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Author Topic: Cletrac Diff-steer.  (Read 38290 times)
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Deas Plant
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« on: March 01, 2003, 10:18:25 PM »

Hi, Folks.
              My experince with Cletrac crawlers is limited to watching them in fields as I drove by and seeing one close up as I was walking past on my way to somewhere else.
Can anyone tell me if Cletrac's diff-steer gave full-power turns, that is to say full power on both tracks as the machine was making a turn, a la the modern Cats?
The reason for this question is that some-one at Yesterday's Tractors has made the claim that Case was the first with this feature. I doubt this 'cos Case wasn't even in the crawler business until it bought out Terratrac. I suspect that the early tiller-wheel steer Holts and Bests may have had a diff which would have given them pull power on both tracks while turning. That would be a long, LONG way before Case got into the business.
You have a wonderful day.
Best wishes. Deas Plant.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by dplant8961 » Logged

You have a wonderful day. Best wishes. Deas Plant.
Blake Malkamaki
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2003, 11:49:27 PM »

Yes Deas, Cletrac's Controled Differential Steering applies power to both tracks at all times. Long before Case ever thought about crawlers. Cats do not applie power to both tracks - when you pull the lever and activate a steering clutch you lose all power to that track. Except, from what I've heard, some of the new agricultural Cats have Cletrac steering in them.

Blake
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Blake » Logged

My gramps Howard van Driest was Experimental Engineer at Cletrac and Oliver Corporation. After the plant closed, he and my uncle started an excavating business, initially using Cletrac and Oliver Crawler tractors. Please help Support This Site and give your business exposure by buying a business card sized ad.
Deas Plant
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2003, 02:06:01 AM »

Hi, Blake.
               Thanks for your reply. It clears things up for me and proves that some 'experts' on some of these forums DON'T know that of which they write. I wasn't sure so I asked.
Cat have had diff steering on their
 'dozers for around ten years now. I think it started with the Cat D6H. Still, it did take 'em a while catch up, didn't it?
Thanks again.
You have a wonderful day.
Best wishes. Deas.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by dplant8961 » Logged

You have a wonderful day. Best wishes. Deas Plant.
John Schwiebert
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2003, 09:03:04 AM »

Your friend that talked about the case with the differential steering, well the first Clark /terratrack used a Clark final drive same as the Cletrac HG. This looking at history was a World War two thing to keep up with the war. Cletrac had this before .
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by John Schwiebert » Logged

John Schwiebert
Deas Plant
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2003, 02:34:10 PM »

Hi, John.
              So TerraTrac had the diff steering before Case bought them out and Case inherited it with the purchase of TerraTrac. Is that correct? If so, I will take a certain amount of delight in directing certain 'experts' to this thread.
Thank you.
You have a wonderful day.
Best wishes.
Deas Plant.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by dplant8961 » Logged

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Robert Barbour
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2003, 04:13:37 PM »

Well if the truth were told Cat sort of had the diff steering first.  It happened this way. In 1915 the C. L. Best company build their model 8/16 with new differential steering. They showed it at the San Francisco exposition in 1915 and a fellow named Rollin White of the White Sewing Machine company in Cleveland saw it and liked it. He purchased the tractor and the right to it from C L. Best who was in financial hard times, and started the Cleveland tractor company.  Later in 1925 C.L. Best and Holt joined to form Caterpillar.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Robert Barbour » Logged

Robert from Vancouver Island BC
Blake Malkamaki
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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2003, 08:55:29 PM »

Robert, where did you get this information?

From what I was told by my grandfather, Rollin White invented the steering used in Cletracs. Cletracs use what is called "Controlled Differential Steering" where, when you pull the lever (or steering wheel on early models), the drum that the brake band is wrapped around stops, allowing the plannetary gears inside to reduce the speed of that side of the tractor and proportionally increase the speed of the other side. Therefore the tractor's ground speed remains the same.

I would like to know what the early Best steering did and how it worked.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Blake » Logged

My gramps Howard van Driest was Experimental Engineer at Cletrac and Oliver Corporation. After the plant closed, he and my uncle started an excavating business, initially using Cletrac and Oliver Crawler tractors. Please help Support This Site and give your business exposure by buying a business card sized ad.
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2003, 09:01:56 PM »

A couple of years ago I did a little research for the Tru-draft Tractor folks. That is the General-B. F. Avery and then Moline which alldesended from the  Cletrac general. Unlike the rest of the Cletrac line they purchased this differential from Clark Transmission. Durring the War there was also a Clark dozer (Military) almost a twin to the HG. Well Dana purchased  the rights to Clark from I-R and so I had a gentleman send some information on the final drive. It was available with steering with planetary for a crawler and a plain differential for a wheel tracor. They made those units for over 20 manufactures, One being Case.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by John Schwiebert » Logged

John Schwiebert
Robert Barbour
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2003, 01:31:29 AM »

I got this information from a book on Caterpillar by Robert Pripps called The Big Book of Caterpillar. I don't think Best invented the differential either, just that he was the first to use in a tractor. The Cletrac differential is not a planetary, it is a differential like is used in a car except the gear arrangement and type( spur gears) is different so it can handle the much heaver Torque load. Actually the proper term for a  differential is a Torque Divider. In a car the torque to each wheel is always the same but the speed may be different.  With a brake controlled diferential the Brake consumes some of the torque going to one axle, it slows down and the other speeds up by the same amount. The engine load also increases as some of its power is wasted in the brake.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Robert Barbour » Logged

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Deas Plant
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2003, 06:26:53 AM »

Hi, Folks.
              Thanks for all the information. The plot thickens and still there is little new under the sun. Would it be permissible to copy this thread and post it at Yesterday's Tractors where this discussion really started. I brought the question here because I knew Cletrac had differential steering but didn't know when they started using it.
Alternatively, I could post a link to this thread on the Crawlers forum at YT.

