How Can I Extend the Life of Skid Steer Tracks?

4 min read
06 October 2023

How Can I Extend the Life of Skid Steer Tracks?

Skid steers endure rigorous tasks from digging to compacting, making rubber tracks a significant expense. Although you have invested in the best track for skid steer, they can't last for long without proper maintenance. 

 Savvy owners and operators always seek ways to extend track life to prevent the machine from being at a standstill and impacting productivity. Moreover, extending the life of your rubber tracks can help reduce costs and boost profitability. 

 This article will guide you on how to extend the life of the skid steer tracks.

Check Track Tension

It might seem obvious, but many skid steer owners often overlook it. Ensure the tension on your rubber tracks is not too tight or loose. 

Loose tracks on the undercarriage can cause the lugs to jump over the sprocket rollers, accelerating the tracks' wear and causing damage to the machine.

 Proper track tension on the Bobcat or John Deere mini excavator tracks ensures top performance while extending the undercarriage life, reducing wear of track components, and minimizing downtime. 

You should regularly check your tracks' tension and ensure they meet the manufacturer's specifications.

Train Your Operator to Drive Correctly

The way skid steer tracks are treated during operation can significantly affect the tracks' life. Ask the machine's operator to follow these simple road rules:

  • Avoid pivots and spins: Tight turns and pivots can create unnecessary skidding of the rubber tracks on the ground. It will not only wear out your track but also put extra strain on the sprockets, rollers, idlers, and drive motors. 
  • Stay away from walls and curbs: Hitting and rubbing against the hard surfaces of tracks can quickly crack and tear away your tracks over time. Ask the operator to avoid hitting walls, mainly when operating a 5-tonne machine.
  • Limit high speed: Operators should limit non-productive, high-speed travel because high-speed operations can accelerate wear on all machine components, including tracks. It's said that track wear is directly proportional to the machine's speed. Speed can increase stress and, thus, damage the tracks. 
  • Keep both rubber tracks on the ground, and don't drive horizontally on slopes.

Clean the Tracks Every Day

Like your four-wheel drive, keeping the running gear clean for skid steers is vital. Mud dries and shrinks can cause a grinding paste on the tracks, further eroding your track gear. 

Moreover, debris in large quantities can jam your tracks and cause more wear and tear. To prevent all these problems, you should clear the tracks and undercarriage daily.

Use the Correct Ramp

You should consider several things when using a ramp to load the equipment. Firstly, get the ramp that caters to the Bobcat. Toro or John Deere mini excavator tracks width, including customized pads or grousers. 

Usually, ramps designed for rubber tracks are sharper. However, by treating approach and departure slowly, you can lower the chance of damage and wear. 

Keep the Tracks out of the Sun When Possible

Minimizing the exposure of the skid steer tracks in the sun can reduce the impact of aging. Although various tracks from different brands are designed and tested to handle temperatures exceeding 50 degrees Celsius, it's best to avoid sun exposure as much as possible.  

Additionally, when working in extreme temperatures, try to reduce the travel speed of your skid steer. 

To wrap up it all

The life of the best track for skid steer will vary depending on the surface conditions, quality, machine's application, time in use, and many other factors.

Although not all tracks can last a lifetime, you can extend their lifespan by following these five essential tips. By prolonging the life of your skid steer rubber tracks, you can save money and stress, minimize the machine's downtime, and improve productivity.


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Track Hutt 0
Track Hutt is a leading provider of top-quality replacement tracks for heavy machinery and equipment. Our company is dedicated to providing our clients with aff...
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