Operation Tips for Rubber Tracks
How the machine is operated can affect
undercarriage component wear. By using
intelligent operating procedures, you can extend
the life of your track and you undercarriage.
Limit Non-Productive high-speed travel.
High-speed operation accelerates wear on all
undercarriage and track components. Track wear
is directly proportional to speed. Speed equals
stress. The distance a track machine travels
determines wear. Plan your jobsite work
carefully to make travel productive.
Limit reverse operation.
Reverse operation accelerates wear on the
reverse-drive side of the track links and
sprocket teeth. The only time track links rotate
against sprocket teeth under load is in reverse
During reverse operation, approximately 75% of
tracks links are under contact, load, and
motion, from the bottom of the front idler to
the first link engaged by the sprocket tooth.
Make reverse travel productive. Forward travel
puts about 25% of the track links under contact,
load, and motion.
Reduce slippage and spinning.
Track slippage and spinning accelerates track
pad wear and limits productive work. Heavy
contact between the track links and sprocket
teeth, between track links an rollers, and idler
tread surfaces accelerates wear.
Plan your turns.
Constantly turning to one side will reduce the
life of a track. The sprocket teeth, track links
idler, roller flanges, and tread surface on the
side under load will wear faster. Plan your job
to even out turns if possible.
Clean undercarriages frequently.
Preventing packing of soil and debris in
undercarriage components by cleaning out the
track as frequently as possible. Packing
prevents the proper engagement between the
mating components such as sprocket teeth and
track links. This can cause increased loads on
undercarriage components and higher wear rates.
Operate with the terrain.
Plan your jobs and the movement of your machines
to fit the terrain. And you will reduce
Working uphill shifts the weight
of the machine to the rear. This adds more load
to the rear rollers and increases sprocket teeth
and track link forward drive side wear. There
will be a light load on the undercarriage when
reversing down the hill.
Working downhill shifts weight to
the front of the machine. The additional load
will be placed on the front roller, idler tread
surface, and track links. When you reverse up
the hill, the link rotates against the
reverse-drive side of the sprocket tooth. Also,
there is a heavy load and motion between the
link and the sprocket teeth, which accelerate
wear. A heavy load is placed on all links from
the bottom of the front idler to the first link
contacted by the sprocket teeth. Extra load is
also placed between the sprocket teeth and the
track links and the idler tread surface. The
life of the links, sprockets, rollers and idlers
Working on a slope or side of a hill
shifts the weight to the downhill side of the
machine and causes additional wear on the roller
flanges, sides of the track links, and that side
of tread. Balance wear between each side of the
undercarriage by changing the work direction on
Working on a crown puts all the
load and weight on the inner ends of the track
links. The load is transferred to the inside
track links, inside roller, and idler tread
surfaces, and sprocket contact areas. Continual
work on a crown will accelerate wear on the
inside track contact surfaces. Compare that wear
to the wear on the outside track components.
Working in a depression puts all
the load and machine weight on the outer ends of
the track links. The load is transferred to the
outside-track links, outside roller and idler
tread surfaces, and sprocket contact areas.
Continual depression work will accelerate wear
on the outside contact surfaces. Compare that
wear to the wear on the inside track components.
Track frame and front idler misalignment will
accelerate wear on all components. You can check
for alignment by observing wear patterns on the
bottom rollers, carrier rollers, and front
idlers. You also can stand at the front and rear
of the machine and do a visual inspection. See
your machine manuals for specific adjustment