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Old 01-02-2007, 08:56 PM
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Skid steer tracks

Does anyone use those tracks that go over the wheels of a skid steer? Seems like a good compromise but I have no idea how well they work and I've never seen anyone use them.
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:09 PM
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Yup - we have 'em. Bought these tracks last fall, as we were into a big pond project where it was nothing but clay, and it rained for nearly a month straight.

This is certainly on the extreme side for how these tracks can be used - there were a few moments where the mud was almost as high as the tops of the tires. She couldn't drive all that well when it was that muddy, but we could still get in and out of that mud pit.

It cuts down on rutting for lawn grading work, too. That was a nice side benefit I hadn't anticipated.

Just be sure to keep this in mind when you use them.

They are a big pain in the neck to get on and off the skidsteer, so I'd plan on getting them on and off once for the wet spring, and again for a wet fall.

But worth the investment.
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Last edited by Stonehenge; 03-02-2007 at 05:42 PM..
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Old 01-02-2007, 11:16 PM
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We use them on a Bobcat.

Work great in the mud and soft stuff.

I find that for use on dry hard surfaces (pavement or concrete) the traction is worse than just tires and I also find that they seem to do more damage to turf when used in dry conditions. Also tires are far better for snow clearing operations.

On the plus side they increase the lifting capacity of the machine because they add about 1000 lbs of ballast to the machine.

I have also found that sometimes the mud packs up between the wheels and the tracks bogging down the machine until I reverse direction for a couple of feet to clear out the mud from between the wheels and track. I also have some clearance issues between the tracks and the loader arms when in the full down position.

When in soft or muddy conditions tracks are pretty hard to beat.
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:45 AM
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A few years ago I got the rubber over steel tracks from McLaren, http://www.mclarenindustries.com/. They were about $4,000 I believe, and they threw in 4 new tires. They've worked great. I just leave mine on year round. You never know when in the middle of the summer you'll get a deluge that turns a site into a mudhole. And they are a pain to take on and off.
The only drawback is that the rubber pads have worn down quite a bit and need to be changed now after maybe 350-400 hours. If I could only get my guys to stop the hard spinning that causes this! On the flip side though, the tires on the machine look as good as new, so if there were no tracks they would have just wore them out.
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:06 PM
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Stonehenge that sounded like a good time you had.

So let me ask this. If you work in soft stuff often why not just get a track steer to begin with? I know they're a little more expensive but it seems like the better choice for most landscaping.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:48 PM
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We don't work in the stuff often. The project we bought them for, if we didn't have them, we just weren't going to work for that month. Had to buy 'em.
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Old 01-04-2007, 08:19 PM
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It is easy to pinch softball sized rocks between the tracks and rim and ruin a rim- and sometimes a tire too. If you know about it ahead of time you watch out for those rocks.
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Old 01-04-2007, 11:13 PM
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I didn't mean "you" Jeff. Just I rarely see landscapers with tracksteers. Most buy skids and while I've been thinking of getting a big track steer the fact that most guys have skids makes me wonder if I'm missing something.
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Old 01-04-2007, 11:46 PM
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I think the price tag is probably the thing holding people back. I haven't priced one out in a few years, but aren't they something like $10K more than their wheeled counterparts?
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:47 AM
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Closer to 15K more. I just demo'd a JD 322 CTL with a price of $42000.00. We have Cat 257 but I would like a higher lift capacity. The Cat is for sale if anyone's interested.
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:59 AM
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Tricky, It does probably relate to price but also (speaking for myself) to a certain amount of ignorance. When I initially purchased a skidsteer I didn't realize how useless it is in mud and how disasterous it is to lawns. My next time around I would definately go with a real track loader.
Bear with me while I give you a brief description of my probably all-to-common history of skidsteer purchasing.....My first machine was a Bobcat S175. After 2 years of not being able to lift those 3K lb. pallets and destroying too many lawns, I decided to upgrade. Plus I really needed 2 machines, one to leave at the jobsite and one at the yard or second site. So I got an A300 (all-wheel steering) with turf tires to elimate the lawn destruction and an S250 for the yard and to use on sites that didn't need lawn access. But I still really had no machine for the real muddy (or even partially muddy) sites. So I got the tracks for my S250.
In the meantime, I also purchased the ASV RC30 (a true track machine--the tracks on Caterpillar are their design). That little machine can go on lawn (2.5 PSI ground pressure!) and will NEVER get stuck, has tremendous traction and rides VERY smoothly, like a snake slithering along.
....So-o-o, now I understand why the real track machines are worth it. I just needed to find out for myself. Yes putting the tracks over the wheels is OK but it's definately not the same as having a real track machine, especially if you doing real excavating and grading. And by the time you add in the cost of adding the over-the-wheel tracks ($4-5K) and either replacing the pads every few hundreds hours ($1K+) or the production hours lost swithcing the tracks on and off...I feel it would make more sense just to buy the real thing, especially once you factor in the higher resale on it (something most people overlook when initially pruchasing). So how much is it REALLY costing for true track machine vs. a sidsteer with tracks-over-the-wheels.

Last edited by johnkeegan; 01-05-2007 at 09:02 AM..
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Old 01-05-2007, 01:35 PM
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Hi Guys, I've got a 763 with the Goodyear Trackman Tracks, a ott rubber track. Need em, love, can't live without them! They were on the machine when I bought it , now up to 1000 hrs and no problems at all. Will say they are better on flat mud than muddy slopes, but they have given me more hours of work after rain than I would have had with a tired machine. Have been pondering the steel ott chain type for the spring this year, but only for new construction sites, has anyone seen the type I'm referring to? They are on ebay for $500.00 and have a little video that is pretty impressive. www.tractiontracks.com/media/tt_3.wmv
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Old 01-05-2007, 06:04 PM
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Thanks guys. Real tracks are definately more expensive but what John described is exactly the scenario that runs through my head as what I want to avoid. It really seems to me like a track machine is a better fit. And I will probably look at low hour used (I think they call it "pre-owned" these days) machine so the price difference is even less.
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