A tracked machine, also known as a crawler, is a heavy-duty vehicle or equipment that operates on tracks instead of wheels. This type of machinery is commonly used in construction, agriculture, mining, and other industries for its versatility and maneuverability in various terrains.

There are several types of tracked machines, each with its own unique capabilities and uses. These include:

Each machine is designed for specific tasks and can be equipped with different attachments for added functionality. Tracked machines are used in various industries for a wide range of applications. In construction, they are used for tasks such as grading, digging, and hauling materials. In agriculture, they are used for plowing, harvesting, and other farming tasks. In mining, they are used for moving heavy loads and excavating materials. Other common uses include landscaping and forestry work.

One of the main benefits of using tracked machines is their versatility. They can operate on a variety of terrains, including rough or uneven surfaces, and are able to tackle different tasks with the use of attachments. Additionally, tracked machines have increased traction due to the large surface area covered by the tracks, allowing them to operate in difficult conditions such as mud or snow. They also have better maneuverability, making it easier to navigate tight spaces.

Tracked machines also have lower ground pressure, helping to reduce damage to the ground or surface they operate on, making them ideal for use in sensitive or delicate environments. They also offer improved stability, especially on uneven terrain, ensuring safety for the operator and those around the machine.

However, proper precautions must be taken when operating tracked machines to ensure safety. These include proper training, regular maintenance, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), following manufacturer’s guidelines, and properly securing the machine before operation. By following these safety precautions, operators can ensure a safe and efficient use of tracked machines.

What Is a Tracked Machine?

A tracked machine is a type of heavy equipment used for various tasks, such as construction, agriculture, and mining. It is equipped with continuous tracks rather than wheels, providing enhanced stability and traction on challenging terrains. Tracked machines include bulldozers, excavators, and track loaders, and they are favoured for their versatility and ability to operate in rough conditions.

What Are the Different Types of Tracked Machines?

Tracked machines are essential pieces of equipment for various industries such as construction, agriculture, and mining. These machines are designed to operate on tracks instead of wheels, making them more versatile and efficient in rough terrains. In this section, we will discuss the different types of tracked machines and their specific functions. From the powerful bulldozers to the compact skid steers, each machine has its unique capabilities and purposes. Let’s take a closer look at the various types of tracked machines and their applications.

1. Bulldozers

Bulldozers are versatile tracked machines used in construction, mining, and forestry. They excel at pushing heavy materials, clearing obstacles, and leveling terrain. With their powerful engines and wide tracks, bulldozers provide exceptional traction, making them indispensable in challenging terrains.

Interestingly, the largest bulldozer, the Komatsu D575A-3SD, weighs around 152 tons and can move up to 90 cubic yards of material in one scoop.

2. Excavators

Excavators are versatile machines used in construction, mining, and landscaping. They feature a boom, dipper, and bucket for efficient digging and material handling. Excavators come in various sizes, from mini excavators for small-scale projects to large excavators for heavy-duty tasks. These machines offer precision and control, making them essential for excavation and trenching work.

In 1835, William Otis created the first steam shovel, a precursor to modern excavators. Steam shovels revolutionized earthmoving tasks, laying the foundation for the development of excavators over the years.

3. Skid Steers

Skid steers are versatile, compact machines used in construction, landscaping, and agriculture. They feature four wheels, providing excellent manoeuvrability in tight spaces. Equipped with lift arms, they support various attachments like buckets, forks, and hydraulic breakers. Operators should follow safety protocols, including proper training and wearing personal protective equipment when using skid steers.

4. Crawler Loaders

Crawler loaders, which are part of the tracked machine family, are versatile earthmoving machines. They are equipped with tracks for exceptional traction and stability, making them suitable for various terrains. These machines are commonly used in construction, mining, and landscaping for tasks such as material handling and backfilling.

5. Tracked Dumpers

Tracked dumpers are versatile machines used in various industries, such as construction, mining, and agriculture. They offer exceptional off-road capabilities, making them ideal for uneven terrains and harsh environments. These machines can carry heavy loads across challenging landscapes, enhancing productivity and efficiency.

Fact: Tracked dumpers, like the Morooka MST2200VD, can handle payloads of up to 22,000 pounds, making them indispensable in demanding construction and mining projects.

6. Tracked Carriers

Tracked carriers are versatile machines used in various industries, including construction, mining, and forestry. They feature a tracked undercarriage for enhanced stability and traction on challenging terrains. Tracked carriers are equipped with flatbeds for transporting heavy materials and equipment efficiently. These machines require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Operators must undergo proper training to operate tracked carriers safely and effectively.

