Tracked vs. Wheeled…

Quite often here at Lumag HQ, we are asked which is better; wheeled or tracked when it comes to our mini dumpers.

The answer is quite simple really- it depends what you’re using it for and where you’re going to be using it. We have listed below some bullet points which may help you come to the decision as to which one is going to be best for you.

What do tracks have in their favour?

  • A wheel has a much smaller surface area for weight distribution, causing it to sink and cause a rut. Once the rut has been made, the equipment is continually pulling the tyre against the ground as the wheel tries to climb out- before falling in again. In the end, you’re left with a rut that’s been compacted, the soil around it has been disturbed and you’ll find it difficult to gain traction to pull yourself and the machine out.
  • Tracks cope well with bumps and raised areas in the soil, whereas a wheel will climb a raised bump and quickly descend down the other side, the tracks will do so more slowly, as the underside of the track has a larger expanse than that of the wheel, meaning that the machine in effect manages to create its own gradient do descend downwards.
  • Both of these points demonstrate that tracked machines are better for soft ground where minimal ground disturbance is required as well as uneven surfaces where you require maximum stability.

What do wheels have in their favour?

  • Wheels offer greater ease when in comes to turning- if the locations you had in mind for your machine were confined or awkward to get to, then you may be better off with a wheeled machine.
  • Maintenance of a wheeled unit may prove more cost effective than that of a tracked one- as you can imagine, replacing a tyre is less costly than replacing set of rubber tracks.
  • Tracked machines tend to have a higher fuel consumption than the wheeled alternatives, and also have a reputation for being slower- however, this would always depend on the size of the engine and the weight you were working with. In smaller machines, this may not be quite so noticeable.

So there we have it! Both mechanisms have their pro’s and cons; it really does depend what you’re going to be using it for when considering which is going to be the best option for you!

(Machines pictured above are the Lumag MD300R and the Lumag MD500!) 



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