Excavators are and always will be considered critical equipment for developmental and construction projects. Tracked and wheeled excavators are necessary for work sites if you need to dig deep into the ground.
While both the excavators on first look might look identical, what they are running on – tracks or wheels – makes a huge difference in benefits or functions. In this article, we will dig deep into the differences between these excavators and highlight the benefits to find out which is best suited for your requirements.
Tracked and Wheeled excavators come in different sizes. Everything is available under these two categories, from mini excavators to heavy-duty excavators.
Tracked Vs Wheeled Excavators: How Good Are They?
Whether you need a wheeled or tracked excavator depends entirely on your requirements and the work site it will be working in. As both these pieces of equipment are used by a range of companies in the construction industry, find out the scope of your project before choosing an excavator.
So, before we spot the differences, we must highlight the features of both wheeled and tracked excavators.
Benefits of Wheeled Excavators
- Versatile working capabilities
- Superior lifting capacity
- Good maneuverability
- Works great on hard surfaces like parking lots, urban constructions, and narrow spaces
Benefits of Tracked Excavators
- Enhanced traction
- Versatile performance even on uneven terrains
- Improved digging capabilities
- Enhanced stability
- Low upfront cost
Difference Between Tracked and Wheeled Excavators
The tracked and wheeled excavators are suited to work on very different ground conditions, which will influence your purchase decision significantly. So, it is essential to determine what ground conditions the excavator will operate on before buying one.
A tracked excavator will be a great choice if the job site has a sloped, uneven, or soft surface. These excavators have an undercarriage and a low centre of gravity, making it easier for the machines to work on inclined slopes or steep grounds.
Another benefit of working with tracked excavators like Sany excavators is that there are no chances of the tracks getting punctured by rocks, uneven stones, or any raw material commonly found at the worksite.
While wheeled excavators do have a lot of benefits; however, it is not suited for working on uneven terrains.
In this aspect, wheeled excavators are considered much better than their tracked counterparts. Due to their ability to travel at incredible speeds over hard, even surfaces, Wheeled excavators are much easier to operate and drive from one location to the other. You can drive wheeled excavators within a job site at a speed of 35 km per hour compared to tracked excavators that can only reach speeds of 6 to 10 km/h.
It must also be noted that tracked excavators are quite challenging to maneuver on hard surfaces, which also hinders their speed. As they come fitted with a low undercarriage, you cannot simply drive them on the road. So, you will need to arrange for a truck or trailer to transport the wheeled excavator to the job site instead of driving it down there.
Wheeled and tracked excavators are stable and considered at par with each other. While the wheeled excavators use outriggers to stabilize themselves while working, their tracked counterpart uses grousers to gain maximum ground contact. Moreover, the undercarriage’s weight helps stabilize the machine while digging the ground.
Adaptability and Versatility
Tracked excavators were mainly designed for digging. However, you can also attach a crusher, hammer, or shear to carry out quarry and demolition work. The wheeled machine can do the same on inclines and hard surfaces, which tracked excavators cannot.
While it is true that wheeled excavators won’t be able to perform as efficiently as tracked machines on uneven and inclined grounds, they would do a decent job. Tracked excavators, on the other hand, will not be able to work at all on hard, even surfaces. Therefore, wheeled excavators have greater access to urban developmental projects than tracked machines.
This makes metropolitan areas, paved roads, building slabs, and parking lots accessible to wheeled excavators.
Lifecycle Costs and Fuel Efficiency
Replacing undercarriage in tracked excavators is an expensive and time-consuming affair. Comparatively, the parts of a wheeled excavator last longer and are relatively cheap and easy to replace. Thus, tracked excavators take the trophy over wheeled counterparts in terms of maintenance and operating costs.
On the contrary, both machines’ fuel efficiency depends on what kind of soil they are working on. For a wheeled excavator, it is much easier to manoeuvre and travel on an even hard surface like concrete. Naturally, it has excellent fuel efficiency.
Tracked excavators primarily work on uneven terrain with wet or soft soil. As it works in difficult ground conditions, it naturally uses more fuel than wheeled excavators.
The verdict is that the kind of excavator you choose will ultimately depend on the type of work you want to complete. However, we hope this article made things easier and will help you make an informed decision.