Crawlers for mobilisation of working machines in rough terrain realize considerably high propel power. Furthermore, even heavy engineering structures cause only minor ground loading due to the wide contact patch of the crawler track plate. Typically, the driving speed of crawlers is low. Nevertheless, there is a significant speed droop during travel. The resulting vibrations and thus time variant loads eventuates in altered wear of the crawler’s components, as well as in damage of the travel gear drive and the superstructure of the vehicle. In this paper, a substitute model for crawler units is derived based on D’ALEMBERT’s principle. The model includes the most relevant phenomena of longitudinal crawler vehicle dynamics and hence permits to assess the time variant loads on the components thoroughly.

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