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Next Certificate Program Start: 06/03/2024  |  Next Associate Degree Program Start: 07/08/2024



Comparing Excavators vs Bulldozers

Both excavators and bulldozers are heavy machinery commonly found and used on construction sites. Whether you’re landscaping a yard or building a road, excavators and bulldozers can speed up the building process. To compare an excavator vs a bulldozer, let’s look at the differences between the machines to determine which is best for the job at hand.

What are the Machines Used For?

Let’s start by taking a look at what the two machines are used for. Excavators have a bucket that can dig, scoop and move materials. With a large blade or ripper, a bulldozer is built to push materials and level land.


  1. Digging holes or trenches
  2. Mining
  3. Demolishing
  4. Transporting materials


  1. Digging shallow ditches
  2. Clearing the land
  3. Reshaping the land
  4. Grading

Differences Between the Machines

Excavators are typically larger than bulldozers and can be used on uneven terrain, whereas bulldozers are used on level ground. The excavator’s bucket allows it to transport materials, but a bulldozer cannot transport materials in the blade. The difference in tools and size allows the excavator to dig holes and transport materials, while the bulldozer is best for leveling surfaces and clearing worksites.

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Which One Should You Use?

How do you know which machine to use for your job — an excavator vs a bulldozer? The answer depends on the task at hand.

  1. If you’re trying to clear the land, your best choice is to operate a bulldozer. An advantage of using a bulldozer is they have more power and can move materials with ease. A bulldozer is the machine of choice for reshaping the land, flattening an area, or creating slopes.
  2. An excavator should be used when you need to dig, or can move materials with ease. The cab of an excavator is able to move 365 degrees and enables the operator to manage everything from one spot without having to move the machine.

Becoming a Bulldozer or Excavator Operator

  1. If you’re interested in becoming a bulldozer or excavator operator, the best track for success is to attend a heavy equipment operator school. At a reputable school such as Heavy Equipment Colleges of America (HEC), you’ll get hands-on experience as well as textbook knowledge of heavy machinery.
  2. You’ll learn the basics of heavy equipment operation, including safety and preventive maintenance. In as little as three weeks you can receive the Certificate of Heavy Equipment Operations — Level I, which covers practical skills such as digging, trenching, earthmoving, and loading and unloading.

Launch Your Career in Heavy Equipment Operation

Both excavators and bulldozers are vital machines for construction sites, and knowing the differences between them as well as how to operate them gives you a leg up in the industry. Be prepared for any job site with bulldozer training and excavator training programs at Heavy Equipment Colleges of America. Programs can be completed in as little as three weeks and qualify you to take the Adaptable Equipment Proficiency Testing (ADEPT) exam to receive your heavy equipment operations certification.

Start your career at one of HEC’s four locations nationwide. Enroll in our next certificate program online today or by calling (888) 414-0285.


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