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A Crawler tractor (also called: track-type tractor, tracked vehicle, or track-laying vehicle) is a vehicle that runs on tracks instead of wheels. Typically used as part of an Engineering vehicle once additional attachments have been added, such as a bulldozer blade, or a ripper. For Farm use usually fitted with a 3-point linkage for fitting Mounted implements. But most earlt machines just used trailed implements attached to the drawbar.
The principal design advantages of tracked over wheeled vehicles are that they are in contact with a larger surface area than would generally be the case with a wheeled vehicle, and as a result exert a much lower 'Ground Pressure' on the ground being traversed than a conventional wheeled vehicle of the same weight. This makes them suitable for use on soft, low friction and uneven ground such as mud, ice and snow. The principal disadvantage is that tracks are a more complex mechanism than a wheel, and relatively prone to failure modes such as snapped or derailed tracks.
Some specialist operations use vehicles equipped with very wide tracks called Low Ground Pressure (LGP) machines, such as for Peat Harvesting or Bog work.
Other versions are fitted with attachments such as scraper boxes, or side mounted jibs and large counter weights to lift long lengths of pipe lines for installation, usually working in groups.
- The crawler tractor was the basis of the first designs of tank.
- Crawlers equipped with a blade are called bulldozers, and used for construction and earthmoving projects.
- Crawler tractors fitted with a front loader & bucket, are called Tracked shovels or Tracked loaders.
- Crawler design have been intermittently popular for farm use.
Crawler Mounted (not Tractors)
- The space shuttle is transported to its launch site by a large Crawler-Transporter.
- The largest crawler in the world is the German bagger 288 (A Bucket wheel) excavator .
Wikipedia extract (2 paragraphs)