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View Full Version : Small tracks for commercial mowers?


MikeKle
01-09-2010, 01:02 AM
I have thought about this before, but I really think it would work pretty good. They would be similar to those tracks kits people mount on their ATVs and trucks. They are a triangle type shape tracks and they bolt right in place of the wheels with no modifications. They would solve all traction issues on ZTRS and WBs, thus making them much safer, plus eliminate ruts due to their low ground pressure PSI. Plus they wouldnt tear up the ground as bad as tires when doing a zero turn, and you could tackle ANY hillside with a set of tracks versus wheels and tires! I think they would be fairly affordable as well. Anyone ever consider this or have any experience with the tracks kits you mount on ATVs and trucks?

Greg78
01-09-2010, 01:05 AM
Got a link?

Hawg City Lawns
01-09-2010, 01:13 AM
tracks are meant to tear into the ground for traction

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db9bK3uO8n8

that would look really good on a highly manicured hoa yard

MikeKle
01-09-2010, 01:15 AM
Here is a couple links, www.atvtracks.com and, www.ktracks.com These are for ATVs, but tracks for the mowers would be around the same size and configuration. Let me know if those links do not work.

MikeKle
01-09-2010, 01:18 AM
tracks are meant to tear into the ground for traction

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db9bK3uO8n8

that would look really good on a highly manicured hoa yard

They only tear up the ground if they have an aggressive tread. Ive seen tracks that just slide around and do not do any damage to turf. I guess it would be a trade off, either great traction and torn up turf or no damage, but hardly no tread? But If your just operating on grass, you shouldnt need real aggressive tread anyway.

topsites
01-09-2010, 04:13 AM
You were thinking just in the back, behind the deck?

It might work but it would be a highly specialized machine...

Richard Martin
01-09-2010, 06:16 AM
You should try it and let us know how it works out. If someone gets near my yard with those... http://yahoofreak.com/animated%20emoticons/Funny%20Animated%20Emoticons/slap.gif

ALC-GregH
01-09-2010, 08:08 AM
tracks on a ztr mower WILL destroy the turf without a doubt. Please try them on your best customers lawn and let us know if they like them.

flatlander42
01-09-2010, 09:38 AM
make a small set of these.....not sure how they work, but they do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DULRjWtjj2g

MikeKle
01-09-2010, 10:48 AM
Those green tracks on that loader werent tearing up the turf at all, but they didnt have much if any tread, but thats the trade-off, and mowers weigh much less than a skid steer. Some of those ATV tracks used the ATVs wheels and tires, and the rubber track mounted over the tires and went thru other rollers in the rear. The biggest problem is going to be keeping the rubber track on the mowers tires. I need to find a place that makes the rubber track itself, then I can design the rollers and internal parts of my mower tracks. But all this will have to wait til summer, as I have no money right now, just an idea! Just imagine how well they would stripe?!!!

MikeKle
01-09-2010, 10:56 AM
You were thinking just in the back, behind the deck?

It might work but it would be a highly specialized machine...

Yes, the main track sprocket or wheel would mount right to the hub studs, so no modification to the mower is needed. The track would have to extend to the rear because the wheels are so close to the deck on my WBs, A big problem is going to be keeping the mower at the same height and level as when the wheels and tires are mounted, so the tracks will have to flex a bit. I dont think the mower would have to be that specialized, The hydros will drive the tracks just as they drive the wheels and tires. When people mouunt those metal tracks on bobcats, they do not make any special modifications, they just install the metal tracks right over the stock wheels and tires.

Richard Martin
01-09-2010, 10:58 AM
The biggest problem is going to be keeping the rubber track on the mowers tires. I need to find a place that makes the rubber track itself, then I can design the rollers and internal parts of my mower tracks.

I watched the green tracks on that loader and that is simply incredible. You can do it with a ZTR but you're going to have to use a gear box type setup like they have on those 4 wheelers. I wouldn't be surprised if one of those would fit onto a lot of ZTRs. You could pretty easily make a stud adapter if the bolt patterns aren't the same. The only real issue would be getting ASV to make a Turf Track that would fit. I'm sure they have a patent on it.

