Wheels vs tracked tractor - advantages and disadvantages
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Sometimes it is very difficult to choose a tractor on wheels or tracks because both systems offer certain performance features. Moreover, each system has certain strengths and weaknesses.
In this article, you will find a series of advantages and disadvantages for both wheels and tracks. By analyzing all these points you can make a decision about the next purchase of your tractor.
Choosing the best system depends on many factors, including traction, ground pressure, suspension and direction, but also on the ground you want to work on.
The traction is higher if you use the wheels instead of the track, but these results also depend on the type of soil.
If you want a lower pressure on the ground, you have to choose the tracks. They have a better weight distribution than the wheels and are more suitable for soft ground.
A research by Elmer's Manufacturing shows that a trailer loaded with 3 tons of grain is 50% easier to carry than a tracked tractor versus one on wheels in the same field conditions.
In the following you can analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each type, both for wheels and for tracks.
Advantages and disadvantages of wheeled tractors:
Wheels are the most used with tractors because of the speed movement they offer.
Generally, wheels are used due to:
• Low cost - the wheels are much cheaper than the tracks;
• Speed - Compared to the tracks, the wheels are easier to move and the speed of movement is higher;
• Handling - Wheels provide higher handling in comparison with the tracks, which are quite difficult to handle;
• Low weight - the tracks are much heavier than the wheels, and if the mass of the tractor is a priority for you, you will definitely choose the wheels;
• Simplicity – a wheel is much easier to repair/change than the tracks
• Used materials - wheels can be made of materials that fulfil the environmental conditions.
Disadvantages of wheels
Using wheels is not always the best solution. There are situations where the wheels are not the best choice.
• Obstacles - Depending on the terrain, the tractor may encounter some small or large obstacles to pass. For a wheel to cross a vertical obstacle, it must be at least twice as high as the obstacle;
• Snow - the tracks have a better grip on the snow than the wheels.
UtilBen wheeled tractors:
Advantages and disadvantages of tracked tractors
Generally, trackers are used due to:
• Traction - traction is very high including on slippery surfaces such as snow or wet concrete;
• Efficient energy - in comparison to the wheels, the high performance tracks and the well-optimized traction system offer additional energy efficiency;
• Rough terrain - tracked machines can work very well on rough terrain. They can climb and descend stairs, overcome obstacles or cross trenches;
• Weight distribution - the weight of tracked tractors is very well distributed throughout its surface;
• Appearance - Tracked tractors give a feeling of a much stronger product.
Disadvantages of tracked tractors:
• Low speed - due to the much more complex mechanical system, tracked tractors have a much lower speed than those on wheels;
• More difficult to handle - Tracked tractors are more precise in terms of maneuverability and require more rotational power;
• Short life- the life of the tracks is quite small, which is much more available at break or blocking.
UtilBen tracked tractors:
It is hard to declare a winner in this situation, because each system has a different purpose. It depends on the field in which you want to use the tractor and the land on which it will be used.