This page contains a pictorial walk-around tour of my John Deere JD450-C Bulldozer

None of the photos has been retouched in any way other than to increase brightness for a better view.


Click on any photo to see a larger version of the picture.

As an alternative to using this page of small images, you can also take the tour by jumping from one large photo to the next. The large photos will take a little longer to load, however, they have been compressed quite a bit for the fastest possible loading times.
Front View Full size photo.
Here is a front view.

Left Front View Full size photo.
Here is a view of the left front.

Left Side View Full size photo.
Here is a view of the left side. Lets take a closer look at the left track:

Left Track Full size photo.
Here is picture of the left track before the recent track service. The track (including shoes), sprocket and carrier roller shown here have all been replaced with new parts. The track adjuster was also rebuilt. Click here for detailed pictures of new undercarriage.

Left Rear View Full size photo.
Here is a view of the left rear.

Rear View Full size photo.
Here is a rear view.

Right Rear View Full size photo.
Here is a view of the right rear.

Right Side Full size photo.
Here is a view of the right side. Lets take a closer look at the right track:

Right Track Full size photo.
Here is picture of the right track before the recent track service. The track (including shoes), sprocket, carrier roller and track adjuster have all been replaced with new parts. Click here for detailed pictures of new undercarriage.

Before we continue around, lets climb up and take a look at the controls and gauges.

Gauges Full size photo.
Here is a view of the gauges. There is an ammeter, oil pressure gauge, coolant temperature gauge, transmission temperature gauge and tachometer. There are four switches: the key switch, starter button, light switch and horn button. Also visible are the steering levers and hand throttle. The small cap below the right corner of the panel is a starting fluid adapter. This can be used to inject starting fluid directly into the intake manifold to aid cold-weather starts. The large canister below the panel contains the air filter. Now lets turn around and look at the operator's seat.

Seat Full size photo.
Here is a view of the operator's seat. It is very comfortable. I have spent 12 hour days on this seat with little discomfort (Yes, I was tired after 12 hours, but not from sitting on an uncomfortable seat). The seat belt was frayed when I purchased the machine last year so I replaced it with a Simpson racing seat belt assembly. The "T-bar" lever on the left controls the six-way blade. The lever can be moved up & down, left & right and twisted clockwise & counterclockwise to control the blade's six motions. The lever on the far right selects one of the four speed ranges. The lever next to it controls the Hi-Low-Neutral-Reverse transmission. This is the lever that is used during normal operation. It is not necessary to use the clutch when using this lever. Combining the two transmissions gives 8 forward gears ranging from 0.8 mph at 1500 rpm in #1 low range to 6.7 mph at 2500 rpm in #4 hi range. There are 4 reverse gears ranging from 1.0 mph to 6.4 mph. The Hobbs hour meter is on the panel below the seat (not visible in above photo). The fuel tank is located behind the seat. It holds 31 gallons of diesel fuel. I use off-road diesel fuel (dyed red) since it is not subject to road taxes and is much cheaper than regular diesel fuel. On average, I only used 2 gallons per hour of operation. Before we get down lets take a peak at the battery compartment.

Batteries Full size photo.
Here is a view of the battery compartment. There are two 12 volt batteries connected in parallel to supply the 12 volt starter. Both batteries were recently replaced with 1,000 cranking amp (each) heavy-duty batteries. This spins the starter very fast making cold-weather starting easy. There is a master cut-off switch in the battery compartment also.

Right Front Full size photo.
Here is a view of the right front.

Next I'll attach the machine control laser detector so that we can take a look at it. I will sell the bulldozer with or without the laser setup depending upon the wishes of the buyer.


The machine control laser detector

Machine Control Right View Full size photo.
This photo shows the machine control laser detector attached to the blade. In the background is the grade-projecting laser level mounted on a tripod. The detector has a vertical detection range of 8 inches divided into five zones. LED's tell the operator if the blade is way too high, slightly too high, right on grade, slightly too low, or way too low. This setup makes it easy for an inexperienced operator to get professional results without a lot of staking. The tape on the top of the mounting hardware is used to dampen vibration to make the diagonal braces last longer. The diagonals are made from inexpensive thin-wall conduit. The first set lasted about 50 hours. I then made a new set of diagonals. To make the braces last a long time, I would suggest removing the detector mount when doing heavy grading and just installing it for the final finish grading. Three bolts are used to attach the support hardware. It takes just a few minutes to remove or install.

Machine Control Detector Full size photo.
Here is a close-up view of the laser detector. It runs on four C-size alkaline batteries which last about 200 hours of operation! This detector has a receiving arc of 120 degrees which is oriented toward the right front of the machine. This wide receiving window combined with the 600 foot range of the laser level gives a lot of flexibility of where to position the laser. Let's take a closer look at the grade projecting laser level:

Laser Level Full size photo.
This photo shows the slope projecting laser level. Slopes from 0 to 25% can be projected with this laser. The slope dial shows 1/10% increments however, you can interpolate between numbers to get finer divisions. When this photo was taken, the slope was set to 1.5% (look closely at the digital readout). When set to 0% slope, it can be used just like a normal laser level. It has a range of 600 feet (1,200 feet diameter). The laser also uses four C-size alkaline batteries which last about 60 hours of operation. A angle dial on the top of the laser makes it easy to set compound slopes. Lets take a look at this dial:

Compound Grade Adapter Full size photo.
This dial makes it easy to set compound slopes. A chart is furnished which lets you determine how to set the laser for a given main slope and a cross slope. For instance, if the main slope is 2.5% up and the cross slope is 1.5% up, the chart tells you to set the laser to the resultant slope of 2.92% at 31 degrees from the main slope direction. You then set the dial to 31 degrees and sight along the slit that is machined into the dial toward a stake set along the direction of the main slope. The laser is rotated on the tripod until the stake is aligned with the slit. The slope dial is then set to 2.92%, the laser is leveled, and you are ready to go. I used this feature extensively while grading my landing strip. I had a crown of only 0.86% in each direction from the centerline to the edge in addition to various longitudinal slopes ranging from 0 to 1%. After some heavy rains this spring, there were no puddles on the runway. The only standing water was along the edges of the runway in the areas that had no longitudinal pitch, just as I would have predicted if the grading was "perfect". Considering that until recently, I had never even operated a bulldozer, this is a testament to how easy it is for an inexperienced operator to get professional results with this setup.

Complete Laser Kit Full size photo.
If the buyer of the bulldozer is interested in the laser setup, I will include everything shown here in addition to the detector mounting hardware for the dozer blade. The kit includes a 16 foot telescoping elevation bar (aluminum). A laser detector which clamps to the bar, the machine control detector, the laser, the tripod, the molded carrying cases, all manuals and the compound slope chart.

Manuals Full size photo.
The bulldozer includes all of the manuals. There is the operator's manual, the technical (service) manual and the parts manual. The parts manual shows exploded view diagrams of virtually every part of the machine.

If you are interested in the sorts of projects that this machine is capable of, you can take a look at what I did with it:

What I used this bulldozer for

Aerial View Full size photo.
My primary project was to create a private landing strip. This aerial photo shows the topsoil stripped and piled along both sides of the runway. The subsoil is starting to be moved at the north end (top). The varying widths of the area for topsoil stripping was dependent upon the amount of cutting and filling required. The maximum cut was about 5.5 feet and the maximum fill was about 5 feet. I did get a scraper (earthmover) to come out for a few days to speed up moving the subsoil shortly after this photo was taken. The length of the strip is 1,700 feet not including the cleared approach areas.

Hangar Full size photo.
After I had completed grading and dormant seeding the grass landing strip, I thought I would try to get a spot leveled for a future hangar as well as a 400 foot taxiway from the hangar to the landing strip. The far right corner of the hangar area had to be cut about five feet. The flat hangar pad measures 60 feet by 63 feet and is level within +/- 0.5 inch.

Stump Pit Full size photo.
I completed removing some trees in the approach area at the south end of the landing strip. Some of these trees are visible at the bottom of the aerial view above. After stacking logs and burning what would burn, I had some stumps left that just wouldn't burn. I spent about 15 minutes digging this pit to bury them in. The topsoil was pushed in one direction and the subsoil was pushed 90 degrees from the topsoil pile. After the stumps had been pushed into the pit, it took about 20 minutes to push the soil back and level the topsoil. It's amazing what you can accomplish with this machine.

Approach Full size photo.
This is the south approach area after rough grading. The stump pit has been filled in and leveled. It's hard to believe that a short time ago this was a densely wooded area. When this photo was taken, it was just about ready for grass seed. This area provides a safe, clear approach to the landing strip.

Well that concludes our brief photo tour. Check out the details page for more information.
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