Maximizing Dozer Work Rate with Draft Power Sensing Systems 790510
A majority of coal strip mine reclamation is done with bulldozers. In this work large quantities of earth are relocated with little need for adherence to precise grade or contour. Maximum possible bulldozer work effort is required for minimum fuel usage and cost per yard of soil moved. In response to the need for bulldozer work optimization, Southwest Research Institute, in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Mines and the Department of Energy, has developed and successfully field tested a draft power sensor (DPS) system. Reclamation leveling of over 120 acres of strip mine spoil has verified a work production improvement of up to 25 percent with DPS usage.
In operation, the DPS measures bulldozer true ground speed (velocity) by ultrasonic doppler means, and draft force by means of a strain gage on the dozer blade push-arm trunnion. When electrical signals proportional to draft and velocity are electronically multiplied, the resultant draft power product represents the real work rate actually being applied to the soil. By adjusting the dozer blade to maximize his draft power indication, the operator maximizes the bulldozer work rate.