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He Switched From Tracks To Tires
We noted with interest a recent article in the British farm magazine Farmer's Weekly which told about a large farm operation which decided to switch from rubber tracks back to tires.
  The farmer had owned two Cat Challengers for years. But when it came time to get a new machine, he decided to switch back to tires for a variety of reasons.
  The first reason was cost. He could get a conventional "tired" tractor for considerably less. The second reason was traction. Farm manager Sandy Rutherford says he'd had problems plowing sugar beet ground during winter months. He says the lower ground pressure of rubber tracks sometimes actually reduces traction. Under wet, cold conditions, he says the Challengers would "snake" back and forth so badly they'd have to reduce speeds to do a good job. Sometimes they would have to wait for the ground to dry out.
  Another factor was maintenance costs. Rutherford says tire wear rates are clearly less than tracks. Service costs for the "tired" tractor are about 1/3 that of the Cat Challenger, when track replacement costs are figured in.
  A final factor for the farm operation was road speed. The tractor they bought a Renault has a much higher highway speed than the Challenger so they can get to far flung fields faster.

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #4