RubberTrax Tips

Track Care, tips to extend track life.

Track Life

Because track life is very dependent upon usage, operations and application sites, it is impossible to estimate a track life expectancy. Premium aftermarket rubber tracks should see very similar life expectancy as your original rubber tracks assuming the undercarriage parts are replaced or in excellent condition as they were when the original tracks were installed and the environment and manner in which the machine was used remains the same.

As a general track loader “rule of thumb”, in “dirt” applications, rubber track life expectancy can be two to two and a half times the normal life of pneumatic tires on a skid loader.

Due to varying applications, there is no wear guarantee on rubber tracks.


  • Monitor track tension on a regular basis. Loose tracks can de-track; however be careful not to over tighten. Over tensioning may cause power loss, excessive roller and idler bearing wear, track steel cord failure and tearing of the tracks. Check the Operator’s Manual for visual track tension inspection and tensioning procedures, as required.
    Alternate turning direction from one side to the other. Continuous turning to the same side can accelerate wear of sprocket teeth, track tread, guide lugs, and roller flanges.
    Use the engine power and lift/tilt hydraulics to dig into material when filling a bucket to minimize the spinning of the tracks on rubber track-equipped loaders. Unnecessary spinning of the tracks can accelerate wear or cut tracks.
  • Monitor sprocket or undercarriage components to ensure maximum track life. Excessively worn sprockets or undercarriage components will damage tracks.


  • Cutting across a slope, instead, drive up or down a slope. Constant operation on a slope or side hill can cause accelerated wear to the guide lugs, idlers and rollers. It is best to climb straight up or down, then turn when the equipment is in a level location.
  • Making spin turns or pivot turns. Doing so may cause accelerated wear and/or in-
    Crease potential for de-tracking, particularly in the track tension is not set to the Operator’s Manual specifications. Operators should be trained to make wider turns.
  • Traveling with one track on a slope or projecting object, and the other track on a flat surface. Travel with both tracks on level surfaces. Operating tracks with the outside/inside edge of the track turned up on a curb, mound, or stone can cause cracks or shear the rubber at the edges of the steel mandrills in the track.
  • Allowing the sides of the tracks to strike against concrete curbs or walls.


  • Traveling or operating units:
  • On broken stone, jagged base rock, iron rods, scrap iron or other recycling materials. Rubber tracks are not intended for these uses.
  • On heavily stone-laden soils or similar conditions that may cause tracks to de-track or damage due to stones becoming stuck in the idler or drive sprockets.
  • As quarry application, recycling, or demolition use. Rubber track loaders are not intended for use in cold planning applications.
  • On asphalt or concrete while routinely driving or turning; doing so will minimize track life considerably.
  • In job sites with sharp objects such as jagged rocks or broken concrete. Cuts and “chunking” of the lug surface of the tracks can result. Just like avoiding operating in conditions potentially damaging to rubber tires; these conditions can damage rubber tracks. Damaged tracks cannot be repaired, but must be replaced. No warranty exists for wear or failures in these conditions.
  • On corrosive materials (fuel, oil, salt, or fertilizers, etc). These substances can corrode the rubber track’s metal cores. Flush the tracks and undercarriages with clear water if any of these substances get on the tracks.


  • Usage of rubber track equipped loaders or excavators in applications such as rocky terrain, gravel, concrete demolition, metal debris, etc. may cause premature wear and failure of the rubber tracks.
  • Damage to the rubber tracks, caused from using the machine in any of these conditions is not covered under warranty.
  • The more careful an operator is when using rubber track-equipped compact loaders and excavators the better the track wear performance will be.
  • The application and working conditions must be a prime consideration when deciding upon rubber tracks, steel tracks, or type of tire on a skid loader or excavator