Excavators That Can Switch Between Wheels and Tracks

There are reasons why excavators are offered two choices of mobility: wheels or tracks. Both have their pros and cons. For example, wheels allow for quicker mobility, without damaging delicate surfaces but they sacrifice stability because of their higher center of gravity. Tracks, on the other hand, enable it to travel over unforgiving terrains and enable more stability because of the lower CG afforded by tracks. But it is nasty to delicate surfaces like lawns, plus it is super slow and makes quite a ding when it travels. It is always a difficult decision when it comes to choosing wheels or tracks. Well, not anymore.

Excavators That Can Switch Between Wheels and Tracks

As far back as 2017, the excavator industry has had a major development that eliminated this dilemma once and for all. Folks, meet the excavator that can switch between wheels and tracks. The obvious pros are adaptability. You can move faster without damaging the surfaces when the situation calls for it, and if it needs to work on uneven, unforgiving terrain, it could too. The operator can switch between the two modes quickly.

However, I do see a few cons. The most obvious would be the additional weight, additional components, and a more complex hydraulic system. Earlier in my career, I have dealt with many construction equipment, and trust me if I say hydraulic system is a pain to maintain. Broken hoses are one of the most common repair works required and therefore having more of it will not be fun.

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In addition, I see that the retracted wheels inevitably increase the length of the vehicle which means the operator will not be work the bucket nearer to the machine. The wheels get in the way. But aside from those I think this will save businesses some money in equipment investment. I mean, instead of buying two; one with wheels and one with tracks, businesses can now just buy one if excavators aren’t the core machines in the work.

Excavators That Can Switch Between Wheels and Tracks

We have no idea who came up with this brilliant solution. According to a post we found on Facebook by GIGadgets, it is said it was developed by TATSUO and Rhinoceros but I have had no luck in locating the websites, let alone information on these two organizations. I found a Perth company selling a wheel and track dual-function excavator from UHI for 79,990 AUD (about US$52,837). If you are keen and located in Australia, you can reach out to Bill’s Machinery for more information.

Images: UHI.