Tracked carriers have a rich history dating back to World War II, where they were utilized for military purposes. Over time, their design and functionality evolved, leading to their widespread use across diverse industries today.

What Are the Uses of Tracked Machines?

Tracked machines are versatile and powerful vehicles that are widely used in various industries. In this section, we will discuss the various uses of these machines and how they play a crucial role in construction, agriculture, mining, landscaping, and forestry. From moving heavy materials to navigating tough terrains, tracked machines have become an essential tool for many professionals. Let’s dive deeper into the specific applications of these machines and discover their importance in different fields.

1. Construction

  1. Site Preparation: Clear the construction area of any obstacles and debris.
  2. Foundation Construction: Excavate the site and lay the foundation for the building or structure.
  3. Structural Framing: Assemble the structural framework of the building.
  4. Enclosure: Install walls, roof, and windows to enclose the structure.
  5. Interior Finishing: Complete interior work such as flooring, painting, and fixtures.

For an efficient construction process, ensure proper coordination among different trades and regular inspection of the construction site.

2. Agriculture

Soil Preparation:

Tracked machines like tractors and ploughs are essential for soil tilling and preparation.

Planting and Seeding:

Tracked seeders and planters ensure precise and efficient planting in large agricultural fields.

Crop Care:

Tracked sprayers and spreaders aid in applying fertilisers and pesticides while minimising soil compaction.


Tracked combines and harvesters facilitate the efficient harvesting of crops like wheat, corn, and soybeans.


Tracked transportation vehicles assist in moving harvested crops from fields to storage facilities.

Did you know? Tracked machines in agriculture reduce soil compaction, preserving soil structure and fertility.

3. Mining

Exploration: Conduct thorough research on available mineral resources and their distribution.

Site Preparation: Clear the area and create a suitable foundation for mining operations.

Extraction: Utilize specialized tracked machines like excavators and crawler loaders for efficient mineral extraction.

Transportation: Use tracked dumpers and carriers to move extracted materials to processing or storage facilities.

Safety: Implement strict safety protocols and provide proper training for machine operators.

When engaging in mining activities, it’s crucial to prioritise safety and adhere to environmental regulations for sustainable operations.

4. Landscaping

Assess the landscaping area to determine the terrain, soil type, and any obstacles such as trees or rocks.

Plan the layout and design based on the client’s preferences and the natural features of the landscape.

Prepare the ground by clearing debris, levelling uneven areas, and addressing drainage issues.

Select suitable plants, trees, and hardscape materials that thrive in the local climate and complement the landscape.

Implement the landscaping plan meticulously, ensuring proper installation of plants, irrigation systems, and structural elements.

For an impressive landscaping outcome, integrate native plants, incorporate sustainable practices, and prioritise eco-friendly materials.

5. Forestry

Timber Harvesting:

Site Preparation:

Access to Remote Areas:

Wildlife Habitat Maintenance:

Erosion Control:

What Are the Benefits of Using Tracked Machines?

Tracked machines have become essential equipment in various industries due to their numerous benefits. In this section, we will discuss the advantages of using tracked machines over traditional wheeled machines. From their versatility to improved stability, we will explore how these powerful machines offer a range of benefits that can greatly enhance productivity and efficiency in different work environments. Let’s take a closer look at the unique features that make tracked machines a valuable asset for any project.

1. Versatility

Versatile Applications:



2. Increased Traction

Wider Tracks: Opt for machines with wider tracks to enhance surface contact and reduce ground pressure.

Track Design: Choose machines with track patterns that offer improved grip and traction on various terrains.

Tension Adjustment: Regularly adjust track tension to maintain optimal traction and prevent premature wear.

Undercarriage Maintenance: Keep the undercarriage clean and in good condition to ensure maximum traction.

Ground Conditions: Assess ground conditions and adjust machine operation to optimize traction.

During the construction of a new road, a tracked dumper was instrumental in transporting heavy materials through challenging terrains, showcasing the machine’s exceptional traction and stability.

3. Better Maneuverability

Tracked machines offer better manoeuvrability due to their ability to turn within their own footprint. They can navigate through tight spaces and rough terrains with ease, enhancing productivity. Operators can execute precise movements, making them suitable for confined job sites.

Pro-tip: When operating tracked machines, utilise their manoeuvrability to access hard-to-reach areas efficiently, optimising workflow.

4. Lower Ground Pressure

When it comes to tracked machines, lower ground pressure is a significant benefit. This feature reduces soil compaction, allowing machines to operate in sensitive areas without causing damage. It’s especially advantageous in landscaping and agriculture, where preserving soil structure is crucial.

A pro-tip for maximising the benefits of lower ground pressure is to utilise wider tracks or tracks with larger surface areas to further distribute the machine’s weight.

