Yanmar celebrates 50th anniversary of tracked carrier
By Leila Steed13 April 2021
History of the ‘world’s first’ tracked carrier model – the YFW500D - is marked by equipment manufacturer
Japanese equipment manufacturer Yanmar is celebrating 50 years since the launch of its YFW500D tracked carrier.
Said to be the first tracked carrier model ever made, the YFW500D was created in 1971 and featured a Yanmar diesel engine. The machine’s main structure was comprised of a cargo box and the undercarriage of one of Yanmar’s rubber crawler combine harvesters.
Designed to transport material over soft ground, the YFW500D was the first in a long line of tracked carriers offered by the company.
It was soon followed by the YFR26D, which had a loading capacity of 3 tonnes. The tracked carrier was fitted with a Yanmar vertical water-cooled 3-cylinder diesel engine, that allowed it to operate on slopes at speed.
According to Yanmar, by the late 1970s the market for wheeled carrier was growing. It was at this point the manufacturer launched the YFW35WA articulated wheeled carrier, which was fitted with super flat low-pressure tires.
The company said, “The 27 inch (700mm) wide, 38 inch (945mm) diameter tires were an unprecedented development among conventional carriers.”
As the market continued to evolve and grow, Yanmar went on to develop more advanced carriers.
In 1985 its YFW25R model hit the ground running. Offering almost double the speed of similar machines, the rubber crawler was able to achieve speeds of 11km/h and was equipped the “industry’s first reverse seat”.
Yanmar said the “hit product” became the prototype for its later C30R carrier, which is still being sold around the world today.
The 1980s also saw the company deliver another “industry first” with the launch of the YFW8R compact carrier in 1988.
Designed for work on tough construction sites, the model was fitted with the driver’s seat positioned to the centre, whereas other machines of the time had the seat mounted to one side. The model became the prototype for the Yanmar’s current C12R carrier.
The early 1990s saw Yanmar launch carriers at either end the size scale. While the narrow C6R model had a width of just 760mm and was designed for civil and urban projects, the company’s 1996 C120R had a maximum capacity of 11 tonnes - and was the largest tracked carrier ever built by the firm.
Since the start of the 2000s, Yanmar’s tracked carrier range has continued to evolve.
Today’s models, such as the 2.5-tonne C30R-3, now include a two-pump, two-motor hydraulic system for “smoother running” and are equipped with both the latest technology and environmentally friendly engines designed to meet the industry’s various emission regulations.