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Discussion Starter #1
Call me crazy but I think this is a great idea. We've all seen people make a crawlers (tracked tractors) with garden tractors and some look great, others don't. Either way it takes alot of time, money and skill and I lack a little in all of those.

So, what about a skid steer type crawler? Front axle would be removed. A non pivoting axle would be welded on with hubs off another transaxle for the front tires. Sprockets would be welded onto the rear hubs to the front hubs with an idler sprocket somewhere. 2 brake levers would control steering and would probably be attached close to where the parking brake lever is. Brakes would be something like a band wrapped around the rear hubs or a pad against the sprockets.

The amount of traction it would have would be great for breaking new land or bulldozing. What do you guys think?



Skinny tires/wheels may have to be used for front end clearance, but these tires are flat. A taller aired up tire make fit.



Brake levers would be mounted somewhere in here with the linkage going through the fender gap.

 

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Traction requires weight or traction aids (tire chains). Chains are less effective if the weight isn't there.

Skid steers go through tires. To steer, you have to skid the tire sideways. Rough terrain makes skidding tires sideways problematic on ocassion, and GT wheels don't like going sideways anyway. The spiders (wheel centers) can break the welds and tear out.

GT rear axles are designed for radial and torsional loads. Lateral loads, not so much.

I'm not trying to disuade you on this project, just warn you of where you will have to focus your attention if you plan to make this tractor actually do work.
 

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You better off making a new carriage and putting your Suburban on top of it. Chain drive from your axle down to the new drive sprockets. Then you can have a second set of axle sprockets to a set of brakes. This way you can change your gearing for both brakes and drive sprockets. Tracks will be your hardest part to find. Look for ditch wench's.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input guys. I'll try to post better pictures of what I mean tomorrow. This tractor isn't going to have tracks like a bulldozer. It will have chain (like bicycle chain) running from the rear hub mounted sprockets to the front.

The same wheels are used on much bigger and heavier tractors with steering brakes. I know that wouldn't put as much side load on the wheel as a full on skid-steer, but I think they'll be ok. If not, I will reinforce them.

I like the idea of a new carriage but I want to keep this somewhat original looking and simple.

I really want to build this project and think it will work and be useful. How feasible is it though? Any feedback is good feedback.
 

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The same wheels are used on much bigger and heavier tractors with steering brakes. I know that wouldn't put as much side load on the wheel as a full on skid-steer, but I think they'll be ok. If not, I will reinforce them.

I like the idea of a new carriage but I want to keep this somewhat original looking and simple.

I really want to build this project and think it will work and be useful. How feasible is it though? Any feedback is good feedback.
Some of the wheels on the heavier tractor with steering brakes have the very same spiders as your Suburban. Steering brakes do not put a side load on the rear wheels.

Feasability as a showpiece and a project tractor/learning platform is excellent. As a worker, not so much.

As stated earlier weight = traction, and you can't hang all that much weight on that tractor without much better wheels to deal with the lateral forces of skid steering.

The rear axle will also have something to say about that. It's rated for about 750 lb static load and minimal lateral load, not much more than mowing a steep sideslope, and skidding it sideways is going to really put a load on it.

I have 2 heavy tractors, a 2wd MF1655 with FEL, back blade and chains, and a 4wd MF GC2310 with FEL, back blade and no chains. Both tractors have turfs and weigh over 2400 lb. The 2wd will out pull the 4wd in the winter. You will not get a Sububan up to that weight level and have it survive, especially as a skid steer.

Build it as a project/show piece. It will be a great unit. If you want more grunt, get a heavy 2wd GT and outfit it right. An FF will give you a great tractor with more grunt than you can get out of the Suburban as a 4wd skid steer.
 
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