4 Expert Tips To Help You Adjust Track Tension

  • Written by Luis
Heavy duty mechanic and a Kubota skid steer

Adjusting the track tension on skid steers and track loaders is done in typically the same fashion. What you will need to understand is where the track adjuster grease valve is located, what are the specifications on tightening the track, and what to do if you experience problems when placing grease inside. Learn about what you need to look out for by using the following steps.

Adjusting Track Tension: What YOU Need To Look Out For
Tip 1: Locating the Track Grease Adjuster Valve

The track adjuster grease valve may be in different places based on the machine. For Kubota SVL95, the track adjuster grease valve is in the access hole on the side of the machine where the cylinder is located. For Some Bobcats, the track adjuster grease valve may be on the backside near the cab and under the upper track. Some CAT skid steers will not have a grease fitting at all. These machines will have a threaded rod.

Heavy mechanic points out where to find graease valve on a Kubota skid steer
Tip 2: Properly Adjusting the Track

Clean off the end of the grease gun so no dirt or gravel gets inside the track adjuster system. Attach the grease gun to the grease gun nipple. The machine may take a lot of grease to adjust the track, so using an electric grease gun can help to speed up the process. As the grease is pumped inside, the cylinder will push the end out against the front idler bogie to create the triangle shape of the track between the three gears as the track tightens.

Tip 3: Escaping Grease

When tightening the track, it sometimes takes more pressure to push the grease inside as you can’t get any more into the valve. Instead, the grease will leak between the grease valve and the grease gun. There may be two issues.

The first issue is that the end of the grease gun is worn out and not sealing tightly on the grease nipple. The second issue is that the grease nipple has been damaged from corrosion, rust, foreign debris, or tools as the grease gun cannot get a good seal. To solve these problems, you will either have to replace the end of the grease gun or replace the grease nipple on the track adjuster grease valve.

Tip 4: Tightening the Track to Specifications
HD mechanic testing skid steer track tension by hand

After the track is tightened, the operator should run the machine backwards and forward to allow the track to work itself in for a couple of seconds. This process allows you to double-check the tension.

Every manufacturer will have different specifications on how tight to make the track on a specific machine. Sometimes the owner’s manual will state this information regarding the track tightness and give measurements on the amount of sag there should be on the top and bottom of the track. You can also consult the manufacturer or OEM supplier.

For more information about tightening the track on heavy equipment, or if you need replacement tracks, contact Fortis HD.

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