Compact track loaders are used in numerous industries to move materials to different locations on worksites. These machines can also help perform certain tasks, such as digging and leveling work, just to name a few. They are basically skid steer loaders but with one key difference. Instead of possessing wheels like a skid steer, these heavy machines move on high flotation steel or rubber tracks.
These tracks allow the compact skid loader to work on poor surface conditions where wheels would slide or sink into the ground, such as sandy, soft or wet surfaces. Often, compact track loaders will also be used on sensitive surfaces such as paved roads, sidewalks or paths where you don’t want heavier machines or machines with tires to tear up the surface.
Tools Needed to Replace Tracks
The tracks on a compact track loader can last for many years with proper maintenance. Yet there will be occasions when ground surfaces can cause the rubber on tracks to degrade faster, such as when there are chemicals, gravel or large sharp rocks present. How rigorous the operator pushes the compact track loader may also cause the need for the tracks to be replaced sooner.
When a track becomes gouged, torn, worn out or ripped, both sides will need to be replaced. Tools that you should have available to replace the track include the following:
- 1/2-inch drive ratchet
- 17mm deep socket wrench (can also use the shallow socket)
- 19mm deep socket wrench (a shallow socket cannot reach grease valve)
- 6-inch extension for deep socket wrench (to help get the ratchet out of the track frame)
- chisel bar
- specialty chisel bar with extendable handle and pivot end (optional bar if no chisel bar is available)
- grease gun (any grease gun will work — cordless, manual, air, etc…)
One thing to keep in mind is that if there are rubber tracks on the compact track loader that do not have bolts or pins, they cannot be repaired. The tracks need to be replaced.