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1995 - Volume #19, Issue #1, Page #07
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Rubber Tracked Utility Vehicle

"It's different from anything available on the market," says Fred Mowatt, a Burk's Falls, Ontario, inventor who built nearly every piece of his rubber tracked utility vehicle - including the rubber tracks - from the ground up out of spare parts and equipment he had on hand.
"It's something like the Bombardiers they make in Quebec, but it doesn't operate like one of them at all. It steers better than any factory built machine I've ever driven,"
Mowatt says.
The 60-in. wide by 7 1/2-ft. long utility vehicle weighs 1 1/4 tons. It's powered by a 1975 Datsun 1200 c.c. car engine and has a Datsun 3-speed automatic transmission as well.
The open seated, two passenger tracked utility vehicle is about 4 ft. high and has disk brakes and heavy duty double chain drive, one for each track. That's so tracks can be operated independently - one track can be stopped, while the other runs - for turns as on a Bulldozer.
There's one drive sprocket and three idler wheels per side. Drive sprockets are off an old Muskeg Buggy, which Mowatt had to make new centers for in order to bolt them to the vehicle's axles. Idler wheels are old 8-in. wide boat trailer wheels.
"I cut a 42-in. wide conveyor belt into strips 131/2-in. long and 6 1/4-in. wide and spliced them together to make track loops that are 18-in. wide," Mowatt says. "I used real soft, 5/8-in. thick, 2-ply rubber that won't freeze, even at 50 degrees below, like harder rubber or nylon tracks will."
Mowatt next attached steel cleats to the tracks to boost traction. He used J. 5 Bombardier cleats, which he had to repunch and rebolt so they'd fit the 18-in. wide tracks. "It took me almost 90 hours and 400 bolts to put those cleats on the tracks," he says.
Mowatt bought only a few parts, including drive chains, sprockets and 6 new ball bearings, to make his machine so he says he doesn't have a lot of money invested in it. "I even built all my own drive shafts and connectors," he says. "There's no problem building them."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Fred Mowatt, Box 96, Burk's Falls, Ontario POA 1CO Canada (ph 705-382-5272).
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1995 - Volume #19, Issue #1