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Has anyone done any plowing with a compact track loader?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by gallucci, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. gallucci

    gallucci Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I wanted to get a skid steer to be able to move built up snow but went with tracks for summer work. My understanding from the salesman is that they are not too good in snow, Anybody out there using them and having any luck. I don't want to dump a bunch of money into another blade if it is just going to slide and spin. Any suggestions are appreciated. What kind of blade are you getting the best results out of?
  2. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    tracks etc

    The word is worthless in my opinion as they will sink like a stone in snow that is as deep as the machines ground clearance and I had to push my self out with the bucket on the machine I rented.

    They are finish dozer tracks if in steel with the flat tread with very small cleats.

    If you can buy the wider track drive and roller sets for the wider rubber tracks sinking is not an issue

    the steel tracks are no wider than the widest light materials buckets and that is the problem as they are heavier and the cleats are not ment for
    heavy digging and pushing (finish dozer work only)

    The issue is one of flotation as the tracks are not wide enough to maintain a one or two psi ground pressure or less and thus it sinks.

    for every increase in ground pressure per square inch it adds 144 pounds to each square foot

    one psi is 144 pounds of ground pressure per square foot of track
    two " " 288 " " " " " " " " "
    three " " 432 " " " " " " " " "

    If you have a skid steer with 12 square feet of track in contact with the ground and the machine wieght
    is 5500 pounds with fuel the ground pressure per square inch is:

    5500 divide by 12 is 458 pounds per square foot(rounded lower)
    458 divided by 144 (one square foot )equals 3 pounds per square inch (rounded)

    narrrow tracks have the greatest ground pressure per square inch or per sqaure foot (depending upon
    total track length in contact with the ground).

    Thats why john deere and others are adding very long narrow passive rubber track kits to grain wagons and fertiliser wagons to reduce the carrier ground pressure on farm land to reduce compaction.

    If the skid steer has counter weights on the rear it increases the total ground pressure.

    the portion of track directly in contact with the ground is the contact area measured for ground pressure not the total track length.

    the Kubota RTV's have the same problem as the Mattracks people do not supply a wide enough track to keep them from sinking and thats why they do not work well with them as the engines are water cooled and have more weight versus the Polaris Rhino which has the air cooled engines.

    They screwed up big time with them as they should have provided wider tracks and steering stops to allow the wider tracks to work as the rears would be just as wide and they would not sink then-

    They did not pay attention to the weights of the Kubota RTV on the front end and
    if they had weighed the front and rear separately they would have not made this mistake.

    ( they paid more attension to the overall width of the RTV than the axle wieght which is what they should have done, as they would have seen the need for the wider track sets, as they took the machines gross wieght and divided by four and decided on the track sets for the gross weight which was a mistake versus the axle wieght.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  3. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    Go in the skid steer picture threat. I think its Circle City plowing he has a brand new cat Track machine said its the cats ass. There are also a few vids on Utube of track machines. You can get Polar treads for some machines which are specifiably designed for snow only.

    I was going to go that way but I do too much pavement / gravel work and traveling on the road or else I would have jumped on the track band wagon.

    best of luck.
  4. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    u have to realize that there is a difference between Compact Track Loaders (CTLs) and Multi Terrain Loaders (MTLs)

    most guys say that ctls are not very good at snow, track style, higher ground pressures, etc... although guys who use mtls, myself included, say they work better than a wheeled machine.

    asv's and cat machines with asv undercarriages (most models that end with 7's) have these suspended undercarriages and multi bar tracks that allow them to do really well in the snow.

    i have an rc100 that weighs around 10,200 with bucket and it only has 3.5psi of ground pressure.
  5. bullettooth81

    bullettooth81 Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    There are guys up here who have bought a set of used tracks for their skid steers, then they put studs in the tracks to help with the slippage. Seems to work really good.
  6. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Whats the difference between a CTL and a MTL?

    We've used our Cat 257B for snow pushing for 5 or 6 years now and it performs flawlessly.
  7. Kodiakguy

    Kodiakguy Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    If your questions is "will a track machine work with a pusher or blade on pavement" then my answer would be to get some snow specific tracks. The tracked machine i used once in snow had rubber tracks, it sucked in packed and polished snow, did nothing but spin tracks. Any ice under the tracks and forget it, the machine becomes totaly useless.

    As for blade, Boss now makes a pusher now, we have had good luck with their plows. But if I was buying a pusher I would buy the sectional snow plow. A buddie of mine, whos also a competitor of ours, bought one last year. I was skeptical of how it would work, but sectionals add is right on the money about it and in my opinion its well worth the extra money.

