You are here

Mattracks – Keeping a track on the oil and gas industry

19th November 2014

Mattracks, based in Karlstad, Minnesota, has been manufacturing rubber track conversion systems since 1994, with over 100 models and proving that it is a cost effective solution for mobility over some of the world’s most extreme terrain

Mattracks – Keeping a track on the oil and gas industry
Since 1994, Mattracks have been sold to people all around the world, from the South Pole in Antarctica to the North Slopes of Alaska, from the Americas to the Middle East

Mattracks was started back in the early nineties by Glen Brazier, the company CEO, with a little help from his then 11 year old son, Matt.

Matt made a drawing of a large truck with tracks instead of tires and he asked his dad: "Could we make something like this?"

After a few years of development and testing, Mr. Brazier gained his first of many patents on his track conversion design.

The first set of Mattracks was manufactured in Thief River Falls, Minnesota in 1992. Later, production was moved to its current location in Karlstad, a small town in northwest Minnesota, with the first tracks being sold to the public in 1994.

Mattracks, Inc. was incorporated in 1995 and at that time employed just six people to manufacture and market the original rubber track conversion system. The first model was sold primarily in the US markets, as well as in Canada. Mattracks added additional sales staff in 1999 to address the growing interests in their products from the international market.

In 2001, Mattracks introduced their LiteFoot line of ATV track conversion systems, adding to the Mattracks line that primarily covered automotive applications such as trucks and SUVs.

The following year they added the Track-tor Assist line to cover tractors, which has since grown to include just about any off-road piece of equipment from seismic vibrators weighing close to 80,000 lbs to large telehandlers to specialised harvesters.  Today, Mattracks has over 100 models and has customers in over 100 countries on all seven continents.

Since 1994, Mattracks has continually improved on its original design.  Today’s systems offer an increase in speed, a smoother ride, improved traction, more durability and easier steering. With over two decades of experience in track system design and development, Mattracks continues to be on the leading edge of the track conversion industry, most recently with their release of the innovative EZtracks Series with its revolutionary track shape.

The goal at Mattracks is to meet the needs of the customers. Through innovative designs and advancements in materials used in production, Mattracks engineering department is always looking to improve on already remarkable product reliability, while giving the customer the smoothest ride and most trouble-free operation in the industry.

Mattracks has several facilities in Karlstad that totals to over 200,000 square feet.  The main facility is a 100,000 square foot production plant. A 60,000 square foot facility is used primarily for shipping and receiving and a 25,000 square foot polymer department is dedicated solely to rubber production and development.  In addition, Mattracks owns three separate testing sites in the Karlstad area that cover over 500 acres.

One unique aspect of Mattracks is that it is one of only a few manufactures who operate their own rubber track production department. Mattracks polymer department produces every rubber track that is found on its 100+ models.

The rubber tracks used with their track systems need to work in a wide range of environments and terrain.  Custom rubber material formulations are required to meet those demands. With Mattracks handling their own rubber track production in-house; track engineering, manufacturing and quality control can be closely monitored. Mattracks continually is developing their rubber tracks so that they are even more efficient and even more durable.

The main production plant is home to both traditional and state of the art metal fabrication equipment, including precision machining and materials cutting equipment.  This gives Mattracks tremendous product fabrication capabilities.

Multiple assembly lines are set up to allow for quick change over, allowing Mattracks to shift production resources to meet specific product demands. The production department is always working to improve on an already efficient process in order to control rising material costs all while maintaining a high level of quality control.

Mattracks engineering takes advantage of the many resources available to design, test and prototype each part that goes into the quality products manufactured at Mattracks. Their suite of CAE software products allows them to go from concept to print to prototype to quality production components in as little as minutes. Manufactured parts produced by their precision fabricating equipment are routinely checked by engineering personnel to assure close tolerances and quality throughout the production process.

Mattracks uses the latest CAE software; including 3D CAD Modeling, Finite Element Analysis (FEA), Multibody Dynamics (MBD), and Data Acquisition Systems.  In addition, Mattracks engineers utilize everything from 3D printers for prototyping to portable coordinate measuring machines (CMM) for quality control and vehicle measurements. Along with product design and development, Mattracks engineers design and build their own equipment and machines used for production, track molding, and product testing.

