tracked or wheels?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by turboawd, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. turboawd

    turboawd LawnSite Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 236

    i've got 2 machines in mind.
    a gehl 7810 with loegring steel tracks, or a bobcat t300.

    most of my work will be in dirt(backfilling,spread some gravel).

    i demoed a gehl 7800 with the steel tracks, and i was pretty impressed with the machine. it was very very stable, has awesome visibility, and plenty of power.
    is it fair to compare a track machine vs a wheeled machine with over-the-tire tracks. what's the advantage of each? i do like the fact that a wheeled machine has 2 speeds. and it's cheaper.

    which should i choose??:help:
  2. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,891

    Personally, if you can afford it, I'd say take the 7810 with the Loegering VTS system (not steel tracks). The 7810 with any combination of tracks will give you the most productive skid steer (current production SSL anyhow) you can buy... unless you operate in a lot of slop, which was the original question I didn't ask: what are your underfoot conditions? Rock? Mud? Just dry dirt? Loam? Clay?
  3. K c m

    K c m LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 646

    Hi guys. I don't operate skid steers or any machinery like that. IM just curious of why someone would pick wheeled over track and visa versa. Is it because track doesnt bounc around as much? or is better in the mud. Just curious.

  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Here it is, hope I get everything covered.

    Steel over-the-tire tracks
    1. Removable
    2. Adds operating weight capacity (weight of traicks, stability, etc)
    3. Less expensivve
    4. Rebuildable

    1. Can't use on pavement, grass, etc, very abrasive
    2. Tends to slow some smaller machines down (below 45HP)
    3. Some can cause drivetrain issues

    Dedicated track
    1. Floats very well
    2. Less abrasive on grass, asphalt, etc.
    3. More pushing power, no drivetrain loss between tires and wheels

    1. More expensive
    2. Tracks are somewhat expensive to replace
    3. More maintenance/parts to fail

    I'm sure there's something I'm forgetting, someone will chime in. Please add to my list! Hopefully that'll get us started. Honestly in your position, I'd buy the Gehl and put steel tracks on the machine. If you never have to run across concrete/asphalt, it's a no brainer.
  5. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,891

    KCM, tracks also provide a larger footprint, which, as you said, can improve ride. This isn't a given, but no doubt a Cat multi-terrain loader will give a better ride than its wheeled cousin... the usual reason people go with tracks of any sort is to use this larger footprint to "float" over mud. With a larger ground contact area, it's harder for the machine to sink it and harder for the machine to lose traction (causing costly slippage). One way to explore this is to try to push your finger into the ground (dirt or sand, not concrete :)) and compare how much effort needed for that to how effort would be required to push an entire hand (palm) into the same area.

    I think scag hit the OTT (over the tire tracks) vs. VTS pretty well... anyone else?
  6. Digdeep

    Digdeep LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,840

    Hello all,

    This is my first post, but I have followed this website awhile. I decided to finally register and offer my opinions and input from time to time where I feel I have some useful input. My background includes 8 years selling Bobcat products in the Midwest and the last 3 years going it on my own as a small landscape contractor on the evenings and weekends when I'm not teaching math fulltime at the Junior High level. I own two machines; a Bobcat S220 and a used RC50, both of which have served me well so far. I have around 300 hours on my S220 and I have put almost 600 hours on my RC50 since I bought it (it had 580 hours on it when I bought it).

    Some of the other pros that a tracked machine has offered me are working in inclement weather, increased stability, slope work, increased performance, and the ability to bid jobs that I would otherwise have to pass on. The RC50 also does a tremendous job in snow removal.
  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    Myself working with excavators and I have ran track loaders (International and Caterpillar) a machine with tracks is good for offroad use. I would really like to try a tracked skid.

    One way to put it look at a Tank it runs tracks it will pretty much go over any terrian at a decent speed. Look at a wheeled military vehical it needs more than 4wheels to make it work just as good as a tracked tank.

    You look at the machines with over the wheels tracks they won't really ride over the ground as smooth as a real tracked machine at you still have 4 pressure points. A tracked machine you have bottom rollers which spreads the weight of the machine out over the wheel base of the track.

    Big track machines you have two different type of tracks rise or regular where the high rise has two bottom idlers and rollers with a elevavated sprocket. With a regular you have a front idler and rear sproket with rollers inbetween.

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