Track ‘n Go: Time to cast off your snow chains?

  • Winter off-roaders – strike off your chains!
  • Turn your bakkie into a snowmobile
  • OK, you can  bring on the next Ice Age now
SNOWSTORMS CONQUERED: This all-wheel drive bakkie had a Track 'n Go unit on each wheel and simply turned of the icy road into deep fresh snow. Image: Track 'n Go/YouTube
SNOWSTORMS CONQUERED: This all-wheel drive bakkie had a Track ‘n Go unit on each wheel and simply turned of the icy road into deep fresh snow. Image: Track ‘n Go/YouTube

LES STEPHENSON

MANY years ago, when Britain had freezing winters and heavy snow and the family lived in north-east England (which is closer to the Arctic Circle than Windhoek is to Cape Town), my dad kept a pile of rusty chains in a corner of the garage – I remember them well though I was only five or six then.

I never thought to ask, but their only use seemed to be as housing projects for spiders.

WHO NEEDS SNOW TYRES? Track 'n Go in action through snowdrifts in Canada. Image: Track 'n Go/YouTube
WHO NEEDS SNOW TYRES? Track ‘n Go in action through snowdrifts in Canada. Image: Track ‘n Go/YouTube

Then one seriously snowy morning I watched, shivering in short pants, as he hauled them out and it turned out there were actually four individual chains, paired by other short chains, each long piece ending in a funny hook.

WATCH AS A set of chains is fitted.

Then he rummaged in the Ford Popular’s boot for the wheel-changing jack and hiked up a rear wheel. I caught on quick as he wrapped a pair of chains around the tyre and (how, I forget now) locked them tightly in place.

Unjack, repeat with other rear wheel. Front-wheel drive hadn’t been invented yet – had it been the chains would have gone there instead. Today, even all-wheel drive cars can benefit from a set of chains, one for EACH wheel, in very icy weather.

MORE VIDEOS about Track ‘n Go

Back to 2017, however, and a Canadian company called Boivin has created Track ‘n Go, Caterpillar-tracked units to go under a vehicle’s driven wheels for traction in extreme conditions, particularly snow but also mud and, possibly, sand should their bearing seals be good enough.

Fitting all four apparently takes about 15 minutes.

They’re pretty clunky and you’d need a trailer to haul them around but their potential for, say, the Drakensberge, in winter are obvious. Unfortunately Track ‘n Go’s website requires the filling of an order form to get prices but the videos in this feature tell the story of how they are used.

If ‘global warming’ continues to bring freezing winters to Europe (five-metre snowdrifts involved in the recent Italian tragedy) then the well-heeled will be looking closely at the Canadian invention.

Whatever, they’re pretty cool – enjoy the videos.

HOW TO ORDER 

INTRO

AD Boivin Inc. is a company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets products for the motorsports industry and for other vehicles on snow.

Founded in 1995, the company became known with the development and the marketing of kits and suspension systems for high-end snowmobile. They developed products like the ETS (Energy Transfer System) and the suspension Expert X.

In 2001, AD Boivin became the fifth global snowmobile manufacturer bringing to the market the real snowmobile called the SnowHawk. Since that day, more than 1000 units have been sold worldwide. In 2008, the global recession has led them to develop the track system for motorcycle: The Explorer. This kit is more affordable and offers all the enjoyment that a bike on snow can procure. The commercial success of the Explorer took over the SnowHawk, whose production ended in 2008. The SnowHawk division was then sold in May 2011 to Moto MST to ensure the supply of parts for the customers.

Together, with the marketing of the SnowHawk, AD Boivin has been a major player in the market with the ATV Tracks, thanks to the development of the patented systems Traxion Plus and Giant. Marketed from 2002 to 2006, these systems ATV Tracks have been used throughout the world. The ATV track division was later sold to Camoplast Solideal in 2006.

Acknowledged as an innovative enterprise, AD Boivin has launched in 2008 the first snowmobile suspension composite which is also the lightest on the market: The ZX2. A revolutionary and unique concept in which the damper was integrated with the G-Force: a “Positon Sensitive Damper” patented technology by AD Boivin. The ZX2 is now used by hundreds of snowmobilers around the world.

In order to diversify its operations, the company decided in 2010 to get into the utility market by using their years of expertise in the field of recreational tracked vehicles. The company designs and develops a revolutionary track system for 4×4 vehicles which will be the first to amalgamate a wheel to a track. This concept will allow you to install in few minutes the tracks to a 4×4 vehicle, and therefor it will become a new tool for diverse industrial applications, all over the Nordic countries. The TRACK N GO product is commercialized since 2013.

WATCH THE Track ‘n Go system in operation

Read more about Track ‘n Go

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