The tracks of your skid steer or mini excavator determine how long your powerful machine will last, as well as your safety and the safety of those around the machine while it is in use. Furthermore, they determine how well you will do your work and how comfortable you will be while working for long hours. That is why choosing the right tracks for your skid steer or mini excavator is very important. Here are the essentials that will ensure you always get it right. I hope you realize how important this is!
Steel or Rubber Tracks
Skid steer and mini excavator tracks essentially come in two materials, steel, or rubber. However, there is also a hybrid of the two, mainly steel with rubber. The first thing you want to consider is which tracks best suite your situation.
Steel tracks are expensive but reliable. They do well in hostile and difficult terrain. They last longer than rubber tracks. They are noisy and may damage delicate or smooth terrain like concrete, pavement, slabs, or alternative delicate grounds. They are slower when driving. They are noisy and cause vibration like it’s nobody’s business, so they may cause discomfort if you’ll be working for extended periods.
Rubber tracks are affordable. They do well in delicate and smooth terrain. They are quiet and more comfortable for the operator of the machine because they don’t vibrate much. They may have difficulty maneuvering hostile or difficult terrains like rocks, or muddy grounds. They won’t last as long as steel tracks but are faster while driving.
The steel and rubber hybrid tracks are ideal if you want the benefits of the two kinds of tracks combined. For instance, steel tracks are usually noisy and will damage delicate grounds. You may go for the hybrid if you will be working on delicate grounds and want tracks that will be gentle on them or if you prefer less noise and more comfort while working.
Having determined which of these three kinds of tracks you prefer, how do you choose from there? I mean, how do you choose a rubber, steel, or hybrid tracks? Which criteria do you use?
Choosing the Right Tracks
Size is one of the most important things to consider when choosing tracks for your skid steer or mini excavator, regardless of whether it’s steel, rubber or the hybrid. If the tracks are too tight, they may cause your machine to wear and tear unnecessarily and will waste fuel. If they are too loose, they may de-track and not only damage your machine but also put you and anyone near the machine in danger. Nobody wants that. Hence, you must ensure that you choose tracks that are just the right size and with the right tension. This can be determined by looking at the directions of the manufacturer of your machine.
Brand and Reputation
Consider where you are getting your tracks. Don’t just get them from any supplier because in as much as skid steer and mini excavator tracks are huge, there are low-quality versions. You don’t want to invest in any of these because again, they will affect the life of your machine. Do some research; ask around, Google, Bing, Yahoo! When buying your tracks, ensure you are doing so with solid info about whom you are getting the tracks from.
Terrain and Application
I’ve already shown you which tracks are best for various terrains and applications. Take that into account, and go a step further to ensure that whether it is rubber, steel, or the hybrid, it will do the job just as you want. Some rubber tracks are better than others in certain situations due the various tread designs and sizes they are available in. The same is true for the steel and hybrid versions. So ensure that they’re suitable for how you intend to use them.
Ultimately, you’ll want to ensure that whatever tracks you go for, they won’t be too hard on your pockets. Regardless, it is better if you spend a little bit more on something reliable and durable. You have no idea how easy it is to waste money when buying skid steer and mini excavator tracks. If you go cheap and they wear out fast while damaging your machine, you can do the math on how much you’ll have to spend on both repairing the machine and replacing the tracks. However, if you spend a little bit more on something reliable, it will last and keep both you and your machine safe.