There are several different types of bulldozer blades used on the large earth-moving machines. Classified by letter nomenclature, the bulldozer blades straight blade (S-blade), universal blade (U-blade) and combination blade (S-U blade) are each used for a particular application. While all three blades are used to push materials, when used for the application intended, the specific blade used on the specific task will perform the best. There is also a blade that is specifically designed to push other heavy equipment, such as the Fresno Scraper, and this specially-reinforced blade is called a bull blade. Other bulldozer blades, such as a brush rake and a pivoting straight blade, allow the bulldozer to complete a vast array of earth-moving tasks.
A bulldozer is commonly known for two things: the large heavy steel tracks that are used in place of tires and the large steel blade used for pushing earth, rocks and trees into large piles. The most common type of bulldozer blades are the S-blade, used for the purpose of pushing earth and doing general land clearing. This S-blade is also used for fine finish grading. The long, wide blade makes pushing materials a long distance difficult, however, as the material is able to flow out of the ends of the S-blade.
The U-blade is more adept at pushing materials over a long distance. These bulldozer blades are taller, slightly curved and have large spill plates attached to each end of the blade to keep materials from spilling out over a long push. These bulldozer blades are also best for pushing large rocks and small gravel, as the side wings hold the materials in front of the blade. The S-U blade is a combination of both the S and U blades. These types of bulldozer blades are shorter and not as wide as the S-blades and feature smaller side wings than the U-blades.
When a bulldozer is used for clearing brush, bushes and small trees, the brush blade is used. This style of blade is similar to an S-blade, with short steel rakes or picks welded to the bottom edge. The brush-type bulldozer blades are used to not only brush the shrubbery over, but also to rip the brush out by the roots. Other bulldozer blades are angle blades, which are able to pivot on a center pin to push materials out to one side. This blade is not able to push as hard as an S-blade due to only attaching at a single point in the center of the blade, as opposed to mounting to both side arms, one on each side of the blade.