Should I replace both rubber tracks at the same time?
Or is it ok to just replace one rubber tracks?
It is regarded as best practice to replace both rubber tracks at the same time on any excavator, skid steer loader or dumper machine. However we know that it is common practice to only replace one track at a time and that any negative effects are manageable.
The good old analogy is that “You wouldn’t replace a car tyre when the opposite one is bald, so why would you do that with Rubber Tracks?”
Well, probably for the same reason you WOULD only change one car tyre – because you have to.
If you were stuck in the middle of nowhere and needed to get back on the road, you would happily only change one tyre. If you could only afford to replace a single tyre, then you would only replace a single tyre.
So even though it’s not recommended to only replace one track, we understand that circumstances don’t always allow for it.
Replacing both tracks is more important on a skid steer loader, as with ensuring you have the same tread pattern on both tracks. Skid Steers put a lot more pressure on rubber tracks as they spend a large portion of their working life in motion,
unlike excavators which work while stationary. An odd set of tracks on a skid steer loader
will make fine finishing difficult becuase the machine may not be sitting level.
- Tip: Replace your track before it gets too worn and keep it as a spare.
- In an emergency, you’ll have an “ok” track as a backup.
- Make sure to store rubber tracks in a cool dry place, away from the sun.
Things to consider when replacing one rubber track:
- Uneven traction – Particularly when working with cutting blades, having uneven tracks will give you uneven traction under loads
- Aesthetics – visually speaking, your machine will look symmetrical and uniform, which gives a better impression to clients and on-site
- Alignment – one old and one new rubber track will not cause the massive alignment issues that you may have been told about.
Unless you operate an ASV – then tread with caution.
- Under carriage damage – a new track is unlikely to cause damage to your under carriage. Regardless of whether you have a new track installed or not, the older rubber track is more likely acceletrate the wear on both the sprocket and idler as well as premature wear to the rollers.
- The lesson to be learnt here is that when possible, replace both rubber tracks together. But when it’s not possible to only change one rubber track, then consider the effects that it might have on your machine and don’t sweat about it. It is okay to only change one rubber track, but if you’re not sure then we suggest you talk to an expert at DEKK on 1300 335 528 or at email@example.com