Though it comes in many configurations it is usually sold as a bulldozer equipped with a detachable large blade and a rear ripper attachment.
- 1935: Caterpillar RD8 introduced.
- 1937: The "R" prefix dropped, D8 debuts.
- 1940s: 2U Series D8 introduced; 132 hp (98 kW) improved to 148hp.
- 1950: D8 new front-rounded grill that would last until D8K was replaced by D8L in 1982.
- 1955: 1H Series D8 ends production; 191 hp (142 kW) D8E and D8D introduced with new 1,246 cubic inch displacement (CID) D342 diesel engine. D8D had a torque converter and D8E had a direct drive transmission.
- 1956: D8D replaced by D8G; D8E replaced by D8F.
- 1958: 225 hp (168 kW) D8H introduced.
- 1965: Horsepower increased to 270 hp (200 kW)
- 1974: 300 hp (220 kW) D8K replaced D8H.
- 1982: 335 hp (250 kW) D8L replaced D8K. The D8L was the first D8 with the elevated drive sprocket undercarriage.
- 1984: D8L SA (special application) for farming applications premiers.
- 1987: D8N at 285 hp (213 kW) which was unveiled at CONEXPO '87 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It also had a differential steer transmission which was the first Caterpillar track-type tractor in history to have this type of transmission.
- 1996: 305 hp (227 kW) D8R replaced D8N.
- 2000: D8R II replaced the D8R.
- 2004: 310 hp (230 kW) D8T ACERT replaced D8R Series II.
Several types of bulldozer blade can be used on the front of the tractor:
- A straight blade ("S-Blade"): A short blade and has no lateral curve, no side wings, and can be used for fine grading
- An angle blade: Is held by an U shape frame that has 3 holes on each side, to set the blade to 3 positions: to the right, center, and left.
- A universal blade ("U-Blade"): A tall and very curved blade, and has large side wings to carry more material
- An "S-U" combination blade: A shorter blade, with less curvature, and smaller side wings
Various other blade types are used including landfill U-Blades, woodchip U-blades, and two-way blades for work inside the holds of ships.
Caterpillar D-Series Track-Type Tractors - Official Caterpillar website
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