability to get to finish grade? How much savings in time, owning and operating costs would that give you?
“These are considerations you should take into account when approaching every project,” said Jon Jennings, Komatsu Product Marketing Manager. “Choosing the right machinery makes a significant difference in production, efficiency and profitability. A single dozer that can push, side cut, finish and work in soft ground gives you a real advantage.”
Jennings added that technology such as GPS systems can make the dozer and the operator even more effective at moving dirt productively and efficiently. These systems decrease the time it takes to get to grade, which reduces staking and surveying costs, and virtually eliminate overcutting and the need for expensive fill.
“GPS systems and additional technologies continue to reduce owning and operating costs,” stated Jennings. “They are also helping new operators become productive faster. With a shortage of skilled operators, that’s a tremendous help.”
Manufacturers such as Komatsu are factoring in all of these needs as they design and build new machines, according to Jennings. Komatsu introduced its first intelligent Machine Control (iMC) dozer with factory-integrated GPS about eight years ago and has developed several new models with additional technology since. This includes their new iMC 2.0 models with added satellite systems to improve satellite coverage – which gives operators the ability to work in more challenging areas, such as near woods or on urban job sites.
New technology features
The newest iMC 2.0 D71EXi-24, D71PXi-24 and D71PXi-24 Wide dozers combine several features designed to further increase production. Among them are:
- Lift layer control that optimizes earthwork productivity with the press of a button. It maintains compaction quality by automatically controlling lifts to the desired height. Excess fill is eliminated as automatic blade control follows the finished surface once lifts have reached finished grade.
- Tilt steering control automatically tilts the blade to maintain straight travel during rough dozing and reduces operator steering input by up to 80%.
- Quick surface creation lets operators create a temporary design surface with the press of a button. Combined with other iMC 2.0 functions, crews can begin stripping or spreading using automated input while waiting for the finish grade model.
“The D71i-24s also have our patent-pending Proactive Dozing Control logic that enables even less-experienced operators to cut/strip automatically from existing terrain,” said Jennings. “The dozer measures the terrain while tracking over it and uses that data to plan the next pass, improving productivity by up to 60% compared to previous-generation models. The ability to use automatics from first pass to last, instead of just during finish grading, significantly reduces the time it takes to reach target elevation. Proactive Dozing Control decides on the action of the blade — such as whether to cut and carry material, spread or fill that material or whether it should finish grade.”
Better visibility for more efficient grading
Jennings said visibility plays an important role in operator productivity. Being able to see the blade’s cutting edges increases production, especially during fine grading work near curbs. The D71i-24 is now the largest of Komatsu’s hydrostatic dozers, and it maintains the unique super-slant nose design.
“Seeing the front of the machine with reduced blind spots increases awareness of the job site,” said Jennings. “That’s important when running a large machine such as the D71, which has the biggest standard blade in its class size. It increases operator confidence and, in turn, their ability to be more productive.”
In addition to the iMC 2.0 D71i-24 models, base D71-24 dozers are also available. EX dozers have a ground pressure of 6.3 psi. With a ground pressure of 5.8 psi, the PX models work well in soft conditions; and for highly sensitive areas, PX Wide models with a ground pressure of 5 psi are available.
“With the D71-24s, we specifically matched the track shoes’ width to the blade length to ensure optimal performance,” said Jennings. “Additional new performance features include improved steering response and maneuverability. In the new Fast Mode during turns, the outside track speeds up while the inside track slows down.”
“From golf course construction to highway projects, the D71-24s are all-around crawler dozers,” said Jennings. “Equally adept at both precise, high-speed grading and at rough dozing, they are designed to provide outstanding wearability and functionality with a high-capacity, wear-resistant dozer blade. We encourage anyone looking for a solid mid-sized dozer with the versatility to perform on practically any job site to contact their distributor to set up a demonstration.”