Crawlers: Why They Are the Best and Worst Piece of Construction Equipment

Crawlers are those digging machines in construction that rely on rotating tracks rather than tires and wheels. They have many benefits over some of their wheeled counterparts, but they also have some of the worst drawbacks. Here is why crawlers with digging and scooping implements are the best and worst pieces of construction equipment.

They Are the Best Because...

They can go where no other construction vehicle can. They are extremely rugged and move over the ground like an ATV or a Sherman tank. They will flatten the ground under them as they move and easily level the ground as they go. They can scoop more and lift more than a backhoe, and some even pivot three-hundred-sixty degrees on their crawler bases like a backhoe too. They have a lot of power in their treads and can take steep inclines, hills, and bumpy ground covered in tree stumps better than a wheeled vehicle ever could. If you own a construction business, you should have at least one crawler machine in your inventory just because these machines have so much power and versatility.

They Are the Worst Because...

They can throw a track when something large gets jammed in the track gears. Buying replacement parts for these machines is a major task, and a very costly thing too because the parts are so heavy that freight costs can sink your bottom line for the month (or longer). Getting a crawler to a repair shop where the tracks can be replaced is just as difficult as getting the parts because most heavy-duty truck repair shops only handle wheeled vehicles. The difficulties associated with getting a track back on and properly aligned and operating as it should is just one more reason to avoid having this type of vehicle, but some lines of work really need a truck like this. You will have to weigh the benefits and drawbacks yourself to decide if you should have a crawler in your inventory.

Why You Still Need One

If you are in roadway construction, excavation, mining, logging, or quarry work, you need a crawler. They can handle many of the really tough jobs that none of your other machines can do. If you are not in any of these specific construction or deconstruction trades, you will still want to have a crawler in your inventory so that you have access to this amazing piece of equipment when you need it most.


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