MikeKle
01-09-2010, 11:12 AM
i am going to look at a few different brands of continuous rubber track, and the ASV, and see which would work best, and try to buy just the track itself, and fabricate the rollers and internals of the mower tracks. Im sure they would sell the track alone? I think a set-up that you use the mowers OEM wheels and tires would be best, that way, you could take them on and off easier and make them less pricey, but to keep the tracks on the mowers tires without them working themselves off? Thats the problem!

Kutz Lawns
01-09-2010, 12:37 PM
Yea, it's winter!

1993lx172
01-09-2010, 01:23 PM
Just an idea here but what if instead of replacing the rear wheels you mount an arm with the road wheels facing the back of the machine with the tracks going over the wheel of the mower.

Sort of like this thing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFpnp5RMeho&feature=related just mounted backwards.

grassman177
01-09-2010, 02:13 PM
those are the sweetest tracks ever. those really need to be developed for zero turn mowers. i would love to try them out

doubleedge
01-09-2010, 02:26 PM
Don't forget to compensate for the fact that the tracks will decrease maximum speed.

Richard Martin
01-09-2010, 02:35 PM
Don't forget to compensate for the fact that the tracks will decrease maximum speed.

Okay, you can't make a statement like that without giving an explanation...

demhustler
01-09-2010, 02:42 PM
http://www.st-mach.com/stm/roboflailone.php
http://www.st-mach.com/stm/roboflail_video/wmv/roboflailone_wmv.php

doubleedge
01-09-2010, 02:53 PM
Okay, you can't make a statement like that without giving an explanation...

Go to this link and look for gear reduction. http://www.mattracks.com/w_spec_litefoot_XL.pdf

The sprocket that turns the track is smaller than the wheel that it will replace, and the sprocket turns the track at a 1:1 ratio.

Richard Martin
01-09-2010, 03:05 PM
Go to this link and look for gear reduction. http://www.mattracks.com/w_spec_litefoot_XL.pdf

The sprocket that turns the track is smaller than the wheel that it will replace, and the sprocket turns the track at a 1:1 ratio.

Yeah but you can make the gears anything that you want. That would only apply to Mattracks.

doubleedge
01-09-2010, 03:27 PM
That is why I said to not forget to compensate for it. Unless you want to raise the back of the mower up, you would need a smaller sprocket than the original wheel, thus decreasing maximum speed. Therefore, you need gears between the axle and the sprocket.

demhustler
01-09-2010, 04:26 PM
That is why I said to not forget to compensate for it. Unless you want to raise the back of the mower up, you would need a smaller sprocket than the original wheel, thus decreasing maximum speed. Therefore, you need gears between the axle and the sprocket.

demt
1/3 on 24'' =8''; deck angle too steep to accommodate with leveling even with larger front wheels

or live with 1/3 speed reduction.... for some applications, steep hills or when ground very soft - ok... (providing tracks wouldn't destroy turf)
it seems like easy in-out (just mounts on the hub instead of wheel?)


p.s. i saw toro movers with winter tracks - can't find any info on the web... hmmmm

Richard Martin
01-09-2010, 04:29 PM
That is why I said to not forget to compensate for it. Unless you want to raise the back of the mower up, you would need a smaller sprocket than the original wheel, thus decreasing maximum speed. Therefore, you need gears between the axle and the sprocket.

I misunderstood your meaning. I thought that maybe you were insinuating that the tracks themselves would slow the mower down. Carry on.

demhustler
01-09-2010, 06:28 PM
looks like more room 4 tracks than it might seems

demhustler
01-10-2010, 12:33 PM
Here is a couple links, www.atvtracks.com and, www.ktracks.com These are for ATVs, but tracks for the mowers would be around the same size and configuration. Let me know if those links do not work.

thank you 4 links, might work
something like that with smoother thread

demhustler
01-10-2010, 12:42 PM
make a small set of these.....not sure how they work, but they do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DULRjWtjj2g

thanks
http://www.asvi.com/rc30_turf.cfm
http://www.asvi.com/asv_rtss_technology.cfm
Smooth Rubber Tracks

Specifically designed smooth rubber tracks let the RC-30 Turf Edition travel and work on fragile surfaces like turf without leaving a trace. Yet, this machine has the power and traction to work productively in most conditions.

