Spanning Gaps with a Hydraulic Skidding System

Sep 27, 2023

Heavy track skidding systems, as well as low-profile skidding systems with support beams, are capable of carrying load over unsupported spans. Using the weight of your load, this article will show you how to calculate the maximum unsupported distance that each of Hydra-Slide's systems is able to span.

Below is the engineered track capacity chart for the Hydra-Slide HT300 skidding system in units of pounds and feet. Capacity charts like this one can be found in the operating manual for all of Hydra-Slide's heavy track systems, in both imperial and metric versions.

The vertical axis is the load weight per skid shoe, while the horizontal axis is the maximum span distance. As an example, imagine you have a 100-ton (200,000 lb) load evenly distributed across four skid shoes.

The per-shoe load is 200,000 lb รท 4 = 50,000 lb

To determine the maximum safe unsupported span distance, find the value of 50,000 lb on the vertical axis, draw a horizontal line across to the curve, and then read straight down to the horizontal axis (illustrated below):

The chart shows a maximum distance of 9 ft. can be safely spanned in this situation.

Please note: the above calculation assumes that the load is perfectly distributed across the four skid shoes. If the load is not distributed evenly, the effective weight on one or more of the skid shoes will be higher, and the resulting safe span distance will be lower.

Click here for a video walkthrough of these calculations by our Director of Operations, Robert Young.