More Mobility Concepts – Extra Wide Tracks

Following on from our recent discussion vehicle mobility this is a video mini-series looking at how vehicle designers approach the need for mobility. The need for extreme mobility in adverse conditions has delivered some extremely interesting solutions that go beyond the traditional wheels v tracks debate.

It is generally accepted that for serious mobility, especially where low surface compaction or high tractive force is needed, tracks are superior to wheels. Another generally accepted fact is that tracks have higher running costs, create more vibration, are noisier and have higher fuel consumption.

Various FRES studies seemed to draw the same conclusions and there are some interesting (although quite old) research papers on the web;

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/docs/2wheels98.pdf

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=AD0744222

http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/eng8171

But, there are a number of technologies and designs that have and are chipping away at these assumptions, wheels and track technology does not stand still.

We all know about the Supacat ATMP and BAE BVs10 Viking but these are the more unusual and mostly civilian solutions.

If these don’t wet your appetite then head over to Unusual Locomotion

Extra Wide Tracks

Pisten Bully

http://www.pistenbully.com/en/products/special-purposes.html

 

Prinoth

http://en.prinoth.com/Utility-Vehicles/Go-Tract%C2%AE-4500

 

 

4 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
S O
S O
February 16, 2012 7:36 pm

Extra weight, extra cost, extra inertia, extra width (train width limits!), extra probability of pressure-fused AT mine hit – extra wide tracks have been limited to snow applications for a reason.
The German army tried width extensions on IIRC Pzkpfw III tracks during WW2 (“Winterketten”; http://preview.tinyurl.com/86knoya) and used exchangeable tracks (narrow and wide) later on in WW2 (Tiger, for example; “Ostketten”).

Maybe that should be revisited, but very deep snow appears to be a rather solved problem for the European theatre because modern tanks have a good-enough power/weight ratio to just push through it even if they sink to the frozen ground below.

Ant
Ant
February 16, 2012 8:43 pm

@TD Fascinating series of posts, thank you I really enjoyed them.

@SO
Thanks for the insights, and point taken about wider meaning worse in many ways.
As a matter of interest, has anyone taken the “Ostketten” idea and put some in storage for that odd occasion?
In terms of revisiting: were you thinking of some terrains not having a firm base to sink down onto, such as really deep peat bogs, like on the Islands Which Must Not Be Named for example… just wondering? (Also perhaps much of Canadian and Russian tundra in the summer, I don’t know).
Do you think the ability to diversify route with better mobility would more than make up for increased mine hit?

How wide would they need to be for a 65+ton MBT?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
February 16, 2012 9:05 pm

Hi S O,

RE “deep snow appears to be a rather solved problem for the European theatre because modern tanks have a good-enough power/weight ratio to just push through it even if they sink to the frozen ground below” I would refer to the CV mobility trials in Norway (against two other IFVs, not MBTs), the point being that power to weight in itself is not solution (always helps)

S O
S O
February 17, 2012 7:00 pm

:
Look up on the “MMP” mean maximum pressure thing; it’s not all about area alone.
http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2010/08/mean-maximum-pressure-paper.html