Rubber track Tucker

Tye one on

Member
Could someone tell me why I see some Tucker's with one bogey wheel that looks different from the others? It looks like UHMW form the pics I've seen but I'm not totally sure. It usually seems to be the most rear wheel on the track system. I have my guesses but I am new to rubber tracks and mine does not have any of these magical bogey wheels. Thanks.
 

redsqwrl

Bronze Member
GOLD Site Supporter
My $.02
The magic wheel in the midwest is called an ice breaker.

Its purpose is reported to be to crush the impacted snow and ice the forms on a working machine. it is installed at the rear position to gain the advantage of the highest tension.

At our county alliance meetings there are some clubs running the Ice breaker at the front. (the reason is the hard make up of the tire forces the snow/ice out and thru the holes of the grouser. ( less tension allows the crud a place to go.)

a tucker expert should be along soon.....

FWIW, I have a Ice breaker for sale,
ironically It is the standard HD wheel on Wide track machines.

Also, some clubs don't run an ice breaker and feel they are not needed.
 

Mill666er

Active member
SUPER Site Supporter
When I went through my '81 542 it had two original UHMW ice breakers and 2 of the newer ones that used the stock aluminum wheel but had a much harder urethane tire. The urethane tire is a dark maroon color which may be hard to detect from a distance.

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Wheel at the rear position (far left) is the new style ice breaker.

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Blackfoot Tucker

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
I'll add that over the years Tucker has experimented with different materials on their ice breaker wheels. For example some are a blue color.

If you want to purchase new idler wheels from Tucker the ice breaker variants are more expensive than the regular ones. If my memory is correct, they were about $100.00 more apiece.
 

redsqwrl

Bronze Member
GOLD Site Supporter
The blue Ice breaker, fully loaded (bearing and seals) was quoted to our club for $600 and change.

Get sno price.
Track was the same.

I have seen bright orange ice breakers also.
 

Blackfoot Tucker

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
The blue Ice breaker, fully loaded (bearing and seals) was quoted to our club for $600 and change.

Was that for a wide track machine?

I'm not certain, but I believe the spindles (and therefore the associated bearings and seals) are a larger diameter on the wide track models.

My recollection (from several years ago) is that new idler wheels were $250-ish, and the ice breaker versions were $350-ish. Both prices were for the standard 28" wide grouser equipped Tuckers.
 

redsqwrl

Bronze Member
GOLD Site Supporter
it was a 28", the machine we had, required a HD wheel. (Blueish, larger bearings on a 1 3/8 spindle) only on the rear postition.
The Standard wheels are on a 1" shaft. A-6 bearings, similar to 12" boat trailer tires.

to my understanding the HD wheel is standard on wide track machines. and was an option on the 28" machines.
 

Mill666er

Active member
SUPER Site Supporter
I built new spindles for my 542A-HD with 28" tracks and they were 1 1/4" with a 1" castle nut.

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Blackfoot Tucker

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
Thanks Redsqwrl and Mill666er (I'm envious of your shop!)...

Tye,

An alternative to buying new wheels from Tucker is to have yours recovered. A company called Fall Line in Reno, NV offers that service. There may be others as well, such as the former Okner's in Denver (now called Mountain Services Group).

However, I suspect the idler wheels on your Tucker are in really nice shape. Perhaps you could find some used wheels that have chunks of rubber missing and use those as cores for recovering? You might find those from "the usual suspects": Get-Sno Equipment in Vermont, Track, Inc in Minnesota, Sno Trans, etc.
 

Tye one on

Member
Thanks for the info guys! I guess I need to take a look and see if mine is equipped with those. How do you know if you need them? Do standard ones not hold up?
 

Mtn-Track

Member
Thanks for the info guys! I guess I need to take a look and see if mine is equipped with those. How do you know if you need them? Do standard ones not hold up?

You don't necessarily need them. When I bought new wheels from Tucker for my build we went over the cost/benefit factor between the rubber wheels and the ice breakers on the ends. The consensus was that the extra cost of the ice breakers 'might' get you some extra life out of the tire over the rubber ones, but their testing at Tucker wasn't that conclusive. They were developed to address tire and wheel wear/damage more than ice build up in the track. I went with all rubber wheels from Tucker as the cost to have my old, chewed-up rims recovered (quoted by several well known shops) wasn't worth it compared to the cost of new ones.

Hope that helps.
 

HankScorpio

Member
Don't run without ice breakers. In certain snow conditions you will ice up badly and have nothing but problems. The track will get drum tight and walk off the sprocket. I have had bad experiences in the mountains without ice breakers. I listened to the internet telling me they were not necessary. That is wrong. Tucker and Fall line both recommend ice breakers and are right. Don't run without ice breakers.
 
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