Mattracks vs Tires

Discussion about deep snow wheeling, vehicle builds, trip reports, etc
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Nobody
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Mattracks vs Tires

Postby Nobody » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:10 am

I just watched these videos of a Toyota Tacoma on Mattracks up on Tonga Ridge in some fresh snow. I’m surprised by how much he still has to work at it. I guess that just reinforces my opinion that when the snow is good nearly anything works, and when conditions are tough, nothing works well. It would have been interesting to see a well setup wheeled vehicle in the same spot.



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christensent
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Re: Mattracks vs Tires

Postby christensent » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:04 pm

I asked someone who has them how they compared them to wheeled vehicles (he traveled with wheeled vehicles as he didn't know anyone else who had them). He said he has never been outdone by any wheeled vehicle including buggies on 44"+ tires, and the difference is huge and those vehicles don't even come close to his capabilities. Who knows if any of them know how to snow wheel, and those vehicles are usually on bias tires and the drivers are using mud styles of driving, but at least it's one data point.

They're definitely not a snow-cat though, you still have to work, you still sink, and you still dig.

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Re: Mattracks vs Tires

Postby Nobody » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:58 pm

I’m not suggesting tires are better, but I do question if Mattracks are really worth it for what we do, considering all the extra hassle of trailering and swapping the the mattracks on etc. I suspect if the snow was good enough for the Toyota on tracks to drive without effort, then a wheeled vehicle would likely be able to go with a bit of effort.

The tracks I was following the other day weren’t much wider than my relatively narrow tires. I’d guess my aired down tires probably had 1/3 to 1/2 the length of the tracks. They had quite a bit more axle clearance though.

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christensent
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Re: Mattracks vs Tires

Postby christensent » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:28 pm

I feel like a tire at a few PSI operates more track-like than tire-like. I do think that ground clearance (both axle and belly clearance) might be one of the biggest gains. I wouldn't be surprised if a vehicle on portal axles and 44"-54" tires performed almost as well as something on Mattracks.

And yes, quite a pain to trailer or deal with changing them out. That's my main deterrent from trying to make some DIY tracks. There's something that appeals to me about having a vehicle that drives 80MPH on the highway and can also do the things we do.


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