Several types of construction or agricultural vehicles employ the use of rubber tracks to improve movability. Children’s books display trucks with these tracks, you can often find these trucks parked in construction zones, and may have sat behind a tractor with these tracks on a back road. As prevalent as they are, do we really understand what they are and how they work?
How They Work
Rubber tracks use the continuous propulsion system which basically means the larger surface of the tracks (versus that of traditional wheels and tires) spreads the weight of the vehicle, which enables a this specific kind of continuous tracked vehicle to travel softer ground. These tracks make it less likely the vehicles will become stuck or sink in the mud. Rubber tracks are usually found on several types of vehicles including excavators, bulldozers, tractors, and tanks, but it is common to find them on any vehicle that could find benefit in the added traction, durability, low and, ground pressure that comes with the continuous track system. There are several advantages and disadvantages to rubber tracks.
- They travel rough terrain better than traditional vehicles, gliding over small obstacles, smoothing out bumps, and crossing trenches or breaks in the terrain.
- Riding is fun! It often feels like being in a ship on the ocean.
- Tracks cannot be punctured or torn like tires can.
- Tracks decrease the ground pressure making it less likely to get stuck in snow, soft ground, or mud since they are distributing the weight over a larger area.
- Bulldozers, which usually have rubber tracks, use the larger contact area and cleats, on the track shoes, to pull other vehicles that have sunk into the mud or become stuck. The tracks allow a larger superiority in traction. These vehicles have the ability to pull or push heavy loads where traditionally wheeled vehicles would sink.
- Tracked vehicles can drive the tracks in opposite directions allowing the vehicle to make full turns without moving forward or backwards.
- If a track is broken, if you have the right tools, you can repair it without any special facilities.
- Lower top speed
- Much greater mechanical complexity
- Shorter life
- Can cause damage to soft terrain such as gravel roads, lawns, and fields
- Prolonged use can put strain on the transmission and mechanics of the track, which has to be fixed thoroughly or replaced regularly.
In comparison to steel tracks, rubber tracks make less noise, are lighter, and will not damage paved roads. The only disadvantage is that steel tracks are much stronger and more solid..
How to Find and Replace Your Rubber Track
There are a couple measurements and other information you will need to identify the right replacement rubber track for your particular vehicle. Make sure you know this information when you go to buy your replacement track.
- The model, make, and year of your vehicle
- The Rubber Track Size
- The Guiding System Size
- The type of roller on your track
Armed with this information you can find replacement parts online.
Essentially rubber tracks allow a heavy vehicle to travel rough terrain much easier. It allows for large vehicles to glide over trenches and smooth out bumpy spots easily. The extra traction allows them to pull vehicles from the mud or push heavy objects across soft ground. You can find the best rubber tracks Australia has to offer and this company has a variety tracks that are unrivalled!