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Wheeled Skid Steers vs. Posi Tracks: Everything You Need to Know

The modern construction site is very complex. Delivering successful projects in the building industry has always required great skill and precision, but today, many projects are far more complex than they would have been just a decade or so ago. This is partly because the way in which we live and work has become more diverse and sophisticated, which is reflected in the sort of buildings and constructions that are in demand.

In this environment, it can be a challenge for a site supervisor to figure out what piece of equipment is ideal for the task at hand. That’s why it’s always useful to have a clear-cut understanding of what specific equipment can do particular tasks. Both wheeled skid steers and posi tracks are commonly seen across Aussie job sites, so let’s look now at the key differences between them.

What a Wheeled Skid Steer Does Best

A wheeled skid steer is ideal for jobs where the tracks of a posi track can be an impediment. In certain circumstances — especially those jobs where rotating the machine in a tight space is required — a wheeled skid steer can offer the range of motion that a posi track cannot. 

For jobs where ongoing use of a road’s asphalt or concrete surface is required, a wheeled skid steer can also be preferable given that a posi track’s tracks will wear out faster in such conditions. The same also applies to demolition jobs, as debris can be more problematic for a posi track to navigate than for a wheeled skid steer.

The downside to a wheeled skid steer is the same factor that makes a posi track great. Although a wheeled skid steer can navigate uneven terrain well, it’s less well-suited for use in porous terrain.

What a Posi Track Does Best

In certain conditions, a posi track can operate where lots of other construction equipment would be unable to do so. Posi tracks can often be seen at work in muddy, damp, and cramped conditions, and other areas where wheels wouldn’t work effectively. 

Because posi tracks are so tough and versatile in the environments that they’re well-suited for, they can be cost-effective to use in comparison to other equipment that can sustain wear and tear. The Covid-19 era has re-emphasised the importance of cost savings in many projects, and it’s here a machine like the posi track can be fantastic for the efficiency it offers.

Nonetheless, it’s also necessary to keep in mind the posi track can also have its limitations. For example, it has an operating radius limited to 200 degrees to the left and right, which means any job that requires greater range of motion will require another machine.

The Overlap Factor

Wheeled skid steers and posi tracks can have some overlap in the tasks they can do. Any construction crew currently thinking about replacing one of these machines with the other should also consider whether another piece of equipment altogether may be best. 

In certain instances, the combination of two substantially different machines will provide the flexibility needed to pursue optimum results on a particular task, as opposed to selecting two machines that have a lot of overlap. 

Using Wheeled Skid Steers and Posi Tracks Together

An experienced operator will always recognise that there’s the capacity to use construction equipment for a variety of jobs. Nonetheless, each machine out there has its pros and cons as well as its ideal uses. Although their functionalities do overlap, the posi track may be favored over the wheeled skid steer for certain tasks, and vice versa.

Ultimately, sometimes a construction crew will find it’s ideal not to choose between these machines, but instead to make use of both of them throughout a project. There are jobs where each can perform the other’s task reasonably well, but when used side by side, they can invariably offer the best results due to the advantages each holds. 

But for situations where you simply need to choose one, it’s useful to remember the differences in their tread. A posi track can be great for muddy and damp terrain where a wheeled skid steer could get bogged down, just as a wheeled skid steer can be ideal for uneven land that may be a problem for the posi track.

What is your experience using a wheeled skid steer or posi track? Let us know the comments below.

Image: SPH

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