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Old 12-31-2011, 11:04 PM   #21
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: The Frozen North
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Default Re: Built your own tracked vehicle?

Nate - good pictures, i like the bus, would be interesting to see that sucker go downtown in anchorage

Rdrash - you make some good points, especially about the difference between sno-cat and stuff like the Snow Trac picture you posted, i didn't really know the difference about that stuff untill you pointed it out honestly.

my main idea was keeping it simple 2 tracks w/ suspension and drive and idle wheels is plenty complicated and maintenaince intensive as it is, and with 2 tracks you could have what they refer to as a "zero turn radius" where if you were to stop one track, or even reverse on track, you're turning radius could be as small as the width/length of the vehicle, as long as you don't get sea sick it works well ( ask me how i found that out ).

two tracks would be plenty for a home built rig, especially if it was mostly simple car parts and some "rocket city redneck" engineering.

my opinion on 4 tracks is " why ?" the reason for that is you have 4 tracks to maintain instead of 2 , which means you would have to find a way to turn the tracks, which means either A. one pair wouldn't be powered or 2. you'd have to make the drive train flexible enough to handle so much metal moving, plus the stress of tracks on a drive system, plus the torque and tension of things bending from "dead ahead" to simply turn right or left, plus the steering wheel and the parts that would drive them and the tools/parts needed to steer the vehicle.

also you could not have a zero turning radius rig like a 2 track design, as one pair of tracks would overtake the other dragging them sideways and more than likely throwing two tracks, instead of one ( ones bad enough ) and you would get a seperation in the tracks, and therefore the weight of the vehicle wouldn't have as low a ground pressure as one with one pair of tracks going the full length on each side.

i've looked at alot of designs, real and fictional and the closest ones i've seen are an old Russian tank i think they called the Troyanov Tractor and a US tank called the T-28 and all 4 tracks are side by side here's one link to a site about them -

the biggest reasons the military never used 4 tracks on any one single vehicle, is maintenance, complexity and cost, and the Abrams with it's 75 tons and fairly gutless turbine engine, can still navigate pretty deep snow, sand and mud, i'd prefer a diesel piston engine for a tracked vehicle simply to get actual torque out of it instead of the "awesome 1500 horsepower turbine" that has no torque at all. but it makes a pretty good space heater in the winter time when things get frozen solid. also the Isreali Merkava, especially the Mk4, has been noted as " digging it's own battle position" by pivot steering, so if i can twist and turn on it's own axis, and make a little "tank bunker" for itself, and still be able to pull out of a deep enough hole to hide the entire hull, all you'd have to do is adjust the hiight and angle of the "lead end" of the track, as long as it's the idle arm/wheel that's not hard, the drive sprocket can be anywhere you want it truly, but the front or rear is nearly universal, with the exception of some bulldozers. but as for digging in when you pivot steer, with a full length track each track is going in two directions, the back half is going one way, the front half going the other direction, so that tends to keep things fairly even and when you start going forward they tend to ride up over the divot you would push into whatever you were driving on.

Last edited by rednektanker; 12-31-2011 at 11:13 PM.
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