‘Go anywhere, do anything’ with Bell Equipment’s Tracked Carrier

Published: 10 May 2023

Geared for the short haul and to provide access to difficult-to-reach remote areas, South African OEM, Bell Equipment, will introduce its Tracked Carrier concept to the local market at NAMPO 2023.

Bell Tracked Carriers, available as the 7-ton Bell TC7A and the 11-ton Bell TC11A, leverage the company’s experience as a global articulated dump truck specialist, especially with its B20E Low Ground Pressure truck. The units, fitted with premium components and Bell Equipment’s proprietary Fleetm@tic® software, are powered by a 6,7 litre Cummins engine with Rexroth hydraulics, have a standard ROPS and FOPS certified cab, and the option of a dump bed or flatbed.

Bell Equipment Product Manager, Jeremiah Mokhomo, explains: “What sets the Bell Tracked Carriers apart is our unique six-roller system with compound walking beams that provide equal weight distribution when traversing obstacles. The result is a much smoother ride compared to the tracked machines that are currently available on the international market.”

In keeping with the company’s philosophy of ‘strong reliable machines’, Bell Tracked Carriers are made from thicker gauge steel, have rubbers in the bogie pivots for reduced greasing requirements and improved wear, and a ground-level service hatch and removable panels for ease of maintenance. Jeremiah adds: “Our design engineers listened to the market and designed accordingly, thinking of everything including cab accessibility and operator comfort.”

He continues: “One of the reasons we first designed the Tracked Carrier was for pipeline projects in the US where sites are in remote areas that are difficult to access. In the initial stage of a project, Bell Tracked Carriers are the only machines that can access these areas and minimise environmental damage. With a flatbed configuration, they also are an ideal solution for delivering wooden mats to remote areas so that other machines can gain access or carrying attachments like personnel carriers and welding machines.”

Markets for the Bell Tracked Carrier have since expanded with the machine’s launch in Western Europe in 2022, and interest has been shown from Australia and South Africa. This has brought the versatility of the Tracked Carrier to the fore as new applications are discovered.

The Tracked Carrier has been used successfully in the electrical utility and power transmission industry where specialised attachments such as aerial platforms and auger drills have been fitted to the chassis to provide the perfect tool to maintain power lines in difficult terrain.

Tracked Carriers are a versatile addition to any general construction fleet as they can perform clean-up and earthmoving tasks, especially at the start of a project before infrastructure has been established and site conditions are usually adverse or after excessive rainfall.

They are likewise useful for residential and commercial developments such as apartment blocks and golf courses due to their ability to access challenging sites, especially where the ground profile is undulated and covered by vegetation. “Ground conditions are often extremely soft once land clearing is done, and this is where the Bell Tracked Carrier comes into its own, particularly when there is rainfall,” adds Jeremiah.

Due to their tight turning circle and ability to make progress in wet, muddy conditions, Tracked Carriers are well suited to dam wall construction. Furthermore, with multiple combinations available, the Bell Tracked Carrier can be tailored to meet most needs for tough municipal jobs and military installations.

“Landfill and ash pond management are other possible applications. With their low ground pressure, Tracked Carriers reduce the overall stress on landfill and ash pond infrastructure like plastic liners. They also excel at landfill sites when the ground is too steep or too muddy for rubber-tyred vehicles, and ash ponds where the slurry material creates unfavourable underfoot conditions for other vehicles. In addition, opportunities exist for attachments such as hydroseeders.”

Tracked Carriers offer exceptional versatility in sand mining applications, where they enable ongoing production during excessive rainfall and when high water tables minimise drainage and can also be used for tailing pond management when required or carrying attachments like personnel carriers and drills, etc.

“They are also usually the only option for wetlands and flood control work due to the extremely low ground pressure they exert. In the case of wetlands, which are environmentally sensitive, this helps to minimise the disruption underfoot. The uses of the Tracked Carrier are many and varied and we look forward to gauging the reaction and interest from our South African market,” concludes Jeremiah.

Bell Equipment Product Manager, Jeremiah Mokhomo.

The six-roller undercarriage with compound walking beams guarantees optimal ground pressure contact and impressive operator comfort.

All service items are easily accessible from ground level.