Minimal Ground Pressure

ASV's unique, patented undercarriage technology lets the Turf Edition machines crawl over any surface with minimal ground pressure. For the RC-30, ground pressure is 2.5 psi - about half the ground pressure of a person on foot. Low ground pressure means these machines work with minimal surface disturbance, plus minimal compaction to protect fragile root systems and underground utilities like irrigation lines.


The rubber track itself is the culmination of over 20 years of research and development. It's a lightweight, pliable, yet tough material. A strong Kevlar-like wrap in the center of the rubber track prevents track stretch, so adjustments for track tension are minimal. No steel is used anywhere in the rubber track to avoid the problems of corrosion, delamination and early failure that is common on rubber tracks with steel inserts.

A special smooth green rubber track is also available on Turf Edition models. This unique smooth track offers ultimate protection of refined turf surfaces, such as on golf courses, sports fields and similar turf surfaces. These smooth tracks still offer excellent traction in most ground conditions.

ALC-GregH
01-10-2010, 01:08 PM
thanks
http://www.asvi.com/rc30_turf.cfm
http://www.asvi.com/asv_rtss_technology.cfm
Smooth Rubber Tracks

Specifically designed smooth rubber tracks let the RC-30 Turf Edition travel and work on fragile surfaces like turf without leaving a trace. Yet, this machine has the power and traction to work productively in most conditions.

Minimal Ground Pressure

ASV's unique, patented undercarriage technology lets the Turf Edition machines crawl over any surface with minimal ground pressure. For the RC-30, ground pressure is 2.5 psi - about half the ground pressure of a person on foot. Low ground pressure means these machines work with minimal surface disturbance, plus minimal compaction to protect fragile root systems and underground utilities like irrigation lines.


The rubber track itself is the culmination of over 20 years of research and development. It's a lightweight, pliable, yet tough material. A strong Kevlar-like wrap in the center of the rubber track prevents track stretch, so adjustments for track tension are minimal. No steel is used anywhere in the rubber track to avoid the problems of corrosion, delamination and early failure that is common on rubber tracks with steel inserts.

A special smooth green rubber track is also available on Turf Edition models. This unique smooth track offers ultimate protection of refined turf surfaces, such as on golf courses, sports fields and similar turf surfaces. These smooth tracks still offer excellent traction in most ground conditions.

Hey, I can actually read this post. There's no WAY you typed that. :D Sorry, had too. :)

Hawg City Lawns
01-10-2010, 01:17 PM
dont you think that the track would need about 18 small wheels to keep it with that 2.8 psi rating for a ztr? fit 18 wheels in that space in that small space

demhustler
01-10-2010, 01:23 PM
Hey, I can actually read this post. There's no WAY you typed that. :D Sorry, had too. :)

ALC-GregH, try to remember - you don't have to type it - just copy-paste
: ))))))

demhustler
01-10-2010, 01:32 PM
dont you think that the track would need about 18 small wheels to keep it with that 2.8 psi rating for a ztr? fit 18 wheels in that space in that small space

also concern -turns, we don't want tracks to plow all bumps sideways;

20''wide track, 20''long=400 sq in
800lbs /400sq in=2psi

demhustler
01-10-2010, 01:54 PM
tire footprint: 24''wide *2(3)'' long = 48(72)sq' in *2tires = 96(144) sq in
1000 lbs/96(144)= 10.4(6.9) psi
if lower tire pressure:
24'' x 6'' footprint = 3.45psi
24 x 8.3 = 2.5 psi ( or 26'' x 7.7'')

demhustler
01-10-2010, 07:45 PM
http://www.powerhouseequipment.com/series.html?series_id=8

MikeKle
01-11-2010, 12:12 AM
I have been doing some drawings of different track set-ups and really need to decide whether I am going to try to utilize the mowers OEM wheels and tires and have the track running over them, or not using the stock wheels and tires at all, and going with a sprocket type wheel that mounts to the wheel studs, but these type would be much more expensive? I really like that green rubber track, as it wouldnt cause any turf damage. I also am thinking of making my tracks really wide, just to handle hills better and for better weight distribution. I will probably make a prototype set this summer and see how they work, then decide how/ if to take the next step. In your alls opinion, what would be an ideal price range for a set of tracks for a commercial mower, say a full size WB for now? Im thinking in the $300. range for a set. But I guess it really depends on the price of the continuous rubber track itself, that I have yet to price.

