Rubber belts

April 28, 2022 by
Petr Zeman
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When rebuilding a John Deere crawler tractor, the most important thing is to make sure the tracks work properly. With the Bruder tracks that come standard with the model, the tractor can be built and operated normally, but over time the tracks will become longer due to constant tension. The solution to this problem is simple and consists of removing the belts after driving and storing them on a shelf next to the model. However, this solution is not ideal, so we decided to develop the belt completely from scratch.

In the picture below you can see a comparison of our rubber belt with the Bruder belt

Key Features

It was clear from the start that our belt had to be free of elongation, so it is made of rubber that is reinforced with fiberglass. The elements that fit precisely into the drive wheel are further reinforced with plastic pads.

  • The rubber we use is made up of several components that allow us to adjust its hardness exactly as we need it. Hardening by chemical reaction occurs at a raised temperature under standard pressure. The rubber we use has a much higher coefficient of friction, so the tractor's pulling force is increased compared to the original tracks.
  • Since a belt made only of rubber would stretch in length when tension is applied, our belt is reinforced with fiberglass. These fibres are oriented in both longitudinal and transverse directions and thus maintain the belt's stable shape. The fibres are placed in the middle of the belt thickness, thus allowing the belt to bend.
  • To increase the life of the belt, the elements that transmit the torque from the drive wheel to the belt movement are reinforced with plastic pads. These parts not only make the entire element more rigid, but also help to spread the load over the entire width of the belt. In addition, the pads are rubber coated throughout, thus eliminating the annoying clicking that can occur when using the original belts.

The profile of the belt is based on the original (real size) belts, however some details had to be modified (thickness, inner elements shape) to maintain functionality.

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