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"Treads or tracks?" Topic

33 Posts

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Comments or corrections?

John the OFM29 May 2011 6:32 a.m. PST

I'm confused.
You know, those thingies on tanks.

Which is the correct terminology for those moving circular things that tanks ride on?

John the OFM29 May 2011 6:33 a.m. PST

I want to be one of those pedants who shouts at the Military Channel, but I want to do it correctly.

Connard Sage29 May 2011 6:36 a.m. PST

Tim will be along shortly. Have a lie down in a darkened room while you're waiting.

It's 'tracks' BTW.

miscmini Fezian29 May 2011 6:36 a.m. PST


Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP29 May 2011 6:39 a.m. PST


John the OFM29 May 2011 6:39 a.m. PST

If Tim is still talking to me…

If it's "tracks", then what's a "tread-head"?


Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP29 May 2011 6:43 a.m. PST


I meant "elderberries" of course.

John D Salt29 May 2011 6:47 a.m. PST

Track-laying vehicles travel, as the name implies, on tracks.

The surface of the track that contacts the ground is the tread, as is also the surface-contacting layer of a tire (and I insist on the authority of the Shorter Oxford that "tire" is a correct spelling in British English).

All the best,


Connard Sage29 May 2011 6:49 a.m. PST

what's a "tread-head"?

An appellation that's more assonant than 'track-head'




Frederick Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2011 7:17 a.m. PST

Treadhead is like "Lord of War" – sounds better than the alternative

Gary Kennedy29 May 2011 7:30 a.m. PST

Until the terms 'half-tread' and 'fully treaded vehicle' become common, I'll stick with track.

And I'm perfectly content to direct corrections which may themselves be somewhat flawed at any military themed documentary, it's a bit like yelling at bad referring decisions, it won't make any difference but you want to make your point.

aecurtis Fezian29 May 2011 7:37 a.m. PST

He said "assonant". Heh.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2011 7:44 a.m. PST

I would have called it more euphonic.

Mobius29 May 2011 7:54 a.m. PST

So do the tracks make track marks or tread marks in the soil?

vaughan29 May 2011 8:17 a.m. PST

""tire" is a correct spelling in British English." not in mine is not, except as an American spelling.

kyoteblue29 May 2011 8:35 a.m. PST


Gary Kennedy29 May 2011 8:37 a.m. PST

I had to look that up as well, and in my old 1950's dictionary (handed down from my Nan I hasten to add), under 'tyre' it does direct the reader to the entry for 'tire', and under that definition says 'a metal hoop to bind a wheel, (now commonly tyre)'.

Martin Rapier29 May 2011 9:03 a.m. PST

I believe tracked vehicles travel on tracks, in the same way that wheeled vehicles travel on wheels.

Personal logo marcus arilius Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2011 9:10 a.m. PST

it's both the Track is what goes around the tank ,the tread is the raised metal on the track. link

miscmini Fezian29 May 2011 9:15 a.m. PST

link link link link link link link hmmmm, don't see tread on any of these.

Ditto Tango 2 329 May 2011 10:06 a.m. PST


Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2011 12:16 p.m. PST

In the vast assembly of useless paper in my library,
I have a sheet from an armored unit (battalion),
headed 'Tracked and Wheeled Vehicle Report'.

So, at least in the Korean War (the report is from
1952), it was 'Track'.

(Nameo Falso)29 May 2011 12:47 p.m. PST

I think you will find tread head is merely the US version of bucket head.

donlowry29 May 2011 1:58 p.m. PST

I, for one, would certainly never let anyone who doesn't know the difference between track and tread play with my little toys!

Last Hussar29 May 2011 3:48 p.m. PST

but you do naval?

Sundance30 May 2011 7:48 a.m. PST

Track definitely.

Legion 402 Jun 2011 8:38 p.m. PST

Track Pads, Track Shoes, Tracks … Treads are the patterns on the rubber pads or for wheeled vehicles on the tires …

kabrank03 Jun 2011 12:46 a.m. PST

But remember that not all tracks have "rubber" pads

4th Cuirassier03 Jun 2011 12:55 a.m. PST

Which is the correct terminology for those moving circular things that tanks ride on?


firstvarty197903 Jun 2011 5:15 a.m. PST

We called them Tracks.

Like in "Alpha two-five threw a track!"

Legion 408 Jun 2011 5:45 a.m. PST

Yep … heard something like on the net that more than once !!!

flicking wargamer08 Jun 2011 5:48 a.m. PST

I thought tracks had trains on them.

badger2208 Jun 2011 10:18 a.m. PST

Do you want what some official publication call them, or what soldiers call them? US soldiers from WWII to now call them tracks.

I dont remeber anybody saying they threw a track. It seems to me it was always " we threw a frackin freakin goldurn unknownparantage track"

Track pads Is also what the soldiers called the breaded supposed veal the mess hall served at least once a week. Bit small for the M109s but it probably would have worked just fine on my M577 if they would have had bolt holes.


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