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(Login wanagun) Missing-Lynx members from IP address 18.104.22.168
Looking at build a small dio with a captured tank being towed. TO me it seems that it would make since to remove the tracks so you are just pulling against free turning wheels. However alot of pics I have seen seem to show the tracks in place. Does anyone that served have any experience with this? Scott
(Login pyrman) Missing-Lynx members 22.214.171.124
Re: ? on tank towing
July 23 2012, 9:51 AM
You didn't say what time period you were thinking of doing the dio in....
There is a pic from post-WWII of a M26 towing a Panther...without tracks. There is also a pic of an M88 towing the King Tiger "332" at Fort Knox. The KT is in dark yellow, no camo - I've always thought that would make an interesting dio.
(Login Zitadelle) Missing-Lynx members 126.96.36.199
Physics: Lower Ground Pressure
July 23 2012, 10:03 AM
One of the key purposes of tracks in the first place is to decrease ground pressure-- the greater "foot print" of the track decreases the ground pressure (measured in pascals, or pounds/square inch) as compared to wheels alone. Towing a heavy AFV is the same principle-- the goal of keeping tracks mounted is to minimize ground pressure.
If one is towing a vehicle, it makes far more sense to keep the tracks in place to prevent bogging down versus attempting to drive on wheels alone-- provided that the track or suspension damage is not too great. The transmission would be set to neutral allowing the wheels and track to move as freely as possible-- the track would be pulling freely (along with the wheels). Even with some damaged wheels or drive gear (e.g., sprocket), it still makes more sense to "short-track" the AFV and run it on the tracks versus attempting to drag it on the wheels.
Another reason would be to minimize damage on the wheels. Think of running your car on just the wheels (no tire). You will eventually wreck the rims and the wheels. Better to keep the track on to prevent excessive wear on the wheels and potentially bend them.
(Login rgronovius) Missing-Lynx members 188.8.131.52
You disconnect the final drive
July 23 2012, 4:10 PM
and the towed vehicle rolls on the tracks; think old Tamiya motorized tanks without the gearbox. It rolls rather freely. The narrow road wheels would dig ruts into the road if they were not on tracks evenly distributing the weight of the tank.
There is a bit of physics involved as well. Once the towed vehicle is set into motion, the towing vehicle is the only form of braking. Get going too fast and the weight and momentum of the towed vehicle can be too much for the towing vehicle to handle. That's one of the reasons why older M88A1s were supposed to use a second M88A1 as a braking vehicle behind a heavier M1A1 or M1A2. Just in case the towing M88A1 couldn't successfully stop the Abrams, the second M88A1 used its inertia to assist. In practice, this was rarely done due to the lack of M88A1s in units.
In the summer of 1992, I was the battalion maintenance officer for 3-32 Armor in Kuwait. We ran across a virtually operational T-59. The only thing wrong with it was the solenoid on the starter. All it took was a mechanic to engage the starter with a tanker's bar when the mechanic in the driver's compartment hit the start button. The tank cranked right up and we drove it around for a bit before we shut it down.
All we did was disconnect the final drive and hooked it up to the M88A1 and towed it to Camp Monterey (Kuwaiti 6th Brigade Camp). The M88A1 was a much larger vehicle than the T-59 and pulled it with no difficulty. The metal tracks do do a number on pavement that US tracks do not do (because of the rubber pads).
Abrams & Bradleys were designed to have the final drives disconnected quickly and easily (in minutes, probably takes longer to dig out the tools than to do it) for rapid towing. On the M60 series and the T-59, it was a much more physical job, but took maybe an hour.
(Login Albowie) MODERATORS ONLY - General 184.108.40.206
Just make sure
July 23 2012, 9:53 PM
Just make sure you disconnect the outer prop shaft from the drive sprocket end unlike a certain vehicle mech I know that disconnected the diff end on an M548 which destroyed the wiring and other lines etc in the bay when the Tilly was towed.
We always tried to tow on tracks particularly when offroad. The ones you see being towed without tracks maybe because the running gear or tracks were broken in the first place. I certainly wouldn't with to have to transport two sets of MBT tracks seperately given the weight.
(Login tankerdog) Missing-Lynx members 220.127.116.11
We towed an...
July 24 2012, 1:32 AM
M-1A1 around NTC, Ft Irwin, without tracks for far too long. All road wheels were shot very quickly and towing was slow due to wheels plowing furrows into the desert floor, high ground pressure and all.
A real bad idea, expensive, and a crew guaranteed to stay in Irwin too long to try and turn the beast back in.
Changing every road wheel is fun...and torsion bars, and...
By we, I meant not me; towing a trackless tank would NOT be my call.
(Login rgronovius) Missing-Lynx members 18.104.22.168
Re: We towed an...
July 24 2012, 12:36 PM
Yes, towing a trackless tank (that you intend to repair and put back into service) any great distance is just compounding repair problems. If it was necessary, I'd tow it to the nearest main supply route and have requested a HET to flat bed the tank to the rear.
A war trophy tank (like the T-59 or a WW2 Panther), I'd care less about damaging it further.
I looked through a 1952 Ft Knox vehicle recovery textbook and could not find a single situation where the SOP was to remove the tracks. Even the example where the tracks were off and the suspension damaged, they recommended short tracking before recovery.