Help - I need info on a thrown track.

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Help - I need info on a thrown track.

Joined: September 12th, 2005, 2:37 am

January 25th, 2012, 11:37 am #1

I've a tank in-progress. It'll be diorama'ed on soft ground and going straight when it'll have thrown a track (the right one). I intend to display this by having about 1/6th of the track lying behind the tank.
Questions. Would the track be lying straight behind the tank? As the rest of the track hasn't completely left the running gear, would the tank still be in-line with its track-marks, or would it have slewed around? If slewed, to the left or the right?
TIA. George, out..............
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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 3:47 pm

January 25th, 2012, 1:29 pm #2

Two different things. Thrown track is when the track comes off any portion of the running gear, but usually the sprocket. Any driver worth huis salt can tell when he's throwing track and normally stops before it comes off. Sometimes (if you're lucky) you can walk it back on similar to when you fit a pair of rubber band vinyls onto the suspension when you install it. Often it requires "breaking" track and disconnecting two adjoining track blocks, laying out the track and walking the tank back onto the track.

Most anyone who considers themselves a tanker has done this task. Throwing track is just a matter of time, sort of like a flat tire; you'll get one sooner or later. The driver will feel and hear the popping of the track on the sprocket or rattling of guide horns as they are smacking road wheels.

If you literally break the track in half while moving, the tank won't veer off in one direction or the other unless you are traveling at speed and hit the brakes.

Think of a tank like a 4-wheel drive vehicle. If you were able to put, say the right two wheels into neutral while traveling on the road, you won't automatically veer towards the wheels that now turn freely. Now imagine what would happen if only the left side brakes worked.

On a flat surface, tanks can travel straight forward and backwards with one track off (front wheel drive cars operate like this). If you were traveling at speed, with one track now off and hit the brakes, only the track side would stop since the sprocket teeth are the mechanism that acts as a brake on the track. The tank would veer in the direction of the side with track. That's how tanks turn; one track is slowed by braking and the other continues to turn and the tank moves in the direction of the slowed track. Remember, the road wheels on the ground roll free whether they are riding on the inside track surface or on the ground itself.

RobG
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Cpt. S. Sosebee, USA (Ret)
Cpt. S. Sosebee, USA (Ret)

January 25th, 2012, 1:40 pm #3

I've a tank in-progress. It'll be diorama'ed on soft ground and going straight when it'll have thrown a track (the right one). I intend to display this by having about 1/6th of the track lying behind the tank.
Questions. Would the track be lying straight behind the tank? As the rest of the track hasn't completely left the running gear, would the tank still be in-line with its track-marks, or would it have slewed around? If slewed, to the left or the right?
TIA. George, out..............
immediately slew to the side that lost the track. (in your case to the right) How sharp the slew would depend on the speed of travel and/or if it were turning at the time of the track break (turning puts a lot of stress on the tracks and is probably the leading non-combat cause of a thrown/broken track).

With a front sprocketed tank, the sprocket would spin faster than the other track, literally pulling the track and throwing it out in front of the tank. The speed of travel at the time of the break would also determine the sharpness of the slew. The higher the speed the more unlikely the tank would be able to stop before the track was pulled through the sprocket and thrown out in front of the tank. The sprockets also put a great deal of stress on tracks, and, for example, if the track broke at the sprocket the first road-wheel would "dig in" to the ground and slew the tank to that side. If the track broke underneath the road wheels then the tank would act normally until the track tension is lost at the rear (idler) of the tank. When the tension is lost, the sprocket spins faster, pulling the loose track through and throwing it in front of the tank.

With a rear sprocketed tank the tracks would act similarly to the above, but the loss of tension would be at a different location.

As to the track behind the tank it would most likely be straight unless it had just made a turn when the track broke.

HTH
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Joined: August 12th, 2004, 3:14 pm

January 25th, 2012, 2:03 pm #4

I've a tank in-progress. It'll be diorama'ed on soft ground and going straight when it'll have thrown a track (the right one). I intend to display this by having about 1/6th of the track lying behind the tank.
Questions. Would the track be lying straight behind the tank? As the rest of the track hasn't completely left the running gear, would the tank still be in-line with its track-marks, or would it have slewed around? If slewed, to the left or the right?
TIA. George, out..............
Modern tracks for example are considered "live" and have a built in tension and would look different (when thrown) than say Tiger Tank tracks.
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Joined: September 12th, 2005, 2:37 am

January 25th, 2012, 10:05 pm #5

I've a tank in-progress. It'll be diorama'ed on soft ground and going straight when it'll have thrown a track (the right one). I intend to display this by having about 1/6th of the track lying behind the tank.
Questions. Would the track be lying straight behind the tank? As the rest of the track hasn't completely left the running gear, would the tank still be in-line with its track-marks, or would it have slewed around? If slewed, to the left or the right?
TIA. George, out..............
My intention is to do a Sherman with a broken/separated track, rather than a shed track. It will be placed on a field of short grass with a length of track lying in front of it (from your info). It (and the crew) will be waiting for a repair team to arrive to assist with the repair/replacing of the track. So the tank will be lightly camouflaged, and the crew having a 'rest'.
Thanks again, for the help.
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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 2:01 am

January 25th, 2012, 11:27 pm #6

Two different things. Thrown track is when the track comes off any portion of the running gear, but usually the sprocket. Any driver worth huis salt can tell when he's throwing track and normally stops before it comes off. Sometimes (if you're lucky) you can walk it back on similar to when you fit a pair of rubber band vinyls onto the suspension when you install it. Often it requires "breaking" track and disconnecting two adjoining track blocks, laying out the track and walking the tank back onto the track.

