How to Operate a Caterpillar D9 Dozer

Written by ryan hotchkiss
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How to Operate a Caterpillar D9 Dozer
Operating a D9 dozer requires an understanding of the order of operations. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

A D9 Caterpillar dozer is a crawler outfitted with a pushing blade on the front and can be saddled with a variety of implements in the back. D9's can utilise three types of blades: a grader blade, a universal blade and a combination blade. While the blades are different in terms of function, operating them follows the same basic procedures. To operate a D9 successfully, you must understand the order in which you manipulate the controls. Also keep in mind that the speed at which you cover ground is as important as the tilt and angle of your blade.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Turn the ignition key to the right to start the bulldozer. Lower the RMP to the minimum and release the emergency brake. Raise the RMP to 1/4 capacity.

  2. 2

    Push the right joystick right or left to angle the blade in the direction you want. Push the joystick forward to lower the blade, or pull the joystick back to lift the blade. Press the button on the right side of the right joystick to tilt the blade back. Press the button on the left side of the right joystick to tilt the blade forward.

  3. 3

    Push forward on the left joystick to advance the D9 forward. To reverse the dozer, pull back on the joystick. Imagine the joystick is the face of a clock. Forward is 12 o'clock while backwards is 6 o'clock. Pivot right is 3 o'clock and pivot left is 9 o'clock. Push the joystick to 2 or 3 o'clock to move forward and turn right. Note that 7 or 8 o'clock is back left. Further, 10 and 11 o'clock are forward turning left and 4 and 5 o'clock moves the dozer back and to the right.

Tips and warnings

  • If your D9 can not push the pile of material in front of you -- if the engine bogs down and lurches -- raise the RPM of the engine or lift the blade. If the dozer's blade will not dig into the material and move it forward, adjust the tilt of your blade back and lower the blade.

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