    Hope this helps.
  8. Jsch2000

    Jsch2000 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    I run a Takeuchi 130. Have used it for snow removal for 4 winters now. I gave up using it with a plow or bucket. I now use it only with a snowblower. It is true once the pavement gets polished or glazed, traction becomes almost non-existance. As long as you push straight with out trying to make power turns, it is possible to push. Studding the tracks can help. But you the risk marring the pavement.
  9. Bird21

    Bird21 Senior Member
    Messages: 539

    I run my Case 450clt for snow with Polar treads and it is awesome. The Oem tracks worked ok until the snow was packed or icy then it sucked. I will be adding another tracked machine in the next year or so and will use that for snow as well. The Polar treads made a world of difference, night and day....... The operator that runs it says that he would rather use the tracked machine versus a wheeled unit. We do a lot of townhomes where snow placement is always an issue with the tracked machine we can push the snow out into the detention basins and clear the lots free of piles which the wheeled units would just sink and get stuck in the snow. ( Extra charge of course for snow relocating)

    I really believe it's all in the tracks, I have heard ASV and cats do well with the Oem tracks as well.

    Good luck!!
  10. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    One has rubber boogie wheels and one has steel. Different style tracks also.

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  11. gallucci

    gallucci Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks for all the imput guys! I am using the new M series Bobcat T630 and the lbs per sq foot is 5.5 psi with 12.6 in track about 9000 lbs. It is a c-track so we will have to wait and see. I think I better wait and see what it does with the bucket before I buy any blades. I use an 8 ft Boss Heavy Duty Blade on my truck and it seems to work well. Again, I appreciate the imput, the bucket is about an inch wider than the tracks so I hope it helps but I am not expecting anything impressive. The dealer did give me the heads up that if I was just using it for snow removal that this track was not for hills, up front good guy. I will have to wait and see. One thing I do know, when I come back in my second life I want the name Johnny Royal. Now that is impressive!
  12. gallucci

    gallucci Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Sorry not PSI, per square foot....Sorry Leon
  13. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    You can have it...i'm trading it for Hugh M. Hefner.:drinkup:
  14. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Should have known that. Thanks for the lesson. Those damn rubber bogies are expensive. I just got a quote for new tracks....$1700.00 a side!. Only 1200 hours on the machine...I think the next ones will have good ol fashioned rubber tires.
  15. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    No prob. You pay up front for the tracks also. If you do allot of pool installs and need to be out there early early spring and late late fall its worth it or do allot of grading. I think Cat wanted an extra 8gs if not more for a track machine. No thanks. I saw a used one with 900hrs it was god damn expensive too.
  16. windrowsnow

    windrowsnow Senior Member
    from nw ohio
    Messages: 168

    my buddy has a ten foot box on the front of hsi cat track machine. he said its a beast
  17. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Reality is we need a tracked machine now that we've had one for 5 or 6 years. Its hard to go back to a traditional s/s once you realize the benefits of the tracked machine. All depends on the type of work your doing.

    In our case, we are going to be replacing our 257 with another (just dont know what yet) and keeping our Bobcat 773 for when working on gravel.
  18. sobriant74

    sobriant74 Junior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 4

    Bridgestone polartread tracks rock in the snow

    I don't know about prices for getting them installed, since we always install our tracks ourselves, but I have seen the polartread T190 tracks on ebay recently for around $2050 including shipping. These tracks rock and we only bought one set last year to try them out, but this year we have sets for all of our CTL's. Once the snow falls we'll switch to them for the rest of the winter. They do fine on asphalt and mud, and dont tear up lawns/grass either. On ice and snow they just cant be beat. One loading dock we use to tear up by banging our track loader into the walls, etc is now cleaned easily and quickly without any trouble. My two cents.
  19. ford550

    ford550 Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    I have both a MTL and Wheeled machine we use with pushers. Once the snow is packed and polished both machines suck, but still work. The ASV type undercarriages/tracks work great. If you get a CTL then you will need to get the Polar Treads, I heard they kick butt.
  20. mrsnowman

    mrsnowman Senior Member
    Messages: 126

    I don't know about other machines with tracks, but we have an asv RC30 that is an awsome little machine for snow. We have a couple of blades. A seven foot buyers blade with welded on wings and poly edges. We also use a 4 foot angle blade with a 1.5 inch poly edge. That machine cuts through anything. If someone tells you that a track machine can't plow then they haven't tried the asv 30. The only issue is the ability of the machine to handle a lot of snow. The blades fill up fast. The 30 is only rated for about 700lbs of lift. Realisticly, we can lift about 1000lbs. On the upside, it's quick and the manuverablilty is great. We can climb snow piles that our loaders stack. You will never get stuck. We use it for sidewalks and cleaning parking spots out during the day at our larger lots.