How to Know if Your Rubber Tracks are Due for Replacement

Replacing your worn-out rubber tracks on time will increase safety on your job site and decrease project downtime. Still, it can be rather challenging to determine when they need replacing, so we put together a brief guide to help you out.

Exterior Track Damage

If cracks, missing lugs, and exposed cords appear around the rubber tracks on your compact track loader, this is usually an indication that they need replacement. The rubber tracks on a compact track loader take a lot of abuse on rough, rocky terrains and are prone to exterior damage. Scrapes and dings caused by driving over curbs can also destroy the rubber tracks.

Worn Out Sprockets

The sprockets on your rubber tracks are indicative of whether the tracks should be replaced. Sprockets work similarly to gears because they are powered by the hydraulic motor. Sprockets wear out significantly quicker than any other part of the rubber track due to the sheer amount of wear and tear they receive.

To know if your sprockets are worn out, be on the lookout for these common signs:

  • Interlocking sprockets that skip over the lugs
  • The teeth of the sprockets are no longer round
  • The sprockets are derailing

Track Tension

Tension in compact track loader rubber tracks can change over time, so always check it for sufficient use. One thing to consider is how much or how little tension is within the tracks. With too little tension, the rubber tracks will start jumping off the undercarriage.

A common mistake that contractors make is overtightening rubber tracks – this can cause problems similar to a lack of tension issue. Excessive rubber track tension can cause power loss, tears in the rubber tracks, and excessive roller and idler bearing wear. It is wise to check on your track tension every five days.

Unsafe Tread Depth

​​ It’s important to check the tread depth of your rubber tracks regularly. If the treads are bald or flattened, they will not provide traction on the road, especially during precipitation. The same is true of compact track loaders and their rubber tracks. Contractors often work on soft ground, so rubber tracks are necessary to provide traction.

When you install a brand-new set of rubber tracks, you typically have a tread depth of one inch deep. Measuring your tread depth is a great way to understand how much traction remains on your rubber tracks. Understanding this will allow you to gauge when a replacement is necessary.

Be On the Lookout for These Tell-Tale Signs

We hope this article provides you with the necessary information to take care of your rubber tracks. Be on the lookout for the signs we discussed so you can replace your tracks on time and avoid costly issues that may disrupt your day-to-day operations.

If you need help with your rubber tracks, our team of certified construction technicians at Groff Tractor can help you with construction equipment repair assistance. For more information on what we can do for you, contact us today!

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