Rubber tracks use a rubber compound with multiple patterns that are highly resistant to cuts and tears under a diverse range of working temperature conditions. Two continuous steel belts which are wound in a tight spiral to form a wider steel belt for few adjustments and longer life for the track better than the overlapping traditional steel cores. Rubber tracks are commonly used on track loaders, mini excavators, crawler dumpers, directional drills and many more.
How Rubber Tracks are made
Rubber tracks are made from a wear-resistant rubber compound which is a mix of natural and synthetic rubber. When the mixture is blended they result in a smoother ride with more flexibility, floatation and minimal noise and variation on harder surfaces. Because of the thick lugs, soil and mud cannot adhere to the track. In between the rubber tracks are forged steel dipped and coated with an adhesive rubber compound. The steel inside helps in strengthening the rubber track. There are two types of rubber tracks which are the continuous steel-belted which does not have a splice and non-continuous steel belt.
Advantages of rubber tracks
- It causes less damage to the ground because of the rubber compound as compared to most which are made from steel
- With low vibrant and noise reduction which extends the machine life before demanding repairs because of wears and tears
- Reduced downforce hence excellent driving performance, can drive faster than those tracks made with steel
- Machine weight is reduced which translates to greater speed.
- Superior in operation with more traction and maneuverability at high speeds also consider superior towing capabilities
Extending the life of rubber tracks
Rubber tracks for excavators on average would last more than 1250 hours for those meant for rental fleet and would even last longer on privately-owned machines. Wear cannot be avoided, though, but some of the following list of tricks and tips will help extend the lifespan before you purchase new rubber tracks.
- The new tracks always have a “setting” period which depends on a number of factors like application, machine models and their operating techniques. Inspect the track for some weeks after initial use for any sign of breakage.
- You should select the narrow tracks as much as possible for the machine, and wider than the necessary width. The track will increase the stress and load transferred onto the idlers, sprockets, and rollers.
- Set proper tension tracks to ensure exemplary performance and reduces the life duration of undercarriage thus minimise downtime.
- Check the track on a daily basis to maintain undercarriage, clear to prevent soil packing and debris on undercarriage components.
- Ensure to shift weight towards the rear side
- Reduce the non-productive high-speed travels and movements and reverse options of the tracks
- Limit turning the track and if possible plan even turns
- Reduce heat exposure by reducing speed during extreme temperatures
- Working under severe conditions like demolitions, scrap or quarry where exposure to sharp and ragged-edged corners which may damage undercarriage and causes an impact on track component life.
Different sizes of tracks have been produced for every model available in the market. There are several prominent manufacturers that produce these, so there will not be a lot of trouble in finding a place to purchase. You will also get different track sizes for each model.