By Greg Fenrick

A New Concept for Reducing Road Damage on Underground Roads

Like me, when thinking about a tracked vehicle, you think of an excavator on the local construction site, or the tanks in an old war movie. Who would have thought that a vehicle with tracks could reduce road damage, particularly underground. This is what Getman Corporation claims to solve with their new tracked shield and material supply trailer. Getman claims that not only will their trailer reduce road damage, but it will also shorten longwall moves and speed up transportation.

But doesn’t a tracked vehicle chew up the road? Apparently not….when hauling heavy loads, especially longwall shields, having all the weight concentrated into the small footprint of a carrier’s tires, focuses tremendous pressure and causing tires to dig ruts into the roadbed. Getman solves this problem by distributing the weight of the load over the increased footprint of its tracked system. Unlike increasing tire size, which offers only a limited benefit and creates manoeuvring problems, the track system offers a larger footprint, allowing for lower ground pressure without making the trailer wider or taller.

Amazingly, an operator can make adjustments up to 330 mm on the fly from Getman’s tow tractor unit, enabling them to shift the centre of gravity so that the proper load is on the tractor’s hitch, giving it good traction and braking. This is critical in operations where there are shields of different dimensions.