4 signs that it's time to replace rubber tracks

13 June 2022
replace rubber tracks

While there are various ways in which you can optimise and prolong the lifespan of rubber tracks and undercarriage parts, they inevitably wear out over time and replacement parts will be required. When that happens, it’s crucial to keep the downtime of your mini-excavator or compact track loader to a minimum. Otherwise, you not only risk losing time, but also money! Luckily, this can be avoided by subjecting your tracked machine to a daily inspection. By looking out for some telltale wear signs, you will know in time when you should order replacements.


4 signs that your tracks are on their last legs

Regular inspection of tracks and undercarriage parts gives a timely indication of when you should replace them. In that way, you can avoid unnecessary downtime and save money. Here are 4 signs that it’s time for replacements:

constant loss of tension

1. Constant loss of tension

It is normal for tracks to stretch and lose tension over time. But with too little tension, the tracks may easily detrack! Therefore, it is recommended to check the tension of tracks every day. Never “over-tighten” the tracks beyond the prescribed tension in the manufacturer’s manual if you notice that you’re constantly losing tension. Too much tension will damage the tracks, and will consequently only accelerate the wear process.

cracked tracks

2. Cracked tracks

Also be wary of cracks in the rubber during the daily inspection of tracks. Cracking is inevitable over time, but it is important to order new ones as soon as you notice it. Cracks and cuts will trigger corrosion of the steel belts and links inside, leading to early failure. 

Note: cracks will by the way appear more quickly if you operate your machine incorrectly or if you constantly work on rough terrain.

slipping tracks

3. Slipping tracks

If you notice that the tracks slip over the sprocket wheels, there can be two causes. Either the tracks have stretched and are now too loose, or the sprockets might be worn out. Whatever the cause, it is crucial to not leave this unchecked. Otherwise, the tracks may very easily and continuously detrack, or the metal links could be pushed out through the rubber.

visible metal links

4. Visible metal links

If the undercarriage is too dirty, the accumulated dirt might cause the metal links to be pushed out of the rubber. When that happens, you should immediately replace the tracks and undercarriage parts! But even better is to avoid that from happening by daily clearing the tracks and undercarriage.


Ordering new tracks and undercarriage parts

When it’s time to replace tracks and undercarriage parts, technical support will come in handy. Because finding the right replacement parts isn’t always easy: there is no international conformity for the measurement of tracks and every brand has its own system for undercarriage parts.

Therefore, the best way to find the right tracks and undercarriage parts is through the machine details (brand, model, etc.):

  1. Go to the MyPartsFinder search function on MyTotalSource.
  2. Enter your machine’s details.
  3. Find the parts you need!

Not 100% sure what part(s) you need to order? Don’t worry, you can always contact us! Our skilled colleagues are ready to give extra support.