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Thread: Metal v rubber tracks

  1. #1
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    Default Metal v rubber tracks

    Folks,

    When did rubber tracks/pads on allied WWII tanks start to be used - did they supersede metal ones? Or were they both from the same period??
    Jack Beckett
    Dorset


    HMVF winners of the Bart Vanderveen award 2008. For outstanding contribution to the military vehicle movement.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Metal v rubber tracks

    US tanks were rubber from the 1930s, steel being introduced as a result of the rubber shortages and to improve traction in the goo. In a set of rubber Sherman tracks, there is 1700 lbs of rubber (pads and bushes).

    British tanks were all steel with dry pins till Challenger. Chieftain introduced a replaceable rubber pad.
    Tanks are mighty fine things
    1939 Caterpillar D4
    1944 M5 High speed tractor
    1953 M75 APC
    1942 M4A4 Sherman
    1944 A27M Cromwell
    1943 M3A1 Scout car
    1978 Can-Am Bombardier
    1943 Matchless G3/L

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Metal v rubber tracks

    Thanks Adrian and what is the differences in the chevron vs the straight metal tracks?
    Jack Beckett
    Dorset


    HMVF winners of the Bart Vanderveen award 2008. For outstanding contribution to the military vehicle movement.

    www.WarHistoryOnline.com
    Online War History News

    www.GhostsOfHistory.co.uk
    Then & Now WWII prints

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Metal v rubber tracks

    The chevron tracks come in a variety of styles, some rivetted together (T62), some welded (T54E1 etc). There are differences in weight and presumably cost. They were all variations of a theme and just different ways of achieving the same thing.

    The straight bar tracks (T49) were cast and noticeably heavier than the fabricated tracks.

    They all have their advantages!
    Tanks are mighty fine things
    1939 Caterpillar D4
    1944 M5 High speed tractor
    1953 M75 APC
    1942 M4A4 Sherman
    1944 A27M Cromwell
    1943 M3A1 Scout car
    1978 Can-Am Bombardier
    1943 Matchless G3/L

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Metal v rubber tracks

    All I know is that steel track is more fun on the road!! Get a turn wrong and your going for a nice slide, and you can't just put on a bit of opposite lock to control it either! Only remedy is to plant the gas pedal to straighten up. You should always drive to the level of experience you have.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Metal v rubber tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bedford Boys View Post
    All I know is that steel track is more fun on the road!! Get a turn wrong and your going for a nice slide, and you can't just put on a bit of opposite lock to control it either! Only remedy is to plant the gas pedal to straighten up. You should always drive to the level of experience you have.
    Ain't that the truth! I can get some lovely power slides with my HST, 235 bhp in a steel tracked 10 ton vehicle, though opposite stick works a treat on that as it's controlled differential steering.
    Tanks are mighty fine things
    1939 Caterpillar D4
    1944 M5 High speed tractor
    1953 M75 APC
    1942 M4A4 Sherman
    1944 A27M Cromwell
    1943 M3A1 Scout car
    1978 Can-Am Bombardier
    1943 Matchless G3/L

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Metal v rubber tracks

    One snowy, frosty, icy winter in Germany, I was taking a Centurion tank back to its unit after some repairs in the workshop. The route went across the airfield, and the runway crossing was controlled from the tower by a set of traffic lights.
    Timing it so the lights were on green, I built up a fair speed when the lights suddenly changed to red! Well I tried to stop , but ended up doing a graceful half turn and slid, with locked tracks , straight across the runway.
    Big trouble, until I took the airfield controller guy out for a run in a tank, and showed him that stopping fifty odd tons of metal on icy roads was not an option!

    Incidentally, did you know that all the metal tracks fitted on Centurions, were fitted backwards, to avoid damaging the road surfaces too much. All that is except for one unit`s ARV, which had one track backwards, and one forwards. He was very easy to keep track of!! (Sorry).

    Harry.

  8. #8
    Yin717 Guest

    Default Re: Metal v rubber tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Folks,

    When did rubber tracks/pads on allied WWII tanks start to be used - did they supersede metal ones? Or were they both from the same period??
    I was gonna say they were used in WW2.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Metal v rubber tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by harry7134 View Post
    Incidentally, did you know that all the metal tracks fitted on Centurions, were fitted backwards, to avoid damaging the road surfaces too much. All that is except for one unit`s ARV, which had one track backwards, and one forwards. He was very easy to keep track of!! (Sorry).

    Harry.
    Harry, I was interested in this as I'd never heard it before. All the pictures I can find of Cent in service show them the correct way i.e. spud trailing at the front. This is the way shown in all the manuals even the early ones.

    Was this a unit based thing?
    Tanks are mighty fine things
    1939 Caterpillar D4
    1944 M5 High speed tractor
    1953 M75 APC
    1942 M4A4 Sherman
    1944 A27M Cromwell
    1943 M3A1 Scout car
    1978 Can-Am Bombardier
    1943 Matchless G3/L

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Metal v rubber tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by harry7134 View Post
    Incidentally, did you know that all the metal tracks fitted on Centurions, were fitted backwards, to avoid damaging the road surfaces too much.

    Harry.

    Harry that was my next question - how does that work? I know we used to have much spreaders with their tyres fitted backwards for grip...
    Jack Beckett
    Dorset


    HMVF winners of the Bart Vanderveen award 2008. For outstanding contribution to the military vehicle movement.

    www.WarHistoryOnline.com
    Online War History News

    www.GhostsOfHistory.co.uk
    Then & Now WWII prints

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