Maximising the lifespan of your rubber tracks is an excellent way of minimising machinery operating costs.
Our expert team of fitters and technicians have put together a list of their 14 top tips.
Obviously differing environments, conditions and the way that you operate your machine will affect the lifespan of your tracks but in general, the following advice will help you get the most from your rubber tracks.
- Look over the rubber tracks and the rest of the undercarriage – rollers, idlers, track adjusters, sprockets and the final drive closely for signs of damage and proper alignment each time you complete your pre-start check. Look out for worn rollers or protruding cables on the track and make sure that you check for loose drive mounting bolts, sprocket bolts and oil leaks.
- Refer to the machine’s operator’s manual to ensure track tension is correct.
- Keep the tracks clean; if dirt, debris or other materials build up in the track rails, it increases pressure on the tracks and undercarriage which can decrease the lifespan of the track due to wear.
- Keep the undercarriage clean and inspect the sprockets, rollers and idlers every 50 operating hours or more often when working on sand or other abrasive ground.
- Don’t travel excessively. Drive slowly and avoid going in reverse as this puts stress on the tracks (and go slowly if you must drive in reverse).
- Steer clear of potentially damaging surfaces including broken concrete, large gravel, and other abrasive and sharp materials.
- Avoid driving over and exposing your rubber tracks to chemicals, oils, salt or other contaminants. If you do accidentally encounter wash them off promptly if they get on the rubber tracks.
- Don’t drive right along or over curbs.
- Make gradual or three-point turns and avoid counter rotating to prevent unnecessary and uneven wear on the rubber tracks.
- Minimise operations over steep sloping ground as this leads to uneven wear on tracks and other undercarriage components.
- Drive slowly and don’t make sharp turns when operating on sloped terrain.
- Protect rubber tracks from extended periods in direct sunlight. Park in your excavator in shade or cover them up during prolonged storage.
- Periodically inspect the undercarriage with the machine hoisted to relieve tension, allowing for a good look at the condition of the whole undercarriage and replace any parts that have excessively worn or failed.
- If equipment fitted with rubber tracks goes unused for a long time, operate the machine for a few minutes every two weeks to prevent tracks from losing elasticity or becoming misshapen.
Following these tips will help extend the life of your rubber tracks and will save you money by minimising machinery downtime. If you would like to ask our technical team any questions regarding any aspect of rubber track or undercarriage maintenance, please contact us.