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Tracks: Metal vs. Rubber

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by carcrz, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    I've got some tracks for my Case 1845C. They came w/ it when I bought it, but I haven't even used them once. They were used at a quarry though.

    I was wondering, how do the rubber tracks do in the mud & situations you would be using the metal ones? I am thinking about selling these so I can use the rubber ones on pavement while pushing snow. Or, are the rubber ones even worth it for that?
  2. Boondox

    Boondox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    I'm an absolute novice with tracked equipment and this is one of the big decisions in the purchase of my first mini excavator. I thought steel would be better because so much of my time will be spent in the forest or in streambed lined with stone. But all the local dealers swear the rubber offers better traction and is very durable. Yesterday at my local Volvo dealer I noticed every unit they had in their rental fleet (except an enormous 90,000# monster) had rubber. They were used hard and none of them showed significant damage even after being used in some of our local granite quarries. I test drove a JCB with metal tracks and in the sort of clay I have in my area they quickly loaded up with mud and turned into slicks...but the rubber tracks shed the mud very effectively and let me get around just fine.

    Rubber also worked well in snow, but if there was ice below it the steel had an advantage. I realize every situation is a compromise, but for me rubber was the clear winner.
  3. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    Rubber tracks are the way to go. That being said, over the tire tracks of either metal or rubber are a poor substitute for a system which has an undercarriage (bogie wheels) such as ASV/CAT or the loeggering attachment which replaces the wheels on a skidloader. While the over the tire tracks can get you unstuck, they tear the hell out of landscapes, because you are still using just 4 points of contact with the ground.:hammerhead:
  4. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    I run steel over tire tracks on my bobcat and they still do a lot less damage to a yard than regular tire.
  5. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    True enough, but once you try a suspended track system, you'll wonder how it can operate and not do the damage common with skidloaders. One other thing, I admit there are some situations that are so muddy that you should just plain leave them alone untill they dry out!
  6. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    That's the other thing. I plan on doing finish grade work so I won't be working wet or soft areas. Dealer(s) say tires are ok here and save a ton.

  7. thebobcatkid86

    thebobcatkid86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    I have test driven one of the larger CATs at a tradeshow, a 277 I think. Ride is like a baby's behind and more digging power than any skid-steer I've ever used. Just my $0.02

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