Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Maintenance Research Projects

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Minnesota Department of Transportation

Maintenance Research


Snow and Ice

District/Office:
District 4

Contact:
Douglas Bergquist
218/850-1188

Project Cost:
NTREC - $65,330.58
District - $42,042.80


Start Date:
10/02/2019

End Date:
06/07/2022
Soucy Tracks
Completed Research
Soucy Track

Project Description: The Soucy Tracks prevent tractors from sinking into the mud and snow, which greatly reduces time and money wasted on freeing the equipment if it gets stuck and lessens the risk of damaging the tractor during maintenance operations. No changes to the tractor are needed to install the tracks; the system will not interfere with the tractor’s key components, tires can be put back on at any time, and the tractor retains its resale value. Currently the district has to buy or rent dozers in order to push or blow snowbanks far enough back from the road edge to provide snow storage and reduce ground drifting.

Purpose: These tracks can be installed on smaller units that would normally require a larger wheeled tractor. The smaller units are less expensive, consume less fuel and are lighter, leaving less of an impact on the environment. These tracks could also reduce the risk of getting stuck, reducing costly towing bills. These tracks are very user-friendly, cost-effective, and provide a safer option. The tracks allow a currently owned tractor to be used to push snow rather than a dozer, which supports the concept of "total fleet management" by eliminating the need to own or rent a dozer to perform this work.

Test Procedure: For a period of 18 months, the district evaluated the Soucy Tracks on their performance in the field to determine the effectiveness of the tracks, utilizing them on a tractor already owned by the district rather than buying or renting a dozer to perform the work. The district also analyzed the cost savings to see if the tractor with tracks is as effective as a dozer to perform the same work.

Conclusions: The setup of placing the Soucy tracks on an individual tractor did improve winter maintenance operations efficiency. We could blow trouble spots without getting our equipment stuck. This prevented the tractor from needing to be pulled out and risking equipment damage and/or costly wrecker bills and downtime. The tractor was equipped with a blade on the front which allowed for pushing back of drifts and with a blower on the back. Before the district had to rent dozers to perform this work. The tractor with tracks let us keep ahead of the trouble spots, and saved us money, increased our efficiency and improved driver safety by reducing drifting on the roadway by keeping drifts pushed back in snow trap areas.

Recommended For Implementation:     Yes     No
With these tracks, you can install them on smaller units that would normally require a larger wheeled tractor. The smaller units were less expensive, had lower fuel consumption, and were lighter, leaving less of an impact on the environment. In addition, the tracks were very user friendly, cost effective, and a safer option. Finally, the tracks allowed us to use a currently owned tractor to be used to push snow rather than a dozer which supports the concept of "total fleet management" by eliminating the need to own or rent a dozer to perform this work.

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