Dressta, the dozer, backhoe loader and wheeled loader manufacturer based in Stalowa Wola, Poland has always counted Eastern Europe and the Baltic as its core markets. However, since being acquired by China’s Liugong a little over three years ago, the company has talked much more in terms of its global ambitions.

Perhaps the most clear manifestation of this is its newly developed range of small dozers, which it is aiming squarely at North America.

The first model to be unveiled is the TD9HST, which features a Tier 4 Final engine from Cummins and a hydrostatic drive. Dressta says two more models will follow this year, for a three dozer range which will cover the 74 to 101 net hp (55 to 75 kW) range – essentially competing with Cat’s D3, D4 and D5 models, among other manufacturers' similarly sized models.

The dual path hydrostatic drive on the machines is electronically controlled, which gives the operator the option of setting up the dozer to his or her liking. There are selectable ‘Economy’, ‘Normal’ or ‘Power’ modes built into control system, and in addition to this, operators can programme variables such as the ratio between forward and reverse speeds.

The tracks are controlled independently, which means they can run smoothly at different speeds when turning, or can counter-rotate to spin the dozer on the spot.

As well as honing the ‘under the hood’ features of the new dozers, Dressta has developed a new cab environment, which is designed to be comfortable and ergonomic for operators in terms of both the working environment and the responsiveness of controls.

For example, the cab is pressurised to help keep dust and other particles out, there is a fully adjustable seat and plenty of leg room, along with large windows to aid visibility. The heating and ventilation system has multiple vents.

The control grips have been designed so to be comfortable and be easy to operate. They are ‘hand wrap’ controls, which is to say their design reduces the risk of the operator’s hands slipping from the levers, particularly when working in hazardous environments such as on steep slopes.

And according to Howard Dale, global vice president of sales at Dressta, one of the areas the company has been fine-tuning is the responsiveness of the controls, with the aid of customers and experienced operators. “We have been calibrating the electronics to give the right response levels,” he said, adding, “The feedback to the machines has been excellent.”

Dressta is targeting applications from power dozing and site preparation, to landscaping, final grade and fine-finishing jobs around residential properties with its new machines. Mr Dale said the company planned to launch the range in the third quarter of the year, but said there would be more to come from Dressta in terms of product development.

“These are the first fruits of Liugong’s investment in Dressta’s research & development, “ he said, before promising a “Game changer” in the crawler dozer sector by the end of next year.

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