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He Built His Own Cat 22 Mini Dozer
“I’ve always liked the look of old Caterpillar dozers so I built a half-scale Cat 22 entirely from scratch. This little dozer was supposed to be only a toy when I first decided to build it. However, I’ve found that it can do a lot more than I ever thought possible,” says Ryan Mueller, Roselle, Ill.
    The mini dozer measures 5 1/2 ft. long, 3 ft. wide, and 30 in. tall and is equipped with a 4-ft. blade on front. Mueller modeled it after a 1930’s Cat 22 dozer.
    “It took me almost 3 years to build, but I’m happy with how it turned out,” he says. “I built it out of my 2-car garage and my dad painted it in his garage. I relied on a machine shop for very few parts, and that was mainly to save time. I found that you don’t always need high-tech equipment to build a machine like this. I made several different benders to form the dozer’s frame, grill, and battery box.”
    Mueller says he built the mini dozer because he wanted to give his 2 young sons “something unique that would last a long time; something they could pass onto their own kids some day. Many people think I built it from a Struck do-it-yourself dozer kit. However, my machine is more beefy and built with thicker steel plates.”
    He looked at photos online and measured a somewhat similar Cat 28 model at a local Cat dealer.    
    The mini dozer is powered by an 18 1/2 hp Briggs & Stratton single cyl. gas engine off an old riding mower. “The real model 22 was powered by a bigger 4-cyl. engine, and it had steel tracks,” says Mueller. “I built mine with rubber tracks because they’re easier on my driveway and yard. The tracks measure 48 in. long and were designed for the Ditch Witch SK series of walk-behind equipment. Because of the rubber tracks, I also had to make significant changes to the dozer’s undercarriage.”
    He says he tried to make the dozer simple to operate and drive. “It’s built with hydrostatic transmissions so the dozer stops when you let go of a lever, which makes it safer for children as opposed to clutch-operated levers. The operator pushes a pair of levers to steer it, much like an old fashioned dozer.
    “After I finished building the dozer, my dad painted the body and a local shop powder coated the undercarriage parts. Then I put everything back together. I wanted a record of how I had built the dozer, so I put a camera in the corner of my garage to make a time lapse video. The camera automatically took a photo every couple of seconds.”
    The time lapse video is on YouTube and can be viewed by going to http://youtube.com/watch?v=ectq_ec5woA.
    So far, he has put the little dozer to good use plowing snow and completing various landscaping projects.
    “Overall, it was a fun project. It’s something my kids will enjoy for a long time. I’d also like to thank my wife for letting me tackle such an ambitious project,” says Mueller.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ryan Mueller (ryanmmueller01@gmail.com; www.minidozerbuild.com).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #2