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Got Tracks? 96

simetra writes: " has pictures of these tracks you can put on a pickup truck. It's crazy, there's one for each tire. Amazing."
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Got Tracks?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 18, 2001 @10:14PM (#212268)
    Make sure you whistle that ess real good now, you hear?
  • They make civics faster.

    3-foot-tall spoilers too.

    Forget Napster. Why not really break the law?

  • We don't have any swampy grassland left in Florida. We've drained it all to grow sugar cane.
  • Fact is, many of us "nerds" are very interested in automotive technology. Slashdot is a site that posts a wide variety of news topics, and while many of them don't interest me, I don't expect all of them to interest you, either. So, you pass over the ones that you don't find intriguing, and I'll quitely pass over all the Star [Trek|Wars], etc., article that do not interest me. Just because we have the common quality of being "nerds" doesn't mean we all have the same periperial interests also.

    BTW, Chevy's rock! My Z71 [] will out-pull on your Ford any day! ;-)

  • Sorry, I've been working with VB/ASP too long. (Trek|Wars) or [Trek||Wars] should work to get the point across. How about just "Trek" OR "Wars"?


  • Actually..... The truck on the front page (white 4-door with blue paint accents) would be a Ford F-250 or F-350 Super Duty crew cab.

  • yeah. So they actually have some dealers in some areas. The Zipcode search makes it look like they only deal with Americans. Never mind that it couldn't find me a dealer near what is perhaps the single wealthiest area.

    Beverly Hills California is on the edge of one of the planets largest and most prosperous cities. If you are an america centric company and don't have a dealer there then don't bother to waste time pretending to have a dealer network. Just sell direct.
  • 1. Video caset infomersials for sale. $15 plus S&H. Keeps them from wasting time on wannabees.
    No. What it dose is make them look like lame second string scam artists with a misdesigned product but who are trying to make a profit off you before you find out. Neither Goodyear nor Ford dose this. Someone selling tracks for an SUV is technically in between those 2 corps.

    No prices anywhere. "You can own a set of Mattracks for roughly the price of an american-built motorcycle, or half the price of an SUV."

    The 1st version of my post actually included that comment. Why? because it's almost meaningless babble. Which SUV? A Suzuky Jimni or a Mitsubishi Prado? Or maybe one of the high end fords? Worse yet I have seen adds for Harley Davidson bikes where one costs 3X the other.

    This smacks as simply not wanting to be legally bound to any price so they can sell it to different people at different prices. Note that's different from discounts where you have a published price and allow some clients to pay less.

    No ecomerse (acceptable since this IS a big investment)....No links to anyone who dose Ecomerse (Hint: If they offer reseler status to anyone that caries a variety of vehicle stuff then that 3rd party would handle almost all the Ecomerse risks and headaches.

    No one is going to buy a $15,000-$20,000 item through e-commerce. It would be a waste of their time to set it up.

    Those pore fools at Wasting all that money on this massive web site from which nobody will ever buy. More importantly I work in a business which routinely places orders of $100,000 or greater with Sun, Dell and Nortel over the internet. I just thought the Ford example was more to the point.

    "Find a dealer" link inadequate. You missed the part with their mailing address and telephone number, as well as the form where you enter your phone/email/fax and ask a salesperson to contact you. Jeez! Try picking up the phone and calling them, or have them call you. Get off your computer once in a while.

    Bogus argument. Something written on a web page is legally significant. Just like any printed document. However whatever BS a sales rep tells you on the phone can latter be denied. This is why I want it up there. There is no real reason to not include the prices. on anything. And don't even pretend price isn't important as many wanabees do. The fact is if it wasn't there are some thing which would simply disappear from the market. Nissan cars and 14" CRT monitors forinstance.

  • Zip codes are an american concept. Most other parts of the World use plain addresses. Jamaica included.

    My spelling sucks. The lecturers at university said the same thing. But I still graduated. Apparently everything else about me was up there.
  • These look really interesting. I wonder if they come in a car version? I.e. Small enough to install on say a Toyota Corolla. More importantly I couldn't find any prices or links to anyone selling this stuff.

    Where I live (Jamaica) There are a lot of "roads" for which this would be apropriate.
  • 1. Video caset infomersials for sale. $15 plus S&H.

    2. No prices anywhere. Roles Roice or Rolex can maybe get away with that. everyone else shouldn't try.

    3. No ecomerse (acceptable since this IS a big investment)

    4. No links to anyone who dose Ecomerse (Hint: If they offer reseler status to anyone that caries a variety of vehicle stuff then that 3rd party would handle almost all the Ecomerse risks and headaches.

    5. "Find a dealer" link inadequate. You only search by Zip code (Which doesn't exist for my homeland). Worse yet if you haven't got a dealer to attach to the 90210 area code then you don't have an extensive dealer network. Unless the code is just broken and doesn't know what is close to what.
  • This idea is far from new. A company called Cuthbertson was doing this to Landrovers in the UK in the 1950s. Somehow or another I suspect that the kid who came up with this idea isn't 50 years old now.

    Nothing new under the sun, just some people egocentric enough to think that there is.

  • Locally we lost two Caterpillar tractors in the mud, a few years back. I believe the farmer was trying to reclaim some swampy ground, so he was trying to backfill the wet area.

    Caterpillar one sunk like a fucking rock. IIRC, less than half of it was above-ground by the time they got the second Cat out to rescue it.

    But it was still a freakin' swamp, so *OF COURSE* Cat #2 started sinking.

    I think they managed to rescue #2. #1 is now, as far as I know, completely disappeared... a relic awaiting rediscovery by an advanced civilization a few thousand years from now, when internal combustion engines are unknown.

    "WTF is this?!" they'll cry. "My self [they'll be atheists by then, so there won't be cries of 'my gods'] it's little wonder they were choking to death on pollution, when they were driving things like this all over the place!"

  • Gee, I thought it was "Hey y'all, watch thee-is!"

    -Julius X
  • Better watch out. With a name like Mattrack, there's a good chance that Mattel's lawyers will be going after them. It's good thing they didn't call them Tracks'R'Us, or they would be a target for Geoffrey.

  • by Soko ( 17987 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @11:29PM (#212283) Homepage
    how do you steer a truck with these things without trashing your differential if you're on something that would provide too much traction, say, grass.

    That's the exact reason for a differential - turning & traction differences. These are no harder on your truck's differential and transfer case than any big tire. The track system is essentially just a wheel trapped by the track itself. The whell drives on the track, the track moves over the ground. Having 4 indepandant untis mean it's just a real fancy tire -not like a tank at all.

  • You know it's just a brochure-ware site... these guys are at the fair every year where I live.
  • by Katravax ( 21568 ) on Saturday May 19, 2001 @12:41AM (#212285)
    According to / [], the price is about $15,000US for a set of four.
  • The only drawback I can see is a 40mph max speed. I can't imagine how rough these things would be on the highway, which pretty well means there's not a lot of us who could pull this off, even if we had the cash. If they worked at highway speeds, I think there'd be an instant huge demand, just for the testosterone factor. I mean, I bet most of us would rather have a GMC Tahoe with these tracks than a Hummer - the Tahoe would be more comfortable, and the track's coolness factor would beat the Hummer.
  • I believe it is time to build a Slashdot-mobile.

    Been there, done that, [] and even gave it away [] for free. Needless to say, it didn't have anything nearly as cool as a built-in MP3 player, let alone tracks.
  • apparently the changeover takes 30 minutes

    Yes, but the changeover requires jacking your vehicle up, which with something as big as a Tahoe isn't something you should take lightly. Even taking snow chains off and on is a major hassle, especially in the kind of conditions these things are getting used for. Do you REALLY want to get all down and dirty just to take the tracks off? Of course not. These tracks are going to be filthy.

    how do you steer a truck with these things without trashing your differential

    I was amazed by that myself. They claim identical turning radius to the factory tires, which is pretty darned tight, and that would definitely stress out your joints. If you examine the photos, there doesn't appear to be any kind of gearing to let the tracks freewheel, so 4wd on grass would mean trashing the grass and your tranny.
  • They'd be having to repave the street up to your house every few days!

    Nah, they're rubber tracks. You're thinking about the steel tracks used on tanks, which would indeed rip up the road. These are relatively harmless. The specs even list the PSI pressure exerted on the ground, and it's quite low compared to regular tires, because the weight is spread out across so much more area. These are actually a lot easier on the road, believe it or not.
  • Cool! Maybe with enough weight and a low enough center of gravity they could climb stairs!

    Some sort of ratcheting mechanism on the axles would be needed to change the angle for climbing...hmmmm...

    Of course, know thyself: would you get carried away and order one with a Yamaha YZ 125 motorcycle engine?

    Charles Atlas Redux:
    Guy: "Hey quit spraying sand in our faces!"
    Girl: "That guy in the wheelchair is the worst menace on the beach!"

  • I came across this wheelchair when I was researching inventions. It's able to climb stairs and be used on sand (or so they claim). It also goes up on two wheels to make you taller. Pretty cool. tml
  • > If you used these on the street, do you have any idea how fast they'd wear out?

    Use metal threads instead. Than you'd wear out the street... ;-)

  • > Does this mean there's going to start being chevy vs ford flame wars in here now?

    Guess you didn't read this story [].

  • First is, it's much harder for a tracked vehicle to get stuck on soft ground, and the second one is that tracks spread the load *much* better than tires. If you have to drive over something that you don't want destroyed, tracks are the way to go.

    I've heard of old caterpillar tractors being driven over an egg buried 4" deep without breaking the egg.

    Where they lose to tires is in top speed and maintenance.

  • Well, wait...

    Then these are chains.

    Come to think of it, chains on tires are tracks, too.
  • Mmmm. No flat tires playing in the woods. Yay.
  • They are designed so that you can take them off for normal use and put them on only when you need them. . . apparently the changeover takes 30 minutes. (I'm guessing they just bolt onto the wheel the same way a normal tire rim does) What I want to know is, they are built for 4x4 vehicles. . . how do you steer a truck with these things without trashing your differential if you're on something that would provide too much traction, say, grass.
  • Again, there is a difference between 4WD and AWD. My vehicle is both 4WD and AWD. 99.9% of the time that I am driving it, the differential is not locked, allowing the wheels to spin at different speeds (and thus keeping me from breaking my car when I turn). This is known as all wheel drive. The other .1% of the time, I can lock the differential, forcing all four wheels to spin at the same speed, which proves good for getting through mud or pulling cars out of ditches in the winter or other such jobs. Then, the car is in four wheel drive.
  • by prator ( 71051 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @10:03PM (#212299)
    ... put these things on my new Accord. Put some racing stickers on it with some ground fx. I would be so l33t.

    • You know, I live in Florida, and have next to no use for mattracks.

    I'm glad you said next to no use.

    Seems like these would work better than tires in swampy grassland, as long as the water didn't get too deep.

  • +4???

    Whip me beat me call me a karma whore...

  • by Moray_Reef ( 75398 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @10:18PM (#212302) Homepage
    I can see it now, Monday I'll get run over by some 6 ton SUV with these fucking things...
  • Unless this guy invented this oh 40+ years ago.. then he is just copying and old design. Personally ive seen these at work.. and other than overstressing and then breaking the front suspensions on a midsized SUV (Pathfinder?) they seem like a good idea until you figure you would have to rebuild the front suspensions on anything you put this on.. and even rear suspensions werent meant to handle the stress of this.. plus it cant climb over much.. bad angle of attack with the treads. but for swampy areas or deserts.. this wouldnt be a bad thing if the vehicle was customized to handle the stress.

    btw.. i Saw an OLD 50s?or early 60s truck in a museum once with basically the same thing... plus it kinda reminds me of the old ww2 german halftracks.
  • I've seen many a fine lookin woman with a guy in a wheelchair... Just to dispell this tiny prejudice in your mind.
  • Did anyone else have absolutely no clue what this topic was about until reading the article?
  • The LAV III. It's manufactured in Canada and is a Light Armored Vehicle (hence the name). It's lighter than a main battle tank (Abrams) so it can be transported by a smaller cargo plane (C-130 as opposed to C-5).

    It's supposed to be more versatile than a regular tank too, you can put different kinds of turrets on it, use it to carry troops, that kind of stuff. It has eight wheels by the way. (and can be driven on a highway without fscking up the road)
  • make sure you have atleast one transformers sticker so you can impress the asian-honda nuts ... then apply speed holes :)
  • You mean like This? []
  • I could have used this technology in June May 1998 when Harris Corp delivered a 50kW AM transmitter (DX50) to our in-a-cow-pasture transmitter shack. In NW Washington. Think mud. The driver drove his 18 wheeler into the mud and got stuck. Had to rent special equipment to move the payload to the installation site. Had to get towed out. I never saw a semi w/ trailer stuck in the mud before.
  • by rjamestaylor ( 117847 ) <> on Friday May 18, 2001 @10:15PM (#212310) Journal
    (I wonder if they'll fit on my Neon...)
    Looks like they might [].
  • Unusually for a tracked vehicle, this thing steers by aiming the tracks, rather than adjusting their relative speed. That generates huge steering loads. Think of what it would take to steer on hard ground with good traction. Beefing up the power steering might be desirable.

    They don't say much about how well the tracks resist sideloads. Novice tank drivers often tear a track off the roadwheels by making abrupt turns. An important question is whether the track or the roadwheel breaks first; if it's the track, you can probably change it easily, but replacing a roadwheel is a job.

    The Caterpillar Challenger [] line of agricultural tractors have been out for a few years now, and they have one of the best rubber track systems around. They look like a bolt-on for a wheeled tractor, but they're not; Caterpillar did a new tractor design. Among other things, they're capable of 25mph on-road operation, which is unusual for a tractor. Early buyers reported being pulled over by cops out of curiosity.

  • Unless the code is just broken and doesn't know what is close to what.

    Well, the zipcode search found a dealer for my area, which led me to a list of URL's:

  • Like this one [], if you've got some money. Or this one [], if you've got little space. Or this one [], if you want to shoot people. Get your track fix the easy way!

    (Yes, I _am_ trolling for site traffic. Sue me :-)

  • Friction = Force * Coefficient of friction. Don't forget that although the surface area of the track is much larger, the force exerted per unit of area will be less -- since your coefficient of friction for the track won't necessarily be much higher than a standard off-road tire, there won't be much difference in overall friction. It really depends on the tread pattern which they've apparently designed in such a way that you don't damage your linkages.
  • It's crazy, there's one for each tire.
    Can someone please explain this non sequitur?
  • These are actually a lot easier on the road, believe it or not.

    Excellent point. For the very same reason, more and more farmers (who can afford them) are trying out Cat and Case tracked combines and tractors. Soil compaction is a huge issue, and having the weight distributed over a much larger area mitigates a number of issues arising from conventional wheeled vehicles.
  • You know, I live in Florida, and have next to no use for mattracks. However, this is the coolest thing I have seen posted to slashdot ever. By the way, the tracks are driven off of the end of each axle on the trucks - so any differential systems used to save the tires when turning in 4 wheel drive mode will act identically. No need to worry about stripping out your gearbox.
  • Nothing new, first done in 1962 by a Scotsman called Jame Cuthbertson. Commonly called a "Cuthbertson Conversion" Try sp I could have had it done to my Land Rover years ago. I thought this was supposed to be a NEWs site???
    Your friendly cloth cat
  • by reuel ( 166318 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @10:16PM (#212319)
    From one of the web pages:
    MATTRACKS is the result of the imagination of our founder's 11 year old son.

    That's cool.

  • I was amazed by that myself. They claim identical turning radius to the factory tires, which is pretty darned tight, and that would definitely stress out your joints. If you examine the photos, there doesn't appear to be any kind of gearing to let the tracks freewheel, so 4wd on grass would mean trashing the grass and your tranny

    Hi, let me introduce myself. My name is differential. I am a set of gears. I have a ring gear, a pinion, and 3 spider gears. I let each wheel spin a different speed when I am turned. My purpose is to take the load off of universal joints, and/or CV (constant velocity) joints. I work equally well when you turn sharp, or shallow. I was designed by an engineer.
  • These are new?
    They've been around for quite some time.
    Nevertheless, pretty cool. A great use for this is for plowing snow in the great white north (Canada). Add a scoop, these things and you're set.

    The slashdot 2 minute between postings limit:
    Pissing off hyper caffeineated /.'ers since Spring 2001.

  • For some reason I have always wanted one of the trucks with the rail road track wheels on them. This may be cool too. Although I have no idea where I would ever use them, except for my plan of holding a family sedan off road challenge (nothing like mud running in a chevy cavileir, oooh yeah).

    However, every monster truck competetion I have ever seen on tv that had a truck fitted with tracks always lost by a long shot, so maybe I should stick with really big tires.
  • Cool yeah but they can not go over anything that large and the make the turning radius crap.
  • I remember seeing these on CNET television a long, long time ago. They had footage of them scaling sand dunes. Very neat stuff. Expanding the territory of obnoxious pickup truck drivers. (I wonder if they'll fit on my Neon...)


  • Mmm, all-terrain rice...

    Also, the tracks would put your car high enough off the ground that you could attach a tailpipe the size of a trashcan.
  • Hey If it gets people to read the article before posting I'd say all Slashdot postings should be as cryptic.
  • Guys, This is a way old idea. I saw these on TV several years ago.
  • I'd put them on my suburban..

    That is, if I had the $$$, and the time to drive it anywhere other than to class and work. It may prove very useful in the midwinter when I have a 7:00am final. I really could have used these on the truck last december. Invent my own parking space on/in the snowbank.

    Take that parking services. The best hope for these is that I can park out of reach from where they could give me a ticket.
  • Well I wouldnt want them on my truck, but they do look pretty nice on the ATVs if I had one I would probably consider them if they didnt hinder performance much.
  • Frequently heard last words in Redneck land:

    Hold mah beer, 'n watch this!

  • This is not true in a general sense. Most stock 4WD vehicles do not incorporate locking diffs. This is usually and after market thing which people add for increased traction. They aren't good in many situations such as trying to turn a corner on an icy road. The locking diff will just push you striaght on through rather than pull you around the corner. There is still a problem with axle binding in a standard 4WD vehicle. But I can't remember exactly where the problem occurs.
  • I understand what you're saying. But I still don't think you're correct. I'll have to do some research to verify. But I'm in the same situation as you. My Jeep Cherokee has both a full time (awl) and part time (4wd) modes. But I believe this has more to do with the way the transfer case handles the dual drive lines. NOT the way the differentials are set-up. Like I said, very few stock vehicles come with locking differentials.
  • well, as the umpteenth person to say this, its not exactly NEWs. Toyota actually tried doing this a few years ago as an option on its 4-runner trucks. The package was going to ad 10,000 to the cost of the truck. I saw it in Car And Driver.
  • i thought slashdot was supposed to be news for nerds, not news for truckers :P
  • by MWoody ( 222806 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @11:58PM (#212335)
    Now, all you need are four little turret guns...
  • Strange...I never really realized before now that 90210 is probably the only ZIP code that people outside the U.S. know of. Having a dealer in Southern California would likely be a waste, as that region of the country has some of the most agreeable weather around, and hence almost no demand for this sort of vehicle accessory.
  • Yeah, man...I was going to say something about that but decided against it.

    oooh, too-won, three-four...send it to Zoom!

  • Amazingly, on a 4wd (different than an all-wheel-drive vehicle) when you are in 4 wheel drive, the differential is locked up so that it doesn't allow for ANY speed difference between wheels at all. This maximizes traction (the moment one wheel moves any faster than any other, it loses all power, gaining tracton back instantly) in some situations, at a huge cost. This is why all 4wd pickups/suvs/etc have a 2wd mode for situations where wheel slip isn't expected. This mode uses a standard open diff, or sometimes a modern limited slip differential. Amazingly, the 4wd modes are acutally more dangerous at any speed above a crawl because any turning at all must be associated with some slip of the outside wheels! 4wd is mainly a holdover from an era where the technology for limited slip or viscous differentials was not available or too expensive for everyday use. Modern AWD systems use a variety of types of differentials to put power to all wheels while allowing for differing wheel speeds, and are preferable in almost all situations to the fully locked diffs common in trucks.
  • I remember seeing it on that other tech show 'The Next Step' I think. I really could have used these things last winter. It would have been a blast.

  • She is the biggest (in more ways than one) hypocrite on TV...

    Proud life member of the NRA....

  • i wasn't wondering about mechanical wear so much as how hard it is to steer. with that much ground contact, if you're standing still, i bet it's real interesting moving the steering wheel. i'd hate to try parallel parking.


  • you can only spin in place on tracks when the left and right sides have independant drive. you can do that with wheels, too. one side goes forward as the other reverses. that's also how they reduce the turning radius of ships with twin screws.

    the reason for tracks is they handle more severe terrain and they don't go flat. climbing over an object you don't loose drive because a wheel has passed over the top. and you don't want to get out and change a flat under enemy fire. unless you're on an episode of M*A*S*H.

    and i suspect these cost way more than a lift kit and tires.


  • by Night0wl ( 251522 ) < minus city> on Saturday May 19, 2001 @02:49AM (#212343) Homepage Journal
    I thought about these a bit back when C|Net mentioned them on there TV show, cool as hell but I don't drive big trucks. What I do drive however is an electric wheelchair and I pondered the possability of getting one of these build on a much smaller scale but with the same principles.
    The ability to handle snow, and sand alone would be a major benefit to electric wheelchair users. And at a max speed of about 7-8mph I sure as hell aren't going to come close to the 40+ mph mark.
    Any one got a set of these and the facilities to make me a pair of smaller ones? ;) I'm fairly certain the transition to these could be made without much hassle, the seating position would need to be realigned due to the height increase in the back.
    The last thing I haven't figured out is wether or not there would be a loss of power (a gain perhaps?) Who know's. I'd love to be able to actually cruize a beach, Hey lady's you want a ride?
  • Please do not use /. for your anonymous glory hole. You can make a user account and post intelligent comments. Please read the newbie help for more informaiton.


