In large industrial plants, the inspection of production lines is a heavy and costly task that puts human inspectors at high risk. In order to overcome these challenges, we have developed an autonomous plant inspection system using a mobile tracked vehicle. In this paper, we propose an autonomous navigation method for tracked vehicles based on a contact force model that enables the robot to compensate for collisions with obstacles. The model considers the influence of the contact force on the linear and angular motion of the robot. Using the model, the controllable velocity range is derived during collisions. The experimental results show that the robot is safely controlled by complying with velocity constraints. In addition, our method can generate motions such as leaving wall, L-shaped curve and crosswise locomotion in straight passage while navigation alongside the walls. The method allows the robot to smoothly follow a target path, despite colliding with obstacles.