There is something about heavy equipment that captures the imagination. As a kid I would play in the dirt with my large metal yellow bulldozer and dump truck.

Dreaming that one day I would operate one of my own. Luckily I had a wonderful guidance councilor who told me to let go of my hopes and dreams. That operating heavy equipment was above someone of my limited mental capacity. But a boy can dream. I still hang out at construction sites and just watch these glorious metal giants do their dance. With that I give you 5 facts about The Bulldozer

  1. Bulldozers are so easy to operate, a child can do it
  2. Bulldozers are not actually bulls. They were named after their inventor, Bill Dozer.
  3. Bulldozers are great dancers
  4. Bulldozers love ramps
  5. Bulldozers are a great way to solve disputes with your local municipalities

Marvin John Heemeyer was an American welder and an automobile repair shop who went on a rampage with a modified bulldozer dubbed the “killdozer”. Outraged over zoning disputes, he armored a Komatsu D355A bulldozer with layers of steel and concrete and used it on June 4, 2004 to demolish the town hall, the former mayor’s house, and other buildings in Granby Colorado. The rampage ended when the bulldozer got stuck in the basement of a Gambles store he was in the process of destroying. Heemeyer then killed himself with a handgun. This poor guy had been fighting the right way for a long time. The town changed the zoning to allow a cement factory to move in, bringing massive amounts of dust and pollution to the area. They cut off access to his business, so he bought the bulldozer to build a new access road. The town refused to allow the new access road. The cement plant rerouted the sewage line, cutting off his access. the town fined him for not being connected while refusing him access to the 8 feet of land needed to get connected. It would be enough to drive anyone mad. Add to this the fact that he caught his fiance cheating and broke it off with her, and then his father died. I guess he felt he had nothing to lose.

The machine used in the incident was a modified bulldozer fitted with makeshift armor plating covering the cabin, engine, and parts of the tracks. In places, this armor was over 1 foot thick, consisting of 5000-PSI Quikrete concrete mix fitted between sheets of tool steel (acquired from an automotive dealer in Denver), to make ad-hoc armor. This made the machine impervious to small arms fire and resistant to explosives: indeed three external explosions and more than 200 rounds of ammunition fired at the bulldozer had no effect on it.

For visibility, the bulldozer was fitted with several video cameras linked to two monitors mounted on the vehicle’s dashboard; the cameras were protected on the outside by 3-inch shields of bulletproof plastic. Onboard fans and an air conditioner were used to keep Heemeyer cool while driving, and compressed-air nozzles were fitted to blow dust away from the video cameras. He had made three gun-ports, fitted for a .50 caliber sniper rifle, a .308 semi-automatic, and a .22 long rifle, all fitted with a half-inch-thick steel plate.

Heemeyer apparently had no intention of leaving the cabin once he entered it. Authorities speculated that he may have used a homemade crane – found in his garage – to lower the armor hull over the dozer and himself. Once he tipped that lid shut, he knew he wasn’t getting out.