Tanker Q's


New Member
May 7, 2009
Not sure where this should go so I'll post it here.
I have some questions for those that were part of a tank crew for a dio idea I have with the KT, specifically but general none the less:
1. Was it easy to throw a track by violent manuever? Or "could" it happen?
How about with damaged drive sprocket or boogie(s)?
2. Assuming the crew would fix it in the field, or at least begin the repair-retrack, who would be the ones getting in the mud? The tracks are heavy, time is of the essence, would the big boss man (Commander) assist?
3.Did repair crews follow with the main force? How far back if they didn't.
If there is a site that can answer these and others I would appreciate getting it posted!
Thanks in advance!
Well I was never a Tankie but from an Infantryman's POV.

Yes, tracks would come off for a variety of reasons. The trick was getting them back on in a hurry. If it could be done immediately everyone pitched in. The common wisdom was that everyone's bums were in danger so just get on with it. As Infantry it was normally our job to secure the area. Support engineers were normally fairly quick on the scene and support in general was usually with battalion HQ so could be whistled up fairly quickly.
Yeah that is pretty much the attitude of pilots I flew with too, my hienie is in the fire too so let's get turnin and burnin.
Thanks for the response!
There was a documentry a few years back on the History channel about USMC M1A1 training. This trainee driver was behind the wheel and he drove the tank into this HUGE puddle that was full of more mud than water, well, the track came off and they ( the trainees) had to fix it there. With the occasional crew driving by splashing mud all over them. it was pretty funny.

About recovery crews... I remember watching during OIF that the recovery crews weren't too far behind the front forces. But I could be worng, it was on TV during active operations.

Hope it helps.
1.yes it's easy to toss a track in harsh land conditions..especialy if your jerking all over the place.. *story at the end is of My own track throwing good time* it could and does happen... it's kinda like that murphys law thing if it's going to happen it'll happen at the worst times.
2. everyone on the track works to repair a thrown track.. granted the TC normaly will watch over everything an so forth.. but in My exp. everyone helps out.
3. during My tours in iraq mech recovery tracks were not far behind the big boys or brads incase something major happend. at most I can recall maybe a 5 to 10 min delay in recovery calls but those were offten enough for pick up's of damaged tanks from IED's so there was no rush at all.. Other times.. it's almost as if the recovery boys were right there in your hip pocket.

when I first started out I was a cav scout.. got stuck driving around a track aka M-113 series vech. I can recall during My driving test for the the 577 series I was told by the TC to take a hard left, now lemme paint the picture for you.... out in a training area of North Ft.Hood hasn't rained in a few weeks an what tank ruts there were have all pretty much dried up and are hard as concrete.. so I'm humm'n along at about 20mph down one of the tank trails.. Now the TC thought it would be a smooth idea to go do some off roading to see how well I react an so forth... Needless to say I didn't get to do much. back to story... so TC gets on the mic an tells Me to take a hard left off the tank trail.. which is chucked full of M-60 and M-1 Abram track ruts, I ask him is he sure about that due to the deep ruts that we've been bouncing all over.. and he says yes that is an order private * he was a private as well, only 3 wks in before I enlisted* so I yank on the stick.. I hear this pop an get slamed into the right side of My hatch... thank god for helmets LOL not that the cvc helmet did much good, got a busted nose an a killer headache.. sure enough I threw the left track infact lost 2 pads an even ripped the guide horn off 1 of them.. not sure how that happend, but I was shocked to say the least...so the other private*TC* gets down off the track and starts yelling at Me... the other 3 guys who were in the back were all laughing...

after a year in the NG.. I got fed up with the BS and opted to go Active duty...I said to hell with track vech an went Abn Inf.... be damned if I'll ever change a track again LOL.... hopes this helpd in some small way.
It really depends on what needs to be repaired. The crew will do what they can to get back in action but the bigger the problem then the further up the chain it will go to get repaired.

Here are a couple short videos from the 50`s showing REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) in the British Army working on broken down Centurion tanks.

Granted its a bit dated but still gives a great idea of whats in involved in keeping tanks in the field.

Part 1

REME in the Field

Part 2

REME In The Field (Part 2)

lol, holy cow, this post is literally two years old, with members i have not seen since i first joined this place.
Speaking from experience, you can easily throw track if you don't do the proper maintenance or the crew is lazy. Rarely, it's a matter of an issue with the track itself or a warped hull (yes, tank hulls can warp)/ misaligned idler or sprocket improperly timed.

You normally don't need recovery and most often, with an experienced crew, can pop the track back on with using a rock or a ballard hook jammed into the drive sprocket and a hard turn right or left depending on which track was thrown. Did that once in the Arghandab river in Zhari.

The worst one in Canuckistan I was ever involved in took us 14 hours to throw BOTH tracks back on. It involved breaking both tracks, dragging them out, a 3 to 1 pull from the ARV to get us on hard stand then putting them back on, adjusting the tension on both and a rolling halt.

All this thanks to the moron commanding me when I was driving.

Funny thing is we're now the same rank and I call him idiot whenever I see it...er..him. ;D


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