I have a strange fascination with different forms of propulsion. From square wheels invented in World War Two, to Duckwalking Draglines, to Honeycomb Rims, I just keep a folder filled with videos and pictures of strange propulsion designs should I ever need to build something that just cannot be moved by the typical wheel.
I have no idea where some of these designs could be used. Perhaps someday on the holy grail of homesteading...the PERFECT Tractor...and no, one has never been built yet (sorry Kubota, you are not there yet)! Or perhaps it is using a radial means of propulsion to make a small machine really do some difficult work. Or maybe it is a new means to put a machine where it could never go before.
But I have not seen it all yet, so if you have seen a neat way to provide motivation, this would be a great place to highlight it, so me, as well as others might be able to use it to overcome a difficult situation on our farms. No one person is smarter than all of us put together after all.
This is a square wheel truck invented in World War Two to give a truck more traction in snow, mud and sand.
Here is an airless tire, which would be bullet proof, nail proof, and yet still has the flexibility that a tire filled with air has. This has interesting properties for a Homesteader and is 100% do it yourself too!
Just in case a Homesteader has a heavy unit they want to move, and prefers to get whiplash and a ruptured spleen while doing so, they can build a "stomper" like this. It does have some practical applications on such things as a Walking Dragline, but as a Tree Crusher, I am not so sure.
For the homesteader that wants to take an entire year to figure out just how to make perfectly acceptable round wheels into flopping rectangular wheels, we have this strange set of wheels you can mimic.
I put the "tweels" on my skidsteer. They are at least 2 times heavier than the previous wheel/tires.
Heavier can be an advantage with tipping.
They say they can be retreaded rather than replace the whole tire.
Ther is no way the tire separates from wheel. They are built as one unit. This will help tremendously. The pressures put on the front tires are huge with the whole locking one wheel to turn the machine.
They are not inexpensive. Losing 2 hours to rebead a tire is not inexpensive either (in time)
Someone invented a new wheel recently. It seems to be slightly square with rounded corners. The straight sides arch maybe inward instead of outward. I am not sure. They marketed them for skateboards as it could go over a pebble rock. Then there was talk of using them for luggage rollers. It was on sharktank.
I was glad to find someone that actually bought the "Tweel". I always thought they would work well on a farm tractor because there are a lot of places I cannot go just because it is a haven for nails. As is, I bought (4) new tires for my SUV on Friday, and by Saturday a rock had punched a hole in one. I tried to plug it, but that failed, and then inner patches always fail, and with sensors on the tires, I cannot use an innertube, so a $100 tire got 23 hours of use! That sucks!
I realized though that "Tweels" can be easily homemade.
If you can fabricate a small, inner rim that will bolt onto your hub, from there you can drill holes and then clamp into place a series of cables, say 1 inch in diameter, and radiating out like spokes. With eight series of cable spokes or so, the numerous cables would not allow the outer tread rim to compress that much, and yet give a lot of flexibility in the outer rim, like the "Tweel" does with its plastic honeycomb shapes.