A new track shoe product from our Special Profiles business is helping transform the performance of some of the world’s biggest bulldozers. Working in extremely arduous conditions, the new Super Extreme Service (SES) profile, developed in conjunction with one of our customers, is helping extend product life and is delivering cost savings too.
David Waine, Special Profiles Commercial Director, said: "For many years we thought we didn’t have the capability to deliver this extra-large profile. Our customer asked if we could produce a new profile for track shoes with a longer, wider and heavier spike or ‘grouser’ - but to roll such a product is a highly complex process, requires in-depth knowledge and put demands on our mill rolls that we hadn’t seen before."
During the lifetime of a dozer, the grouser wears away as the machine operates on hard rock, which creates extreme levels of stress on the track shoes. These new SES track shoes offer 30% better wear life than the Extreme Service (ES) alternative.
"The working conditions these machines operate in are hugely demanding, so the changes we've made to extend the life span of the track shoes - coupled with reducing weight - is a very attractive proposition," said David.
To roll the SES track shoe grouser, both companies shared the associated development costs to bring this world-first design concept to life. "It was very much a collaborative approach," said David. "We originally didn't think this new design would be possible, but by working together and tapping into the many years of combined experience in our roll design team, we were able to completely rethink how we could roll this new track shoe and overcame numerous design challenges to develop the rolling philosophies needed.
"This meant we had to have a detailed understanding of the rolling process, which included how hot metal behaves as it passes through our mill stands. But, having developed a new bull wheel product in 2018, we were confident our expertise was up to the task.
"Although a very different application, the knowledge we’d picked up from developing this profile meant we could establish a suitable rolling procedure,” said David. "Our detailed calculations enabled us to make sure enough material is in the right place during the multiple mill passes that are required to get the final dimensions of the larger grouser.
"It was quite a challenge for us to meet our customer’s needs but I’m very happy and proud we’ve done so. This new product absolutely demonstrates the value and standard of our internal expertise."