Mattracks holds dozens of international patents on the many designs that make Mattracks the most technologically advanced, independent, rubber track conversion systems found anywhere in the world. Used for recreation, construction, farming, defense, exploration, emergency services, and much more; Mattracks can equip most any vehicle or machine with tracks, from small ATVs to machinery weighing over 40 tons.   If mobility is an issue, Mattracks is the answer.

When compared to a dedicated track vehicle, Mattracks’ cost efficient mobility solutions convert a wheeled vehicle into a tracked vehicle capable of traveling over soft terrain like mud, snow, sand, swamps and bog, with minimal impact on the environment.  With the rubber track system, one simply bolts on an independent track unit in place of the vehicle’s tire, giving an "all-track-drive" vehicle with all the features and functionality of a road vehicle, but capable of meeting off-road mobility challenges.  Plus Mattracks is not limited to off-road use.  They are able to be driven on paved roads and do not damage the road surface.

One or two people with hand tools and a floor jack can easily install an entire Mattracks system. Just remove the tires and bolt Mattracks in place.  In approximately thirty minutes the job is done.  It's as simple as changing a tire.

Mattracks incredibly low ground pressure provides mobility in mud, sand, snow, swamp, rocks and hard surface. Mattracks enables an organization the ability to move personnel and equipment where it wants and when it wants. The road condition, or the lack of a road, will not be a problem with a Mattracks equipped vehicle.

The large track footprint provides the vehicle with added flotation, by spreading out the vehicle's weight over the surface of the ground. Improved traction is also gained through the amount of surface contact between the tracks and the ground. This combination of traction and flotation allows a Mattracks equipped vehicle to travel over soft terrain with as little as 1.5 psi [10 kPa].  A conventional truck with tires exerts as much as 40 psi [275 kPa], while an average man will place 7 psi [48 kPa] on the ground. Mattracks low ground pressure leaves less impact on the land as ones travels through sensitive environments.

Mattracks is as easy on a vehicle as regular tires. With the track system design, there is a natural gear reduction that provides an increase in pulling force where the rubber meets the road as compared to tires. Because of this, a Mattracks equipped vehicle can make greater use of the engine torque at low speeds. The vehicle also retains lock-to-lock steering, which provides the same turning radius as tires and allows one to use full power to move around obstacles. Mattracks features an exclusive rubber torsion, anti-torque system that helps prevent tracks from over rotating. The Mattracks steering assist package also provides easy one-handed steering, even while the vehicle is not moving.

Mattracks equipped vehicles are at work exploring for oil and gas, installing and servicing telecommunication systems, on construction sites, mining, drilling, logging, forestry, surveying, power transmission lines and pipeline construction. The track systems have been put to work in many industries such as farming, law enforcement, search and rescue, emergency services and government agencies. They have proven to be a reliable solution for routine travel and for the transportation of equipment and supplies into many different work environments.

Mattracks are used on light duty to heavy duty trucks, SUVs and vans. The LiteFoot ATV tracks are used on ATVs, UTVs, and heavy duty utility vehicles with 33 models to choose from. The Track-Tor Assist rubber track systems are available for 4WD and 4WD w/front wheel assist Tractors up to 80,000 lbs, and are also used on other farm equipment such as harvesters, combines, swathers, and sprayers, and other construction equipment now up to 20 tons. The Trail-R-Mate track systems are non-driven systems that can be put on trailers, farm implement tractors and other pull-behind commercial, recreational and agricultural applications.

Since 1994, Mattracks have been sold to people all around the world, from the South Pole in Antarctica to the North Slopes of Alaska, from the Americas to the Middle East. Mattracks are being used by various domestic and foreign government agencies, search and rescue units, maintenance and engineering crews, commercial users and recreational users. Everyday people are finding out different ways the rubber tracks can be used and calling Mattracks to find a solution.

Mattracks innovation and product design has been acknowledged within many industries for awards including: "Top 50 Products 2002" - Construction Site News Magazine, "Best of Farm Show" - Farm Show Magazine, "Readers Choice Awards 2000" - Utility Product Showcase Magazine, "Top 100 New Products 1997" - Construction Equipment Magazine.

 

Additional information is available by contacting Mattracks, Inc. at 218-683-9800, 877-436-7800 (toll free US & Canada) or 218-436-7000.  Visit online at www.mattracks.com, email at sales@mattracks.comAlso, follow Mattracks on Facebook and Twitter@Mattracks.

Related topics: 

Got a news tip? Email news@oilandgastechnology.net