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View Full Version : ??? About experience w/ ADD on Steel Tracks


DVS Hardscaper
11-17-2006, 03:16 PM
I'm pricing a nice retaining wall and paver gig. A nice winter job for us.

There is just a small problem! Where the work is to be done, there is a very steep hill. I know in order to receive feedback from you all that pictures would probably be a big help. But I dont have any.

Ok, with wet soil conditions (as the soil is usually wet in MD Nov - March), there is NO WAY a rubber tire skid steer will traverse up the hill. Infact, I'm not even sure of it would make it up the incline in the middle of July with bone dry soil conditions.

So what I did is I priced the job with the intent of renting a dedicated track driven loader (CTL) for a period of a month.

Then I got to thinking, for what it will cost to rent such a machine, I can buy steel add on tracks for our machine. Thus alliviating the stress of paying rental costs if it rains for a week, etc.

I know a few people with skid steers that have the add on steel tracks, and everyone says good things about them. But I dont really know anyone that has used the steel tracks for traversing UP steep embankments.

Anyone here have any experience and or knowledge of how they do on steep hills?

Scag48
11-17-2006, 03:37 PM
I will congratulate you for realizing that instead of renting you can purchase an attachment with the revenue of one job to add to your arsenal, excellent idea! However, I'm not sure that the tracks will give you all that CTL will. I definately agree it's better than a wheeled machine, but I think the CTL with a low and wide stance will perform better on the hill. The steel tracks tend to make the machines sit a little higher, the center of gravity is higher, therefore they won't "hug" the ground like a CTL will. I'd really have to see a picture of what you're working with before I could tell you, but chances are you could probably get it done with the steel tracks. The only other thing to consider is once you have the steel tracks, how often are you really going to need them after this job is completed? A couple things to consider.

BTW, what skid steer are you running?

lx665
11-17-2006, 05:14 PM
I use OTT steel tracks and love them. They make all the difference in the world with traction and climbing. The increase in the hight of the machine in minimal. The height had no negitive impact with the preformance of my skid steer. The only problem with the tracks is driving across paved surfaces. The tracks will leave marks.

John

DVS Hardscaper
11-17-2006, 06:10 PM
We have a 2003 CAT 246 and a 1997 Gehl 5635 (in all honesty I like the Gehl better and will probably never buy another Cat skid steer, no problems with it, just the Gehl is better engineered)

The Cat has a heated cab, so I'd probably put the tracks on the Cat, as tracks are primarily needed during the winter months.

The pic below shows a gig that we did 6 years ago. The pending job has a hill that is equivilant in steepness, if not slightly a little steeper.



http://www.outdoorfinishes.com/images/services/walls/Terraced%20wall/Terracing-Retaining-Wall-lg.jpg



http://www.outdoorfinishes.com

Scag48
11-17-2006, 08:47 PM
Should be fine getting up that slope with tracks. Just make sure you go backwards.

ksss
11-17-2006, 09:22 PM
One word of caution. Try to keep the sidehilling to mininum. I had my Loegren Trail Blazers on during a job that required alot of side hilling. It chewed the heck out of my tires.

AL Inc
11-18-2006, 08:34 PM
DVS, I have the same machine with the Loegering tracks. We get a tremendous amount of use out of them, it was definitely money well spent. As it turned out this season, with a few muddy jobs and one with a very steep slope, the tracks were on well into the summer. I will try to get a pic of the slope we worked this year.

Mike33
11-19-2006, 12:07 AM
Ive been running bolt on steel tracks for 10 years. You will be impressed. Living west of you in allegany county (cumberland ) that is our main work hill sides. We have only turned down 1 job due to steepness and i would pay admission to see some one else do it. We are now running a 185 with steel tracks it makes a total different machine out of them. You will notice a little power loss but a pair weighs 600 lbs. Scag can give you the details on the other reasons for that. You can pm and ill even give you a call, i might be coming down your way soon and check it out for you. We have to be careful when we remove them for asphalt reasons, that we dont due something stupid with rubber tire from being used to tracks.
Mike

gammon landscaping
11-19-2006, 04:33 PM
the only down side i found from using tracks is that they are hard on tires. be carful with larg sharp rocks as they can fall in between the tracks and tires and then shove the rock through the tires. have had to buy a few sets that way...some things a plug won't fix

Dirty Water
11-19-2006, 04:49 PM
How do Foam tires hold up when your not using the tracks, as I'd imagine foam tires would be far better if you run tracks 80% of the time.

