Pedal Dozer Project

Remote Controlled Tank Examples

Here is a link to a very detailed R/C Tank website that discusses a variety of options for building tracks. Below are 7 methods illustrated:

Bicycle Chain Track

This method has good traction and drive characteristics and affordable to build, but is heavy and the chains easily twist which creates a tendency to derail.

Treadmill Track

This method uses an old treadmill track (stationary running machine tread or industrial conveyor belt) as a continous link medium with wood or other material attached as treads. This is an affordable option, although hard to source used, relatively lightweight and efficient. However, it is friction drive which requires careful tensioning of the track or slippage and also a cog/pin mechanism to maintain alignment. Good potential to scale for this project.

Roller Chain Track

Similar to bicycle chain track except this has a single chain with flanges built right into the links. This type of chain is also resistant to bending or twisting which makes it resistent to derailing. On the down side this is the heaviest track designs, is relatively expensive, and is not as efficient as some other options.

Plastic Conveyor Track

This is a ready-made option where plastic track is used in industrial applications such as food processing. The nice part is that this track is very light and efficient, however, it is also the most expensive and lacks traction on hard surfaces.

Molded Track

The issue here is that you can make a mold for a track link and cleat, and cast as many identical copies as required. Good side is that you can make it any size as required, downside is it is an extremely labour intensive option. Also, it is likely a heavy and not-so-efficient depending on choice of materials.

Hinge Track

This method used regular door hinges and strings them together into a continuous track. This is an easy and relatively inexpensive option, however, it is also very heavy and low efficiency.

Chain and Bolt Track

This is a hybrid approach combining bicycle chain and bolts. It is low cost and very reliable, however, very heavy.


I'm thinking that the treadmill option is most likely where we should look. It seems like metal tracks are going to be too heavy for our application especially for riding on the road. Another option not dicussed here is to use industrial V belts and pulleys to create a track system. More on that idea...

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