Rubber Track Maintenance for Excavators

Keep an eye on your tracks – a worn track will cost you production

Every once in a while you stumble across great information in an unexpected place.  Case and point: these rubber track maintenance tips that we recently found on an eBay buyer’s guide!

We’ve talked about rubber tracks (you might remember the tracks versus wheels debate from February) but we haven’t posted a good maintenance guide before.  Rubber tracks are an expensive and high-wear item on your excavator, but with some proper maintenance you can help extend the life of them.  Proper track procedures and a little common sense will help you save money and also keep your machine running smoothly.  For all 19 tips, check out the full guide.  Here are a few tips that stood out to us:

“When operating the machine, limit the amount of doughnuts as much as possible…use wide angle turns when possible” 

“Do not let rubber tracks sit unused in direct sunlight or in wet / damp areas” 

These two are pretty straightforward.  Most people know that zero-turns put more wear on your tracks.  If you can take a wide turn, do it – especially on rough or rocky terrain.  Also weather conditions can affect your tracks.  If you can keep them protected from the elements they’ll last longer.

“It is essential that you maintain the correct tension on your rubber tracks at all times – consult your owners manual, the track manufacturer, your dealer or your distributor for more information” 

“Examine undercarriage components – sprockets, rollers, and idlers frequently and replace when necessary…”

These two are maintenance issues.  It’s crucial to inspect your undercarriage if you want your machine to perform and your tracks to wear in a normal way.  Keeping the tracks tense will help avoid problems as well. 

“Do not buy the least expensive track that you can find.  Rubber tracks are the most important wear item on your excavator…” 

“Do not replace only one excavator track at a time.  Running a new track and an old track is like running a new car tire with a bald car tire…it will lead to alignment problems”

These tips are ones that most parts buyers don’t want to hear, but they’re absolutely critical.  Cheap tracks are just that – cheap.  They will wear quicker and you’ll end up paying more in the long haul.  By replacing BOTH tracks with quality rubber you’ll ensure your machine is running smoothly, which will keep you and your excavator happy for a long time.

Got any other tips you’d like us to talk about?  Send a topic or question to our Service Department at the “Ask the Experts” page!

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