Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

OCT 2018

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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Gaining Traction A Comparison Between Tracks and Tires by Greg Frank, LC/DBM Above This is your standard set of tracks on a Cat 279D compact track loader. The reason most tracks are shaped in a triangle design is because the drive shaft is usually placed high- er up allowing for the top of the trian- gle to be the power source, while the bottom wheels just roll, often without producing any drive force. An article by Texas Final Drive relates that "by moving the drive sprocket above the ground, the tracks now have one ad- ditional place they have to bend. That is going to mean additional wear and tear on the tracks…" https://tinyurl. com/ydyxzdwu T The wheel is without question one of the oldest inventions in the history of life on this planet. An article published on Smi - thonian.com estimates that the invention of the wheel dates back to 3,500 B.C. and makes note that it is a 100% human-engi - neered invention, meaning it doesn't exist anywhere in nature. Tracks, on the other hand, while defi- antly a human achievement, are not so ancient. Yet they can provide some much needed attributes that might make them more advantageous than regular tires. This article will make a comparison be - tween tracks and tires, highlight some new emerging technology and take a closer look at tire treads and their differences. So buck- le up your seat belts and lets get rolling. Tracks Let us start with the more avant-garde option of the two. Obviously, as implied by the name, tracks give more traction than tires do. This is because using tracks is go - ing to inherently increase surface-contact area and, as a result, lose traction less often than tires. Due to this, tracks will work better on jobs that have a lot of loose dirt, sand, mud or wet surface areas because you will have more track touching the ground than four separate tires would. To demonstrate this, a 46 LCDBM

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