Most anyone who considers themselves a tanker has done this task. Throwing track is just a matter of time, sort of like a flat tire; you'll get one sooner or later. The driver will feel and hear the popping of the track on the sprocket or rattling of guide horns as they are smacking road wheels.

If you literally break the track in half while moving, the tank won't veer off in one direction or the other unless you are traveling at speed and hit the brakes.

Think of a tank like a 4-wheel drive vehicle. If you were able to put, say the right two wheels into neutral while traveling on the road, you won't automatically veer towards the wheels that now turn freely. Now imagine what would happen if only the left side brakes worked.

On a flat surface, tanks can travel straight forward and backwards with one track off (front wheel drive cars operate like this). If you were traveling at speed, with one track now off and hit the brakes, only the track side would stop since the sprocket teeth are the mechanism that acts as a brake on the track. The tank would veer in the direction of the side with track. That's how tanks turn; one track is slowed by braking and the other continues to turn and the tank moves in the direction of the slowed track. Remember, the road wheels on the ground roll free whether they are riding on the inside track surface or on the ground itself.

RobG
your for got to mention the four letter words that go with throwing a track and what the first Sargent is going to say to you.former gun track driver LOL

P-40 BOB
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Jeff Larkin
Jeff Larkin

January 26th, 2012, 3:18 pm #7

My intention is to do a Sherman with a broken/separated track, rather than a shed track. It will be placed on a field of short grass with a length of track lying in front of it (from your info). It (and the crew) will be waiting for a repair team to arrive to assist with the repair/replacing of the track. So the tank will be lightly camouflaged, and the crew having a 'rest'.
Thanks again, for the help.
Repairing the track on a tank is up to the Tanks Crew not the Maintenance section. The Mechanics have other things to do so the Crew would be breaking track and repairing it! Now if the tank sustaines say sprocket Damage as well at the track Damage they would have to wait for support elements. But the Mechs would just fix the sprocket!
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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 3:47 pm

January 27th, 2012, 1:00 am #8

your for got to mention the four letter words that go with throwing a track and what the first Sargent is going to say to you.former gun track driver LOL

P-40 BOB
We threw track badly after the night road march from Grafenwohr to Hohenfels while pulling into the AA. It was my entire crew's first trip to Hohenfels (TC, driver & loader). My gunner went back to Manheim for a family emergency (in my year and a half as platoon leader, that was his M.O.; bug out right after gunnery for some family crisis).

The 88 crew dragged us into the bowling alley and dragged our track and lined it up with the tank as best they could.

My driver was a stocky, chain smoking corporal (the first one I met on active duty) with shaky hands. My loader was an acne-faced 18 yr old from Allentown, PA and weighed maybe 115 soaking wet. I was barely heavier at about 125.

The three of us are doing a job that is a bear for four men who know what they're doing. The PV2 had never broken track before so we put him in the driver's hole.

A CUCV (a rare sight in maneuver units) came by with a gaggle of quarter tons. It was Mike Wallace and his 60 Minutes film crew accompanied by PAO officers (don't know if they were 8th ID, V Corps or 7th ATC). He was doing a piece on whether or not women could serve in the combat arms (this was the summer of 1988).

When the entourage arrived, my platoon wandered out of the woodwork to see what was going on. Of course, when just the three of us were putting on the track, no one came down and offered to help.

One SPC answered Mike's question with a "sexual tension" type answer. Mike was all over that guy peppering him with questions that made him stutter like a fool. My Vietnam War veteran platoon sergeant gave him the politically correct answer "you'll never know until you give them the chance".

Mike asked me and I told him I had gone to college on a wrestling scholarship, lettered for four years in high school and had wrestled competitively since the 4th grade. I played 3 years of football in junior high school and four years in high school.

I'm not a big guy, probably at the time, about the average size of a woman. I was young, in shape and had been an athlete for most of my life and I told him this was kicking my @ss. I hadn't slept in days, we had an FRH leak in the turret and I was covered in it from the waist down. We were doing a 4 man job with 3 guys, one of which was probably as strong as an average woman.

I told him there may be some women out there that could do this job, but it would be a small population. We showed him the busted track links and tore up road wheel. All of which we have to throw back up on the tank after the new stuff is mounted. He handled the new road wheel, stood it up and rolled it and agreed that while the concept is as simple as changing a flat tire, the weight and amount of lifting required would have been nearly impossible for even him to do.

RobG
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Joined: April 4th, 2007, 6:16 am

January 27th, 2012, 4:45 am #9

Repairing the track on a tank is up to the Tanks Crew not the Maintenance section. The Mechanics have other things to do so the Crew would be breaking track and repairing it! Now if the tank sustaines say sprocket Damage as well at the track Damage they would have to wait for support elements. But the Mechs would just fix the sprocket!
Once that aircraft is in the blocks and the brake set (or not depending...) and something is wrong it becomes the "property" of maintenance...LOL!
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