Excavators, skid steers and many other pieces of heavy machinery come with rubber tracks that are used to move the vehicle when it does not have separate wheels. These rubber tracks provide a number of purposes.
Rubber tracks allow for construction work to be performed on varying ground surfaces. Since rubber is flexible and lightweight, it will not damage existing surfaces such as pavement or lawns, making them ideal when performing landscaping or road work. They are kinder to softer surfaces than steel tracks. Other advantages to these tracks are that they are lower in cost than steel tracks, they are quieter when the machine is moving, and they have lower maintenance costs.
Damage to Rubber Tracks
However, these rubber tracks can experience damage that is beyond normal wear and tear when used for prolonged lengths of time. For environments where there are chemicals present that the rubber tracks travel over, the chemicals can cause the rubber to deteriorate faster. Ultraviolet light from the sun can also deteriorate the tracks.
Certain ground surfaces can also damage the rubber tracks faster. Constantly driving the equipment over curbs can cause the tracks to “de-track.” The tracks could also lose chunks of its rubber until tears and gauges cause the rubber to completely fail. Constantly running the heavy machinery across gravel can also cause the tracks to wear out or tear faster.
Unfortunately, for rubber tracks on excavators, skid steers and other pieces of equipment, the rubber tracks cannot be repaired if there are no bolts or pins that hold the tracks together. So when they become ripped, torn, worn or gouged, the entire track needs to be replaced.
In addition, replacing one rubber track is not ideal. When replacing just one side, there will be unequal wear on them, causing the new rubber track to wear out faster and the older one to deteriorate even further. Then you will end up purchasing new tracks again in a short amount of time. Instead, replace both tracks at the same time so they will last longer.