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Using a track-type tractor (bulldozer) as a compactor

Posted on October 23, 2015 By Mirja Yli-Erkkilä

Track-type tractor (=Bulldozer) is very popular machine in the landfill. TTT usually prepares the site by spreading the first waste layer because bottom layers of a new site can be damaged when real landfill compactor is used. During the normal landfill operation TTT is usually used for building access and haul roads and spreading cover soil. It can be also used as a feeding machine for landfill compactor by pushing and spreading waste during peak hours and when the waste needs to be pushed long distances.

TTT as a compactor

Track-type tractor can also be used as a “compactor” but then achieved compaction rate is essentially lower compared to a real landfill compactor. This is due to the fact that TTT´s ground contact area (=area of the tracks against ground) has been designed as large as possible in order to ensure the maximum traction and to keep the machine on the surface. 

When TTT is used as a compactor, the landfill working method is in most cases so called open face method meaning that the waste is pushed over the landfill edge instead of working in the down slope. Down slope operation with TTT is practically impossible because the low ground clearance of the TTT makes the machine to stuck in the loose waste.

Common features of TTT:

  • width of tracks 2 x 450 – 650 mm (loose area between tracks)
  • ground contact area of the tracks 3,5 – 4,7 m2
  • ground clearance 400 – 620 mm

Pros of TTT as landfill compactor :

  • high pushing capacity
  • capable to push long distances efficiently

Cons of TTT as landfill compactor:

  • low compaction ratio
  • low ground clearance
  • low ground pressure 
  • poor climb ability in soft waste

Typical compaction ratios at MSW landfills

Track-type tractor500 - 700 kg/m3
Four wheel compactor700 - 1000 kg/m3
Two drum compactor800 - 1200 kg/m3

The compaction rates shown above are depending on:

  • weight of the machine
  • content of the waste 
  • waste moisture
  • operation method
  • driver skills

TANA E520 Landfill Compactor

Compaction rate related to landfill revenue and life time (annual waste amount 150 000 t)



Free airspace
of the landfill

fee EUR/t

rate t/m3

Four wheeler3.000.00080,000,9

Expected cumulative
landfill revenue EUR

Expected life
time in years

Extended life
time in years
Four wheeler216.000.000,-186

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See also:
Russia is building new sanitary landfills – how to prolong their lifecycle from the start?
Beyond the machines – 3 reasons to choose Tana
Are you choosing the right size of landfill compactor for your needs?
Leave a comment
Joseph Matthews (smshydro), 04.02.2016 10:30
Hi, this is a significant way to help recycling waste material into quick and effective manner in huge quantity. I truly appreciate your efforts in providing this information and looking for some more in near future.
Finest waste management services in India

Tana Oy, 04.02.2016 12:51
Hi Mr. Matthews,
thank you for your feedback. It is very good to hear that you find the material we publish useful. If you want the newest articles from us straight to your inbox, you can subscribe to our mailing list from our website. Thanks again for the feedback & have a great day!
Mirja Yli-Erkkilä, 16.11.2016 16:22
Thanks a lot for the encouraging feedback. It helps us further. We try to improve our response time on this forum since we have not been doing too wll on that. Sorry about it.

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