Replace Skid Steer Tracks Without Other Heavy Equipment

There will be times when you may have to replace the tracks on a skid steer while you are out in the field. The tracks may be ripped, gouged, or damaged. Other times, the track may be worn out or you want to replace a snow track with a more all-purpose track that works in gravel, mud, snow, and rocky surfaces. Here are the steps to use the replace the track when you do not have any other heavy equipment to help.

Track Replacement In The Field Tutorial
Step 1: Raising the Machine

You want to raise the machine based on which side you will be removing the track. Place 2 wooden blocks at the back of the unit closer to the side that will have the track replaced. Next, flip the bucket up front and push the tip into the ground. The machine will begin to slowly rise. Tilt the bucket forwards a little bit so the machine does not slide off the blocks as it moves up.

Heavy equipment operator demonstrates how to lift a Kubota skid steer using the bucket
Step 2: Remove the Grease Valve

With the track in the air, you can release the tension on the track by removing the grease valve. The grease valve is located in the side compartment on the machine of most skid steers although it may be towards the back on some Bobcats. Using a 19mm wrench or a 19mm deep socket (some Bobcats need a 9/16 inch wrench), back the grease valve off and set it aside to release the pressure.

Arrowing pointing out where the heavy duty mechanic is removing the grease valve on a skid steer
Step 3: Loosen the Track

You can help loosen more of the track off the idlers and sprocket by standing on it. This tactic will force more of the idler to come in as more grease comes out. If the grease will not come out because it is too cold, you can use a pry bar along the top sprocket to help bring the idler in more. Have an operator fire up the machine and slowly walk the track back. The pry bar along the sprocket increases the tension on the track and pulls the idler in.

Step 4: Remove the Track
HD mechanic prying a rubber track off a Kubota skid steer

Place the pry bar along the sprocket and as the track is moved around, you can pull and pry it to walk it off the gear. Do the same thing with the bottom back idler. Keep pulling and working on the track until it comes off.

Step 5: Placing on the New Track
HD mechanic demonstrates how to put a rubber track on a Kubita SVL95

You may need two people to push the old track out of the way and bring the new track closer to the machine. You can either manually lift the track up onto the idlers and sprocket or lower the skid steer so that you do not have to lift the track up so high. Once the track is over the top sprocket, work it in place using a pry bar. Then get the track over the front wheel before moving to work on the back wheel. You can have the operator run the machine to pull more of the slack along the track to the back to get it over that idler.

Step 6: Place on the Grease Valve
HD mechanic shows us how to insert the grease gun into the valve on a skid steer so the tension can be adjusted

Place the grease valve back onto the grease valve compartment. Now you can tighten the track by adding grease into the machine. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or the OEM’s instructions on the amount of tension the track should have on the skid steer.

Share

Related Articles

Replacing Equipment Tracks: Two Ways to Lift Mini Excavator

Replacing Equipment Tracks: Two Ways to Lift Mini Excavator

You can use the mini excavator itself to lift up the sides. They come with or without blades attached to the back end, so here are two methods to do it.
Repairing Rubber Tracks On Excavators and Skid Steers: Can It Be Done?

Repairing Rubber Tracks On Excavators and Skid Steers: Can It Be Done?

Rubber tracks can experience damage beyond normal wear and tear from chemicals, sunlight, rough terrain... but what can you do about it when that happens?
Safely Changing a Mini Excavator Track

Safely Changing a Mini Excavator Track

To DIY a track replacement on your mini excavator, you'll need two people: one to remove and replace the track while the other person runs the machine.
Lifting a Skid Steer or Compact Track Loader to Change Tracks

Lifting a Skid Steer or Compact Track Loader to Change Tracks

Changing the track on a skid steer or compact track loader does not require another machine to get it off the ground. The heavy equipment itself can do it!
Grease Nipple Causes Problems with Track Tension Adjustments

Grease Nipple Causes Problems with Track Tension Adjustments

If the grease nipple fails it may be due to contaminants or separation. Grease helps provide tension to the tracks that allow heavy machines to operate.
Tools Needed to Replace Tracks on Compact Track Loaders

Tools Needed to Replace Tracks on Compact Track Loaders

When the rubber track on a compact track loader needs to be replaced, you'll need these tools to remove the old track and install a new one.
Steps to Adjusting the Tension on a Compact Track Loader

Steps to Adjusting the Tension on a Compact Track Loader

The tension will need to be adjusted on a compact track loader after placing on new tracks. We give you the steps to perform this process.
Adjusting Track Tension on Mini Excavators

Adjusting Track Tension on Mini Excavators

This step-by-step guide will walk you through adjusting the track tension on mini excavators, like a John Deere 35G, when you replace the rubber tracks.
Deciding Between Steel and Rubber Tracks

Deciding Between Steel and Rubber Tracks

Making the choice to buy steel or rubber tracks for your mini excavator depends on many factors. This detailed post will explain what tracks to buy.
How to Install Rubber Tracks

How to Install Rubber Tracks

There really is no all-for-one rubber track design, so it's important to find the right tread type for certain ground conditions and applications.
Required Tools Needed to Replace Mini Excavator Tracks

Required Tools Needed to Replace Mini Excavator Tracks

Changing the tracks on your own mini excavator or heavy duty machine is easier than you think. With just these 3 tools you can learn how to do it yourself.
How to Change the Track on a Compact Track Loader

How to Change the Track on a Compact Track Loader

Learn how to replace the rubber tracks on your compact track loader by yourself (or with an operator) when they get worn, torn, gouged or ripped.

Hello.

Let's get you signed up for deals and news. We won't send too many. Sign up and get 5% off your first order.