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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October 2018 47 study conducted by Elmer's Manufacturing Ltd., an agricul- tural equipment manufacturer, showed that a grain cart, car- rying 70,000 pounds and traveling over tilled ground, was 50% easier to pull with tracks than wheels. An article on the Cat website discussing tires verses tracks states, "A track machine is almost always the preferred choice in construction or landscaping applications. Compact track loaders provide more traction, less ground disturbance, better material retention and enhanced lifting capacities." Conducting grading jobs is a good example of when a tracked machine is superior because the ground disruption produced by tracks is less than the ground disruption created by tires. This is because tracks "float" over the ground as op - posed to digging into it for traction. Another benefit that tracks hold over tires is that the weight of the equipment will be spread more evenly and have a lower center of gravity. This weight distribution equates to a more stable machine that can preform better in sloped areas and challenging terrains. Having that lower center of gravity and more ground contact would be benefi - cial for a front or back-end loader that is carrying a heavy load and traveling on slanted or rough terrain, limiting the chances that the equipment will tip over. Fuel Consumption and Maintenence In terms of fuel consumption, research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Nebraska Tractor Test Lab in 2012 found that a Case Steiger 600 QuadTrac carrying 29,000 pounds and traveling in a "moist" field produced 14.21 horsepower- hours per gallon, while a (wheeled) Case Steiger 600, in the same conditions, was only able to output 13.23 hp-hours per gallon. Although, when tested on dry concrete, the wheeled tractor was actually "almost an entire gallon more efficient." When discussing maintenance, equipment with tracks are going to be more expensive to maintain than wheeled ve - hicles. In an article found in Rental Management Magazine, Gregg Zupanic, product-marketing manager for John Deere Construction & Forestry, stated that track loaders could be more expensive to buy and cost more for maintenance. On the same note, an independent study highlighted in the YouTube video, "Heavy Equipment Comparison Tracked Below This diagram, by Elmer's Manufacturing, highlights the difference in the amount of surface contact between tires and tracks. Also displayed in this illustration is the trait known as "floating," which is the term attributed to the way tracks travel over the landscape. Instead of digging into the ground like tires do, tracks float on the surface, allowing for optimal traction and speed in loose soil conditions. https:// tinyurl.com/y87vph7c

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