Here is a historical perspective on LifeTrac since September 2008 – the completion of LifeTrac Prototype I.
Right now we are using the LifeTrac to trench water lines for Factor e Farm. LifeTrac now has a total of about 200 hours of operation. The modular Quick Attach Wheels are working well. They have a total of 4000 pounds of pushing force with 4 wheel drive. The bent loader arms improve balance.
We aim to build our Open Source Bulldozer on a similar frame design – with 4×4 inch square tubing with thicker walls – with gear reduction.
The Brick Press will be our first machine to take to Full Product Release – slated for December, 2012. LifeTrac is slated to be our second product release. This is after the Beta Release status that we announced for the 2011 Christmas Gift to the World. Further evolution will include:
- Gear Reduction – By adding a 6-fold gear reduction unit – we will create 24,000 pounds of pushing force, enough for a small bulldozer. The gear reduction will be an add-on module to the existing frame, such that both the wheel units and gear reduction will be modular. This will allow us to modify and fix the drive system readily. We are considering multiple strands of #100 pitch roller chain to do this.
- Improved hose routing. We are breaking hoses left and right as they rub against the tractor.
- Improved Power Cube. Tom Griffing developed Prototype VI of the Power Cube, and we are eager to build 2 of these.
- Bobcat Standard Quick Attach Plate. This will allow all Bobcat Standard implements to fit on LifeTrac.
- Improved tracks. The chain-based tracks work, but the links wear out after 100 hours and one needs to take out a few links to shorten the track length. Propose your ideas on our LifeTrac Tracks wiki page.