Heavy equipment is unable to perform to its maximum ability when its wheels have to move on wet lands. Wet land makes things very difficult for heavy equipment and it has to exert additional strength to move on it. Especially equipment with wheels are vulnerable to wet lands. Exerting extra strength directly puts more pressure on the engine of the machine which in turn has to work more to just move in that space. This means that the engine also becomes vulnerable and it may be possible that it may soon need a replacement or a checkup by a mechanic. People dealing with heavy equipment believed that regular crawler tracks will suffice the soft lands but when it was put into practice, it was found that crawler tracks are not sufficient to move on such lands. It was therefore necessary to build something that can diminish the ground pressure and can thus increase the efficiency of the machines.
Machines without low ground pressure also causes lot of problems to the terrain. For instance, machines that are used in forest areas uproot the weeds that are not meant to be uprooted and also cause damage to the land and trees. Understanding the need of the user, Caterpillar along with John Mackay Ltd. Has manufactured the world’s first low ground pressure excavator. They named the excavator as CAT 312 hydraulic excavator. The engineers while building this new machine have customized it with reconditioned undercarriage that involves old track motors that were initially reconditioned by Finning. They also customized the 1.4 meter non-offset track pads. These pads originally belonged to a 312C model. Extra care was taken to ensure that the machine fits the needs of the customers and also offers higher efficiency.
The problem was not only limited to small contractors but was more attuned with big construction companies who take big projects and eventually end up with unlimited hurdles. Same was the case with one Scottish contractor named Malcolm Construction. This company also had to work on swampy grounds and experienced the same problem that many did in the past. Malcolm Construction used a JCB JS145 excavator to excavate the land. This machine had longer track frame and the track pads were 1500mm wide. JCB ideally do not have this wide track pads and it was modified on request of the company to meet its requirements.
There was another crane named Manitowoc 21000 that was known for exerting low ground pressure but it was last seen at Las Vegas Conexpo in the year 1999. Manitowoc not only reduced the ground pressure but it also eliminated the requirement for huge tracks. This made it simpler for the cranes to move things from one place to the other. It has been a great success for the heavy equipment manufacturing companies to have solved the problem of high ground pressure by introducing mechanisms that are easy to use and also solves the problem.