Scag48
11-19-2006, 06:04 PM
If I was running tracks exclusively, foam filled or McLaren Nu-Air tires would be the only way to go. No worries about getting flats.

start2finish
11-19-2006, 06:40 PM
depending on your machine you will probably need to install spacers behind the wheels for the extra clearance required for the tracks, this will also make the machine's stance wider

we just traded our tire machine with steel tracks in on a dedicated track loader. If you run the tracks on dry conditions or are puching alot you will have the possibility of drive chain issues. The tracks provide more traction than the machines were designed for, at least that is what bobcat tells us. They repaired the chains under warranty, but told us to stop using the tracks unless absolutely necessary. which is 90% of the time.

Mike33
11-19-2006, 09:53 PM
depending on your machine you will probably need to install spacers behind the wheels for the extra clearance required for the tracks, this will also make the machine's stance wider

we just traded our tire machine with steel tracks in on a dedicated track loader. If you run the tracks on dry conditions or are puching alot you will have the possibility of drive chain issues. The tracks provide more traction than the machines were designed for, at least that is what bobcat tells us. They repaired the chains under warranty, but told us to stop using the tracks unless absolutely necessary. which is 90% of the time.
I just spent $2,200.00 on bobcat 185 repair of 2 chains and sprockets.
Mike

Mike33
11-19-2006, 09:56 PM
If I was running tracks exclusively, foam filled or McLaren Nu-Air tires would be the only way to go. No worries about getting flats.
Are you saying foam filled to make tire solid? If so i dont think that would be good with tracks. Solid tires are heavier than hell. If im wrong my goof! How ever i run the sealants to help from flats and it does help.
Mike

Scag48
11-20-2006, 02:58 AM
You know, you're right. The foam probably isn't terribly heavy, but nonetheless heavier than a normal tire. The Nu-Air's are light, that would be my first choice anyway. I've been told that when you need new tires on a foam filled set you have to buy new rims. Now that would suck.

gammon landscaping
11-20-2006, 03:39 AM
ok on the foam tires. if you use them you are not supposed to use them with tracks because if you roll a large rock over between the track and the tire and you pinch it in there you run the risk of bending the axel shaft, were as if you had a air filled tire it would just bust the tire . which is alot cheaper to fix. the nuair tires are ok but they ride like crap and are to narrow in tire only apps. the bending axle situation is what the track salesmen told me

LabLuvR
11-20-2006, 11:23 AM
Someone told me the add on tracks eat up about 10 horsepower. Any truth to that?

Mike33
11-20-2006, 09:57 PM
Someone told me the add on tracks eat up about 10 horsepower. Any truth to that?
Thats close. Where i notice the difference is rockhouding backwards up hill. But all the negatives is still a good trade off for what you can do with the machine vs. rubber tire here in my part of the country.
Mike

Mike33
11-20-2006, 10:18 PM
ok on the foam tires. if you use them you are not supposed to use them with tracks because if you roll a large rock over between the track and the tire and you pinch it in there you run the risk of bending the axel shaft, were as if you had a air filled tire it would just bust the tire . which is alot cheaper to fix. the nuair tires are ok but they ride like crap and are to narrow in tire only apps. the bending axle situation is what the track salesmen told me
I disagree, i ve been running tracks for 10 yeqrs on 3 machines. I have always run hd tires and have had large rocks wedged between the track and tire so bad i thought i would blow the tire and didnt. This isnt good but i dont feel it is a ncccesity to have solid tires for that reason. I still think at least bobcat doesent reccomend solid tires with steel tracks.
Mike