You all have a wonderful day.
Best wishes. Deas.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by dplant8961 » Logged

You have a wonderful day. Best wishes. Deas Plant.
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2003, 07:02:45 PM »

Quote

I got this information from a book on Caterpillar by Robert Pripps called The Big Book of Caterpillar. I don't think Best invented the differential either, just that he was the first to use in a tractor. The Cletrac differential is not a planetary, it is a differential like is used in a car except the gear arrangement and type( spur gears) is different so it can handle the much heaver Torque load. Actually the proper term for a differential is a Torque Divider. In a car the torque to each wheel is always the same but the speed may be different. With a brake controlled diferential the Brake consumes some of the torque going to one axle, it slows down and the other speeds up by the same amount. The engine load also increases as some of its power is wasted in the brake.


The original term for a differential was a compensating gear and steam tractions engines had them in the mid to late 1800s.

The Cletrac Controlled Differential Steering IS planetary. The drums stop completely when the lever is pulled fully. No energy is consumed by the brake and no heat or wear is created by the brake as long as the brake is fully activated. Other than friction of the force needed in turning the tracks in the dirt, there is no power wasted to the brakes.

Blake
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Blake » Logged

My gramps Howard van Driest was Experimental Engineer at Cletrac and Oliver Corporation. After the plant closed, he and my uncle started an excavating business, initially using Cletrac and Oliver Crawler tractors. Please help Support This Site and give your business exposure by buying a business card sized ad.
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2003, 08:05:32 PM »

Deas, Rollin H. White used the Controlled Differential Steerin in the model R tractor built by the Cleveland Motor Plow Company in 1916. I'm not sure when he developed it.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Blake » Logged

My gramps Howard van Driest was Experimental Engineer at Cletrac and Oliver Corporation. After the plant closed, he and my uncle started an excavating business, initially using Cletrac and Oliver Crawler tractors. Please help Support This Site and give your business exposure by buying a business card sized ad.
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2003, 10:17:06 PM »

O. K. I did this several years ago when I was in Cleveland on business. I checked on some early Cletrac pattents. I am sure enough of us have read where Rollin developed this " tractor" that carried the tillage tool. Now we are all in agreement that the Model R was the first Cletrac, so designated because Rollin started with the letter R. I think we have all seen drawings. pictures whatever where on the side of these things (Model R) it has the name Cleveland Motor Plow Company. Here is what I don't understand. Rollins pattents for his tractor which carried the disk was assigned to the Cleveland Tractor Company. So when did Cleveland Tractor really come into being, if those pattents were assigned to Cleveland tractor in 1914. Another thing, Rollin was granted a pattent for a direction changing device, which I think could be shifted on the go in1920. It was also assigned to the Cleveland Tractor company. Now did they ever use it because it would have been great with a dozer, no clutching! Next odd thing in the late 1920's they were developing a 2 stroke diesel to go into the model 30. The design of the engine except for the fuel system is very similar to a 71 Series Detroit. Was this design sold to Winton who was a forerunner to Detroit Diesel? Winton engines was also in Cleveland
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by John Schwiebert » Logged

John Schwiebert
Robert Barbour
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2003, 11:19:20 PM »

In another book I have It say the Cleveland tractor company, the successor to the Cleveland Motor Plow company was incorporated in 1916. Now if Cleveland tractor had patents in 1914 then these books are not exactly accurate are they!!  That would not be a big surprize to me as tractors have become quite popular in the last few years and the publishers are trying to cash in on it with anything they can get to market fast.  Now as for planetary gears, they are not differentials , planetary gears are used for the reduction and reverse in automatic transmissions. Brakes always consume energy when ever the think they are braking is in motion,  Even in a Cletrac!!  It is not often that you are able to stop one track completely so that no energy is consumed!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Robert Barbour » Logged

Robert from Vancouver Island BC
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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2003, 10:04:13 AM »

Quote

Now as for planetary gears, they are not differentials , planetary gears are used for the reduction and reverse in automatic transmissions. Brakes always consume energy when ever the think they are braking is in motion, Even in a Cletrac!! It is not often that you are able to stop one track completely so that no energy is consumed!


Robert, you don't understand how these work. The steering drums do have planetary gears in them. And the brakes do not absorb energy if they are not slipping. The brake bands hold the drums from turning - no friction = no loss of energy. And Cletrac steering does not STOP one track!

The Cletrac uses Controlled Differential Steering. It is not a differential as you know it such as in your car. And it's not simply like putting the brake on one side on a rubber tired farm tractor.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Blake » Logged

My gramps Howard van Driest was Experimental Engineer at Cletrac and Oliver Corporation. After the plant closed, he and my uncle started an excavating business, initially using Cletrac and Oliver Crawler tractors. Please help Support This Site and give your business exposure by buying a business card sized ad.
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