demhustler
01-11-2010, 12:20 AM
btw. another way to make tracks and to walk behind (with rc): ))))

demhustler
01-11-2010, 12:32 AM
or like this (jus' bigger w/b) : ))))

Richard Martin
01-11-2010, 03:54 AM
In your alls opinion, what would be an ideal price range for a set of tracks for a commercial mower, say a full size WB for now? Im thinking in the $300. range for a set. But I guess it really depends on the price of the continuous rubber track itself, that I have yet to price.

$300 would be really nice but I doubt you'll even get the tracks for that cheap. All of the track system I looked at for the 4 wheelers came in at 10 times that amount.

grassman177
01-11-2010, 04:31 AM
someone really needs to design these and sell them, maybe i will get to it first>>>>>>>>>>>>

dhardin53
01-11-2010, 07:08 AM
To many moving parts. Over time the cost of upkeep and repairs would not out way the slight benefit of the extra ground contact. I drive a articulating tractor with 8 tires (Case 9230) and have looked into the new track unit articulating tractor. The only benefit i see is they have a lot less compaction. ZTR wise If todays tracts where improved greatly for operation benefit, I don't see the extra cost on the already expensive mower that are out today. just my opinion.

Mickhippy
01-11-2010, 07:29 AM
Watch...... Convertible ztr... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgKvtlAnI_U

Mickhippy
01-11-2010, 07:58 AM
I think they would be great but I dont think a normal ztr hydro system would cope. Ive heard of major problems with using atv tires let alone tracks. Some companies (a friend with a ToroG3 for example) even frown on using AT101 tires.

A transmission system like Kubota and the Toro would be a better option IMO, or a major, heavy duty high torque hyrdo system.

More video fun...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZnsZULP2YQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_c3yPimRGM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afmXkOzUJhY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oga-avlgAiY

Richard Martin
01-11-2010, 08:39 AM
Watch...... Convertible ztr...

$$$$$$$$$$$

Mickhippy
01-11-2010, 08:43 AM
$$$$$$$$$$$

Hell yeah! Just putting it out there is all!

topsites
01-11-2010, 08:49 AM
Here are my thoughts...

1. On my Ztr I can't even exceed 18 psi on the rear wheels because if I do they rub against the deck at times.
So the guys saying there isn't enough space, it really is that close a fit...

2. Those rubber tracks are not cheap, and they wear fast and have to be replaced often.
I know a guy who has skid steer loaders, Bobcats for that matter, he doesn't even own any rubber tracks but he has the steel kind.
And they do tear up the turf, even worse than the rubber kind, the dingo is another machine to look at,
rubber is better than steel but the tracks still tear turf worse than tires.
I know, I've rented one, they said I could have the one with the tracks but that they tear turf worse than the tired one.

3. Tracks on the outside of the deck won't work except for special applications, can't get close to anything.

But the idea has merit, the resulting machine would probably be a might cheaper for a "hill-climber" type of mower that
could be used on steep inclines, currently the only mowers I know of that can do steep hills are very expensive.

I still wonder if it wouldn't be easier to just get a more aggressive tread tire on the back :p

dishboy
01-11-2010, 09:05 AM
How about taking a belt walkbehind, use two axles instead of one, two gearboxes with pulleys instead of one, one set drives one axle forward, one set drives the other set in reverse. interconnect both sets with a chain or cog belt. Set up the controls to drive forward by releasing levers, reverse by pulling levers. Now we have a 4WD unit that replicates a hydro using low dollar parts and has a engine platform that will support a Walker style floating deck.

It would be truly ugly, but could it work?

ALC-GregH
01-11-2010, 10:04 AM
How about taking a belt walkbehind, use two axles instead of one, two gearboxes with pulleys instead of one, one set drives one axle forward, one set drives the other set in reverse. interconnect both sets with a chain or cog belt. Set up the controls to drive forward by releasing levers, reverse by pulling levers. Now we have a 4WD unit that replicates a hydro using low dollar parts and has a engine platform that will support a Walker style floating deck.

