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When Dumper Trucks Require Caterpillar Tracks

When Dumper Trucks Require Caterpillar Tracks

In the world of heavy equipment, different machines can do the same job in very different ways to suit unique sets of circumstances, and nowhere is this more evident than the variety of dumptrucks on offer.

The basic concept of a dumper truck is very simple with a basic, specific purpose; it is a big truck with an open bed that can be lifted to deposit the typically loose material being stored.

Despite this, they rely on fascinating and complex hydraulics to function and can differ greatly in design.

This is not only in terms of sheer size but whether they are designed for exclusively off-road use or on roads, whether they need to be small enough to be manoeuvrable around building sites or whether they dump backwards, forwards or to the side.

However, there is one other change that allows dumper trucks to work in some of the most difficult and treacherous terrain around, where the typically huge wheels on a standard truck are replaced with continuous tracks.

Also known as caterpillar tracks, continuous track propulsion works by wrapping a band of treads around two or more wheels. The wheels turn and pull the treads around, moving the whole vehicle forward, and providing exceptional traction in rougher terrain.

This works because of the larger surface area of the tracks compared to a set of tyres, which have the potential risk of being bogged down and stuck in soft terrain, allowing heavier vehicles to travel on softer terrain.

They also are hard-wearing and long-lasting, especially if extremely heavy-duty metal treads are used. However, due to the damage they can potentially cause to roads, rubber treads are typically used instead, which still provide traction benefits but without the added damage.

Whilst most commonly associated with bulldozers and tanks, they are sometimes seen with dumper trucks in certain regions where there is a prominent risk of even a heavy-duty truck getting stuck.