From pushing manure on the farm to moving materials on the construction site, skid steers and track loaders are versatile pieces of equipment. Since tires and tracks are among the more significant expenses for these machines, understanding how to extend their lifespan can reduce your maintenance costs. Proper operating practices and regular upkeep can ensure you get the most out of your investment and help you maintain a productive and safe job schedule.
General Maintenance Tips for Tracked Equipment
Good Operating Procedures
Be sure to assess your needs and choose the right skid steer tires or track styles accordingly. You can determine the best tires or tracks for your equipment by evaluating factors like your need to navigate debris or manage ground pressure.
Tips for Operators
Counter rotation may cause wear quickly and increase the chances of de-tracking in compact equipment. It helps to take wide turns gradually whenever possible. When operating on a slope, be sure to travel straight up or down, as it is better to turn on level ground. Continued operation on a slope can wear out the rollers, idlers, and lugs.
Operation on Different Grounds
When working on compact equipment, turns are easier on even grounds. For jobs that require working on the hillside, remember that reducing the time on constantly working a slope will help reduce the chances of wear on the undercarriage.
Spins and Turns
Continuous turning on one side leads to asymmetrical wear on the skid steer tires and tracks. This is why you should balance the direction of turns when operating the equipment. Also, maintain a steady speed as higher speeds may wear out the tires and tracks quickly.
Rubber Track Maintenance
Operating on Damaging Terrain
Using skid steers or excavators on rough ground or abrasive materials may reduce track life. Be sure to avoid big rocks, stones, scrap iron, and other debris. Concrete or materials on demolition sites are also a threat to uptime.
Cleaning & Storing Rubber Tracks
Proper storing of rubber-tracked machines will enhance their longevity. Clean the tracks and undercarriage with water after using the equipment around corrosive or abrasive materials. If you need to store them off the machine, keep the tracks on their sides to avoid crimps.
Inspecting the Undercarriage
Examine the undercarriage for uneven or excessive wear and missing components. Be sure to address any issues immediately to prevent further damage.
Replacing Rubber Tracks
Once the rubber tracks are damaged or worn, you may not be able to repair them. Consider replacing them to reduce excessive wear to other undercarriage components.
Monitoring Track Tension
Rubber tracks may stretch or break and lead to excessive roller and idler wear if they are too tight. If they are loose, it can cause instability and derail the tracks. Monitor the track tension when the machine is running and adjust it accordingly to ensure high performance.
Maintaining Pneumatic Skid Steer Tires
This is one of the main indicators of the overall health of the tires. Monitor the tread depth regularly to understand where a tire is in its life cycle. It is wise to consult with the manufacturer to determine the original tread depth and know when to replace it.
Inspecting Tires and Rims
Inspect excavator and skid steer tires and rims regularly. Look for abrasions, cracks, cuts, or uneven wear on them so that you can replace them before it becomes a serious issue.
Poorly inflated tires may cause unnecessary wear and damage. It is beneficial to check the pressure when assessing the tires. In addition to this, clean them thoroughly and remove any debris from the tread whenever possible.
Be aware of the load limitations and other instructions specified by the manufacturers. Following them incorrectly can cause wear on pneumatic tires and damage components of the machine.
We Feature All Types of Tracks & Tires for Skid Steers & CTL
If you are looking for skid steer tires and rubber tracks in Ontario, Tag Equipment can help. We carry all types of tires, including flat-proof tires or solid tires, no air skid steer tires, and more.
Brands we carry:
Our products are versatile, durable, and designed to help improve equipment performance. We also carry skid steer wheel rims and tire chains.