Making Tracks with Crawler Tractors

Tractor expert Bob Pripps traces the evolution of crawler tractor steering systems.

Prior to the development of crawler tracks, extensions were fitted to this 1889 Best steam tractor’s wheels to increase flotation in soft soil. It was an inadequate solution, as shown in this photo, where the machine is mired and the crew is working to extricate it.
Image courtesy Robert N. Pripps