??? About experience w/ ADD on Steel Tracks

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by DVS Hardscaper, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    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?
  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    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?
  3. lx665

    lx665 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    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.

  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    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.


  5. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Should be fine getting up that slope with tracks. Just make sure you go backwards.
  6. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,170

    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.
  7. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    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.
  8. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    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.
  9. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    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
  10. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    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.

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