Highlights: The Long Tracked Bogie principle (LTB) has low contact area on firm ground with low load, it increases when higher traction force is needed and on softer soil; Free rolling resistance on firm ground was 60% of the value for a conventional bogie; LTB appears to pass wider ditches/cavities, more smoothly with lower pitch angle, than a conventional bogie.
The Long Tracked Bogie with contact area dependent on bearing capacity was compared to a conventional bogie. Two unloaded Vimek 608 forwarders with different bogies and with the traction from the front wheel removed were compared. Two high obstacles, 0.1 and 0.2 m high, respectively and 0.15 m in width, and two deep obstacles/ditches with a depth of 0.2 m and a width 1 and 1.5 m were used for tests. Towing tests on flat ground were done by connecting the machines to each other with a load cell in between. There were no or small differences in acceleration when passing obstacles between the two types of bogie. LTB passed wider ditches/cavities with lower pitch angles (one bogie/side passing) and 0.2 m obstacles with higher roll angles than a conventional bogie. On firm ground, free rolling resistance of the LTB was about 60% of the resistance of the conventional bogie. The drawbar pull force for the LTB was indicated to be a few percentage units higher than for the conventional bogie when it was driving with a towed machine acting as a braking force. The LTB principle might yield opportunities to improve the way we construct bogies for forest machines. Even if the contact area is low on firm ground when the machine is running with low load, it increases when higher traction force is needed and on softer soil. Further field tests are needed to evaluate the LTB when used on soft ground and with higher load as well.