Rubber tracks are designed for the tough conditions experienced on the Australian work-site. Unfortunately, they don’t last forever. Knowing what damages your rubber tracks can help you avoid bad habits, increase productivity and prolong the lifespan of your equipment. So, to help you out we have 5 ways you can avoid damaging your tracks.
Correct Track Tension
The correct tension is important for rubber tracks and must be checked regularly. Too much tension can result in breakdowns, and insufficient tension can lead to the tracks falling off the undercarriage. If the tracks frequently require a tension readjustment, something might be wrong with the track adjuster assembly — or the tracks. It pays to get this checked out early to avoid further unnecessary damage.
Dirty tracks have a far shorter lifespan than clean ones, so get into the habit of cleaning them regularly. Rocks, dirt, sand, abrasive materials and water can all become trapped in the tracks. This will build up over time and can have an abrasive effect on the tracks and apply extra pressure. Regular cleaning also allows you to find damage to the undercarriage early before track damage occurs.
It is important to make sure that the undercarriage of the machine is in good condition. Damaged, worn or seized undercarriage components can develop sharp edges or stress the tracks in a way that they are not designed. We suggest resolving the problem quickly or the rubber track could be seriously damaged.
Best Practice During Driving
Rubber tracks have their limitations. Unlike tyres, they are more sensitive to differing operating techniques. Long-distance tracking, sharp turns and pivots wear rubber tracks down more than tyres. Train the operator about manoeuvres that should be avoided when driving machinery with rubber tracks, for example, to perform track turns rather than skid turns and to go around obstacles rather than over them. Just because the machine will track over an object, it does not mean that it is safe or good practice to do so.
Don’t Buy Cheap, Low-Quality Parts
Of course, the most important rule to maintain your rubber track is to start out with high-quality parts. When you buy good rubber tracks, you not only get tracks that last, but you also prolong the life of your equipment by protecting it from sub-standard replacement parts.