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Thread: SxS or Track Rig?

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    Member BrowningLeverAction's Avatar
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    Question SxS or Track Rig?

    I am starting to think about retiring my 2007 Ranger 6x6 and moving to something different. I have really enjoyed the Ranger and its capabilities, but some of the places I go (or try to go) are barely accessible with the Ranger. It also really likes to break down at the most inopportune times, and I end up being "that guy" wrenching on his machine when everyone else is trying to hunt.

    I am considering an Argo, Nodwell, or other smaller track rig. I'd love to hear from some of you track rig guys about pros and cons. I don't mind going slow, but I have heard the lack of suspension can really beat you up on a rocky trail. I need something with a cargo area that can haul a decent sized trailer, and preferably carry at least 3 people. What say you?

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    I just bought a 2018 Avenger 8x8 for the same reasons. It was just delivered so I haven't been able to play, yet. I'll let you know how it goes.

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    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    They pop up every once in awhile...I have the Hagglunds Bv206. Incomparable to any wheeled vehicle. The last one I saw for sale was in Kenai.

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    Member BrowningLeverAction's Avatar
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    Bullbuster, how does it ride on rocky trails? How is the maintenance compared to a side by side? Parts hard to come by?

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    I bought a Honda Pioneer 1000 and a set of tracks for it and it's really the best of both worlds in my opinion. The track usage is 99% snow but the couple times I had it in some tundra it went very well. It was up to the floor boards in serious muck and it crawled right through with very little effort. The rocky road/trail getting there was rougher than with tires but much better than an Argo, since the suspension is still being used. The top speed is about half of that with tires, maybe 30 mph. The set I have is the Camso (formerly Camoplast) 4S1, they're made for year round use.
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    A tracked Argo doesn't belong on rocky trails. Have one, it stays on the muskeg.

    Co-worker has same machine as me (750HDI), took it on a 50+ mile hunt with the first several miles on rough rocky terrain. He broke 2 chains, and destroyed the track links (metal part that holds rubber track ends together.
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    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrowningLeverAction View Post
    Bullbuster, how does it ride on rocky trails? How is the maintenance compared to a side by side? Parts hard to come by?
    Parts are more available than you would think. It does good on rocky trails. Solid rock can be slippery. Chipped rock can cut the tracks up. I just replaced all 4 for $20,000. No sharp rocks for awhile!

    I have had very little work to do on her. Tony's Diesel in Kenai has done a lot of it. Best rig ever!
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    That is great info. I have a good snowmachine, so this will primarily be summer usage. Sounds like an Argo maybe isn't the right choice. Bashley, I have a friend with an Arctic Cat Prowler on tracks and they have been terrible for his clutch. Have you noticed any problems with the tracks causing accelerated wear on the running gear? I know the Pioneer doesn't have a centrifugal clutch, but I'm wondering if the tracks make the whole system work too hard.

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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Before I bought the Argo, I had a Rhino on tracks- TJD cattracks.

    It ate wheel bearings. I only had the tracks for 2 seasons, but I had to replace the wheel bearings each season. I also broke both rear axles, but I cannot definitively attribute that to the tracks. I do think that the tracks were rough on the running gear.

    I got rid of them for 2 reasons. 1st is that I spend most of the time on muskeg. When you get stuck in muskeg or mud with a SXS on tracks, you are STUCK.

    2nd reason is that they were less capable in the muskeg than an Argo.

    I've never owned a BV206, but I drove them in the Army. They are an order of magnitude better than any Argo or SXS setup. The biggest downside I can think of is expense. There's nothing I'm aware of that are as capable on all terrain in AK.

    I was BSing one day with the chief of maintenance for land vehicles on Ft. Rich (National Guard). He complained quite a bit about SUSV's (BV206's) and how much maintenance they required. He said that if ANYTHING went wrong with the engine (Mercedes), they replaced it with a 6.2 Chevy since they had tons of them in stock.
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    Watched a video awhile back and those be some crazy machines...!!!
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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Watched a video awhile back and those be some crazy machines...!!!
    I must admit I have been driving by rubbernecking at it a number of times....unfortunately, to afford it I would have to sell the kids....then steal em back and sell em again....
    "– Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrowningLeverAction View Post
    That is great info. I have a good snowmachine, so this will primarily be summer usage. Sounds like an Argo maybe isn't the right choice. Bashley, I have a friend with an Arctic Cat Prowler on tracks and they have been terrible for his clutch. Have you noticed any problems with the tracks causing accelerated wear on the running gear? I know the Pioneer doesn't have a centrifugal clutch, but I'm wondering if the tracks make the whole system work too hard.
    I haven't noticed any issues at all with the machine. The only issue I've noticed is the smell of hot rubber when I'm on dry trails and that was only once and was do to an alignment issue, that I fixed. The speedometer will read way off and the RPMs run a lot higher but it doesn't create any problems.
    Also, my cab is enclosed with the soft style doors and rear window and I put a heater in the cab. Good luck getting me back on a snowmachine any time soon. Haha. I had both of my sleds stolen a few years back and replaced them with the track kit, best move I've made in a long time. (For what I do anyways).

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    Oh, if only I could afford a Sherp...

    That's good to hear about your lack of issues with the tracks. I love my Expedition snowmachine, but it would be nice to have the option of two or 3 up riding in a warm cab.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrowningLeverAction View Post
    That is great info. I have a good snowmachine, so this will primarily be summer usage. Sounds like an Argo maybe isn't the right choice. Bashley, I have a friend with an Arctic Cat Prowler on tracks and they have been terrible for his clutch. Have you noticed any problems with the tracks causing accelerated wear on the running gear? I know the Pioneer doesn't have a centrifugal clutch, but I'm wondering if the tracks make the whole system work too hard.
    Honda's don't run a clutch, so there shouldn't be any issue there. I ran a pioneer with the tracks for a while, they were fantastic. But when you get stuck your STUCK! I always felt like i had to baby them for some reason and took it easy on them. I also ran an argo for a few years. Nothing beats an argo, but yes not gonna do you any favors on rocky trails, pretty much stuck to muskeg and swamps

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    Took the new Argo out a few times and it was awesome! I didn't need to pick my way through/around mudholes and muskeg was like driving down the highway.

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    Argo is slow but nice and dry
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    FWIW...have a 2010 Polaris Ranger. In the winter and spring it wears tracks, Tatou/Camoplast.

    - Primary use is going to /from cabin on a forested trail with significant ruts, humps, a few big rocks...issue is fighting through the mud and fighting ruts and/or the big rocks.
    - Secondary use is going afield from the cabin: not muskeg, but typical SC terrain: grassy hills to black spruce bog and a bit of rocky terrain above timberline.
    - Been pretty happy with the track setup so far; no excessive wear and it generally gets where I'm going.
    - SxS on track is slower than any alternative: either a SxS on wheels, or a snow-go
    - I prefer not to discuss turning radius on anything but mud or snow
    - It will get stuck in dry powder snow...and I've buried it once in mud: that was as much poor choice by the driver as anything, but as has been said, when you get an SxS with track stuck ....you are well and truly stuck.
    - As I get older, the twice a year swap between tracks and tires is getting to be more of a PITA.

    Ideally, one would have 4-5 different land vehicles..but if we can't achieve that, a SxS with tracks is a good compromise, but it is a compromise.
    Back in AK

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    Member BrowningLeverAction's Avatar
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    It's always a compromise. Based on everyone here's experience, the SxS with tracks may be the best alternative. I don't like getting stuck at 10 pm in the giant bog on the way in to my cabin.

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