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Why Do Bulldozers Have Tracks?

Bulldozers come in all shapes and sizes but one thing almost always stays the same – the tracks that keep them on the go. Because of their size, weight and the jobs they have to do, bulldozers use tracks similar to those found on military tanks rather than wheels. Have you ever wondered why they need tracks and not wheels?

I say most bulldozers because there are one or two models that have wheels instead of tracks. Tracks have several distinct advantages over wheels. If you think about the type of work and the kinds of environments that bulldozers operate in you may have a better understanding.

Wheels come with one major problem – they tend to get stuck whenever the surface is a little soft. This could be mud, sand or just soft ground. A bulldozer’s claim to fame is its strength and a lot of that strength comes from its actual weight. Bulldozers are built close to the ground and convert the power of their engine into strength, which then allows it to use its own weight to push (or pull) heavy objects or gouge out the ground.

Tracks are a major component in this power conversion. These tracks distribute the weight of the bulldozer, particularly around the engine itself. With wheeled vehicles, the weight is distributed at the four corners and in the very center – of course, there is no wheel in the very center of the vehicle so that power conversion is lost.

So to answer the original question – bulldozers have tracks that help them stay above the ground rather than sinking into it and these track help the bulldozer convert engine power into pushing and pulling power. Without tracks a bulldozer would not be as effective in the work it performs.

If you undertake bulldozer training you will get a better understanding of tracks and their importance. You will also be trained in how to perform basic inspection and maintenance task on these tracks – after all, without those tracks, you don’t have a bulldozer.

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