It would be truly ugly, but could it work?

If your going that far, just make a 4wd mower.

MikeKle
01-11-2010, 04:36 PM
I had a nice chat with the guy from Mat-tracks earlier, he said the smallest track set-ups he sells are for ATVs and weigh about 120lbs each, so I doubt a 23hp turf tracer could drive that kind of weight! Most of what he sells are for trucks and large farm tractors. He also said if I was interested in having them design and come up with a smaller set that are made special for commercial mowers, I would need to come up with around $120,000. to change the machines he has to make smaller track set-ups, then all the money needed for development and marketing! He clearly did not think there was a big enough market for them, and maybe he is right, but I doubt it would cost that much to change a machine over to produce something smaller? Really only the rubber track would be smaller, and maybe some of the other parts, but most parts would probably be compatible? One interesting thing he did mention was a few commercial mower companies have already been designing and building a track set-up on some of their mowers, as they came to him for help with it. I asked him what manufactuers were invloved, but he would not tell me. So, we probably will be seeing some ZTRs, outfronts, or WBs coming with tracks as an option soon?!!! Maybe that is one of the big changes for the Exmark WBs?!! Damn, they all beat me to it with this idea!!! But I am still going to make a prototype set for either the turf tracer or the ferris DD. I will post build progress pics along the way for sure.

demhustler
02-04-2010, 09:11 AM
toro dingo & boxer
http://www.toro.com/professional/sws/loader/movies/narrow_track.html
http://www.boxerequipment.com/videoBoxer/Boxer_promo_300.htm

check tracks shape

demhustler
02-18-2010, 08:06 PM
tracked brash hog
http://www.lawnsite.com/showpost.php?p=3414983&postcount=1
thread "Lawn Solution's New Tracked Brush Mower"
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=304751

yardguy28
02-18-2010, 08:15 PM
i don't think a tracked ztr would work out that well. regardless of how minimal the tread is a zero turn with tracks will tear up the turf. plus it's a little over kill don't you think??? the tires on ztr's are efficient enough IMO.

Merkava_4
02-18-2010, 08:42 PM
plus it's a little over kill don't you think???

The cool factor outweighs the overkill. :D

demhustler
11-05-2010, 06:28 PM
toro Polar Trac® System


http://www.toro.com/grounds/mower/trim/gm7200/snow_intro.html

shooterm
11-05-2010, 07:03 PM
It will tear grass there is no debating it. Seems like we have alot of people with no experience running anything with tracks.

demhustler
11-05-2010, 07:30 PM
It will tear grass there is no debating it. Seems like we have alot of people with no experience running anything with tracks.

seems like you one of them - and one with no experience of reading too - no debating it
(read the thread, than post)

demhustler
11-25-2010, 01:36 PM
some track thoughts from 4wd dixie chopper thread:
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=333076&page=6


with all UV, tractors - everybody loves ztr
even if they do 4wd mover - not ztr - as a versatile mower - powerhouse, fast, agile - people would love it
best option - 4wd/4wsteer; tracks would skid (damage); even with retractable trucks like on pict. - would be PITA to operate (trucks on/off, on/off), mechanical challenges aside

btw. its pity, dc don't make frontmount ztrs,- that's where speed and smoothness would shine; first of all - it stops and turns on the dime, heaving front "dynamic braking" (midmount would slide); second - it won't have problems with hydros on the hills like DC Flatlander: nobody takes frontmount on hills anyway - it IS flatlander, not hillsider... and third - many people love frontmounts, anyway ... : ))))

http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=204820&stc=1&d=1289948096

demhustler
11-25-2010, 01:42 PM
funny track ideas been playing with: track/ground contact patch (footprint) same as wheel/ground patch

demhustler
01-07-2011, 03:12 PM
4wd dc discussin thread: Video of 4 WD Dixie chopper http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=337330

most like little monster and found idea very usefull - near or close to jet dc : )))

demhustler
01-07-2011, 03:32 PM
prev. post - wrong thread
but anyway, speaking of witch - good news: history newer repeat itself ...