5. Improved Stability

Lower centre of gravity due to the lower position of the tracks.

Even weight distribution across the tracks for improved balance.

Better stability on rough or uneven terrain, reducing the risk of tipping.

Enhanced safety for operators and nearby personnel.

What Are the Safety Precautions When Operating Tracked Machines?

When operating a tracked machine, it is important to prioritize safety to prevent accidents and injury. In this section, we will discuss the essential safety precautions that should be taken when using a tracked machine. From receiving proper training to following manufacturer’s guidelines, each step plays a crucial role in ensuring the safe operation of these powerful machines. Let’s dive into the key safety measures that should be implemented when operating a tracked machine.

1. Proper Training

Understand the machine: Familiarise yourself with the specific tracked machine you will be operating.

Training programmes: Enrol in comprehensive training programmes that cover all aspects of operating tracked machines.

Hands-on experience: Gain practical experience under the supervision of an experienced operator.

Regular updates: Stay updated with the latest safety protocols, operational techniques, and equipment modifications.

Operational guidelines: Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for safe and efficient machine operation.

2. Regular Maintenance

Inspect the undercarriage, tracks, and hydraulic systems for wear and tear. Check fluid levels, including hydraulic fluid, engine oil, and coolant. Examine the condition of filters, and replace them as needed. Test the functionality of safety features, such as lights, alarms, and emergency shutoff systems. Perform regular greasing of moving parts and ensure proper tension in the tracks.

Regular maintenance of tracked machines is crucial for optimal performance and longevity. Adhering to manufacturer’s maintenance schedules and guidelines is vital in keeping these machines in top condition.

3. Wearing Personal Protective Equipment

Assess the workplace to identify potential hazards and determine the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).

Select appropriate PPE such as helmets, gloves, eye protection, and high-visibility clothing.

Train all operators on the correct usage, maintenance, and storage of PPE.

Regularly inspect and maintain PPE to ensure its effectiveness.

Encourage a safety culture where wearing PPE is non-negotiable.

Always prioritise safety by ensuring proper usage of personal protective equipment to mitigate potential risks and enhance overall workplace safety.

4. Following Manufacturer’s Guidelines

Read the equipment manual thoroughly. Ensure all operating instructions and safety guidelines are clearly understood. Regularly inspect the machine and adhere to the maintenance schedule. Stay updated with any recalls or updates from the manufacturer. Seek professional assistance for any uncertainties or concerns.

5. Properly Securing the

Inspect the area to ensure stability and absence of hazards.

Position the machine on a level surface.

Engage the parking brake and shut off the engine.

Lower any attached equipment and disarm hydraulic systems.

Secure the machine using chains, blocks, or wheel chocks.

Fact: Properly securing the machine is crucial to prevent accidents and ensure workplace safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a tracked machine and how does it work? A tracked machine is a type of vehicle that uses a system called continuous track to propel itself. This system consists of a continuous band of treads or track plates that are driven by two or more wheels. The band is typically made of modular steel plates for military vehicles and heavy equipment, or synthetic rubber reinforced with steel wires for lighter vehicles. The large surface area of the tracks provides good traction on soft ground and paved surfaces, making it a reliable vehicle propulsion method.
What are some common types of tracked machines? Tracked vehicles are commonly used in industries such as construction, agriculture, and military. Some examples of tracked machines include bulldozers, excavators, tanks, and even some types of forklifts. These vehicles are designed to be damage resistant and have aggressive treads for added traction and stability.
What are the benefits of using continuous track propulsion systems? Continuous track propulsion systems provide several benefits over traditional rubber tyres. They have a larger surface area, which allows for better weight distribution and lower ground pressure, making them ideal for use on soft ground. They also offer increased traction and maneuverability, allowing them to navigate through rough terrain with ease.
How should operators handle a tracked vehicle for optimal safety? Operators of tracked vehicles, such as telehandlers, should receive proper training and certification before operating the machine. They should also conduct a thorough pre-operation inspection to ensure the vehicle is in safe working condition. Operators should also be cautious of overhead power lines and other potential hazards, and communicate effectively with workers on the ground.
Can tracked machines be used on paved surfaces without causing damage? Yes, tracked machines can be used on paved surfaces without causing damage. The rubber pads or treads on the tracks are designed to protect the surface and prevent any damage. However, it is important for operators to adhere to the machine’s weight and load capacity limits to avoid any potential damage.
Where can I get a free quote for a tracked machine? You can get a free quote for a tracked machine from reputable dealers or manufacturers. They can provide you with information on the different types of tracked vehicles available and their prices. It is also recommended to do some research and compare quotes from multiple sources to get the best deal.