Crawler carriers are the perfect option here if leaving the grounds undisturbed is a requirement of the job you are performing. It also can be the perfect solution if you need to avoid leaving ruts behind since tracked dumpers will not get stuck nor create holes. (Pipeline Machinery photo)
When it comes to off-road construction projects, only a few types of specialized equipment is available to contractors out there.
But between articulated trucks, crawler carriers and wheel loaders, what is the best solution out there for contractors?
Given that each have their own specific benefits, the short answer is quite simply that it depends on the application you are performing. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the highlight benefits for crawler carriers, more specifically for Prinoth's Panther line-up.
"When it comes to moving massive amounts of dirt or material nothing beats a 40-ton articulated or rigid frame dump truck — they can move mountains in a matter of days," according to Prinoth's Equipment World magazine.
Now, while articulated dump trucks offer enhanced maneuvering abilities, tighter turning radiuses and have a lower center of gravity than rigid frame trucks, there are situations where you need all this maneuvering capacity to transport smaller amounts of material or implements on steep inclines or on soft grounds or even in rugged, hard-to-reach areas. That's when you call for a rubber track crawler carrier.
There are quite a few different names for these vehicles… tracked vehicles, rubber track-mounted dump trucks, crawler carriers, crawler dumpers, tracked carriers, tracked dumpers, tracked utility vehicles, off-road tracked vehicles, utility tracked vehicles or all-terrain tracked vehicles and a few different styles of technologies as well.
The Prinoth Panther line of crawler dumpers run on a rubber-track undercarriage and are available with both a straight chassis or with a rotating upper structure resembling that of excavators.
Here's an overview of some of the things you should bear in mind before deciding if a Prinoth crawler carrier is the perfect vehicle for your application.
Payload is important to consider here. Depending on the time you have to do the job and the amount of material you need to move, productivity will probably be the first factor to consider in your decision.
Let's take a look at the options offered to you:
- Articulated trucks hold considerable quantities, with the smallest, the Hydrema 707, carrying up to 14,000 lbs. in a single trip and all the major brands ranging from 40,000 to more than 130,000 lb.
- The payload capacity in the Prinoth line of crawler dumpers ranges from 12,000 to 33,500 lb. from the smallest model called the Panther T6 to the biggest dumper, the Panther T16. Now you'll understand that the T and number combination of these names represent the tonnage their trucks can move for you. This option would be your mid-size range with regards to payload.
- Finally, you have wheel loaders which also can perform some off-road tasks such as backfilling or pipeline padding. Most big wheel loaders carry a maximum of 8 cu. yds. and most range from 2 to 6 cu. yds. in capacity. The biggest tracked skid steers carry just half a cubic yard in their buckets.
Here, no one product really has the advantage yet. It just depends on the job you are performing and the constraints of that job. Since Prinoth's crawler carriers haul more than most tracked skid steers and wheel loaders but less than articulated dumpers, one could argue they are the perfect mid-size solution.
Ground pressure is the first and foremost reason why tracked dumpers exist. Because articulated dumpers run on tires, they will inevitably tear up the ground when turning and even when getting from A to B. These vehicles generate ground pressures of 30 to 60 psi.
In contrast, the Panther T7R for example, even when it's fully loaded with 15,432 lbs., exerts just 4.99 psi due to its rubber tracks and its high travel undercarriage. When running unloaded, this vehicle offers a low 3.00 psi of ground pressure. The difference is considerable.
Crawler carriers are the perfect option here if leaving the grounds undisturbed is a requirement of the job you are performing. It also can be the perfect solution if you need to avoid leaving ruts behind since tracked dumpers will not get stuck nor create holes.
Everyone knows that when driving a truck or a wheel loader, at the end of the road or the way, you have to back up and turn around to reload or dump. This will take more space, and will likely create ruts or leave big tire marks behind. Tracked dumpers are the perfect solution to this problem.
Some models, like the Prinoth Panther T7R and T14R for example are rotating dumpers. That means that their upper structure rotates 360-degrees over the lower part of the vehicle.
The tracks are always ready to go forward again with the help of a quick direction reset feature. This saves time for the operator and increases safety for everyone on the job site with fewer vehicle displacements.
The crawler carriers' advantage of being able to work in tight areas, maneuvering around on crowded construction sites and not creating unnecessary thread marks everywhere on the ground all in one machine is a huge one.
Tracks are not made to go as fast as tires but rather to reach areas where regular wheels won't make it or will get stuck. So there is no doubt here that articulated trucks and wheel loaders are faster being able to run at speeds up to 35 mph or better. However, the average speed of most crawler carriers in the market is 6 mph while the Prinoth Panther vehicles average a much higher speed, ranging from 8 to 9 mph. They have a real advantage in their market because their high speed combined with their high payload provides contractors with a better level of productivity getting the job done up to 30 percent quicker.
In conclusion, the unique design of the Panther crawler carriers offers a great solution to contractors looking to move material or equipment in remote areas, soft soils, or just overall in off-road construction projects. Examples of the most common applications include river and beaches restorations, lake reclamation, installation and maintenance of power electric transmission or distribution lines, working in and around wetlands, hauling material and equipment on pipeline jobs which often require minimal environmental impact.
And as the Equipment World article stated, "In the earthmoving world, sales and interest in renting these machines continue to grow".
For more information, visit https://www.prinoth.com/en/tracked-vehicles/.
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