  • 'Tis a pity that 'tire' is spelt tyre; but hey, you can't change your readership...
  • It's not a "tank", it's a LAV - Light Armoured Vehicle - and it's old news. The Marines have had these since the late 80's.

  • So now your truck can spin in place?

    If you were willing to spend enough money, you could make your truck do that, but it'd take more than just a track conversion kit. These things seem to be mostly for improved traction and a bigger footprint. Think of them as snowshoes.

    A couple years ago, Russia was selling off its old T-55 Tanks for about US$50,000 a pop. If you really needed a tracked vehicle, and you could find one and get it through customs, I'm sure you'd have absolutely no trouble spinning in place or picking up chicks.

    Perfectly reasonable plan, right?

  • What I do drive however is an electric wheelchair and I pondered the possability of getting one of these build on a much smaller scale but with the same principles.

    You'd be losing a lot of useful features, though. (And not all of these apply solely to wheelchairs.)

    -While I imagine that you still manage to get around in a wheelchair with a flat tire, a thrown track would doubtless seriously complicate your life.

    -I'm betting that most electric wheelchairs can also be moved by muscle power; you might not be able to do this with tracks.

    -The added weight and the loss of the mechanical advantage that a tall wheel gives you might mean the need for major drivetrain modifications.

    -More moving parts means more noise and more maintainance. A wheel is pretty damn simple and elegant.

    Not that the whole idea is without promise, but I doubt you'd want one for a daily driver. Of course, the largest concern is: "Will chicks dig it?"

  • Star [Trek|Wars]

    I could be wrong but as I recall that would have to be Star(Trek|Wars) to be a proper regex. Your way would make a character class which could exclude "Star WarT" as well as many other combinations which would surely be acceptable.
  • um, why is this on slashdot? Isn't this more "news for rednecks, stuff that doesnt matter at all"?

    Does this mean there's going to start being chevy vs ford flame wars in here now?
  • by geekforhire ( 300937 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @10:39PM (#212351)
    Dont put the smack down on stickers. Its proven that 'sticker charging' Hondas really makes them faster.
  • Chevy vs Ford flame wars at /. ? Especially funny considering the truck shown is a Dodge.
  • They have ATV tracks on their web site. Maybe if you contacted them they could help you/investigate a new line of products.
  • True that...I cut mine off in a fit of self loathing...then poured hot grits in my pants to help heal.
  • What I'm wondering is how long the steering gear would last? My guess is not long, other than that, they are quite cool.
  • I thought tracks were designed for vehicles so they could spin and turn with no steering... I guess they double as tires now for people who can't afford a lift kit and bigger tires.
  • im not sure about the company name or whatnot, but if anyone here has attened the minnesota state fair in the last 7 years you could have seen either the same thing or similar thing (not sure of the company name) they usualy have pallets out with these puppies on them usualy all with sold tags on them

    just wanted to point out that they've been out for some time

  • Friction != Force * Coefficient of friction. Think racecar tires, etc. The formula you quote is a lot like f=kx where f=force, k = a spring const and x = stretching distance. It's useful in clasrooms, but not elsewhere. Really, friction depends upon the maximum amount of resistance which can occur per sqare inch. At a most basic level, think of two calibrated flat guage blocks in contact. Surface area determines how many atoms of steel are able to to resist motion and once there is enough pressure to result in the contact surfaces bonding on a molecular level (not much pressure is actually needed) the only thing that would increase friction would be more surface area.
  • How about 02134? I don't know if that one ever made it out of the US, but it is certainly taking up some of my long-term memory that could better be used for something else.
  • Would it be okay if we discussed how to make your Toyota (or was it Saturn?) run on putrified penguin under-roos, while playing MP3s from the webserver in the trunk?
  • Yes!! Yes, my brother!

  • I find it ironic that at the same time the U.S. Army is working on a tank with wheels (Popluar Mechanics, not sure what month, but this year), tracks are being put on trucks.

    Retrofitting my Dodge Ram with anti-aircraft guns,
  • I've always wondered, can treads be defeated (tanks included) by simply sticking a hard enough object in the wheels on the side?

"Call immediately. Time is running out. We both need to do something monstrous before we die." -- Message from Ralph Steadman to Hunter Thompson