New excavator tracks can cost a pretty penny, retailing anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for the pair. Throw in the installation costs, and you’re looking at a pretty hefty bill. While every machine will eventually require new tracks, here are some excavator track maintenance tips to make sure you get as much life out of your current tracks as possible.
Choose the Right Tracks
Always consider the environment you will be working in. Firmer ground like hard-packed soil or rocky terrain calls for a narrower track width or “shoe width.” However, muddy or soft ground will require a wider shoe width for even weight distribution and keep your machine from sinking.
● Do not drive over sharp/damaging materials.
● Do not drive over curbs.
● Avoid steep inclines/declines when possible.
● Always look forward (face your drive motor towards the back of your machine)
● Avoid driving over chemicals, salt, oil, etc.
● Avoid overly sharp turns.
● Minimize time on abrasive materials like concrete or asphalt
Keep Your Tracks Clean and Maintain Your Equipment
Tracks should be cleaned of dirt and debris with a track spade or power washer after each use. Skip this quick maintenance step, and debris sitting on your tracks will eventually cause premature wear. After enough dirt accumulates, the added weight will negatively affect your gas mileage. In the winter, frozen dirt can rub on the bolts, loosen the guiding and seize the rollers.
Regularly check the undercarriage of your machine for wear and tear. Worn sprockets, oil leaks, projecting bolts, or worn-out rollers can seriously damage your tracks. Small cuts in a track will have little effect, but serious cuts/cracks can reflect damage to the cords. A deep cut will allow moisture into your cords, seriously shortening the life of your tracks.
Make sure to check track tension regularly. Loose tracks can damage your undercarriage and cause the tracks to slip off your machine, while overly tight tracks can lead to serious performance issues.
Never store your tracks in direct sunlight for long periods of time. Ideally, tracks should be stored in a dry, cool environment. If you know your machine will be sitting for a while, make sure you take it for a spin every two weeks or so to prevent the tracks from warping.
New Track Installation
Be careful if installing new tracks on your own. Better yet, have a professional do it for you. Improper installation can damage your rollers or crack the track. If you’d rather do it yourself, make sure you wear the correct safety gear, including boots, gloves, and safety glasses.
Excavator Track Maintenance Tech Tip: Always replace both tracks simultaneously. Matching worn components with new components can considerably shorten their lifespan.
For a quick quote on new tracks or to schedule a track change, please contact our Parts and Service Departments at 1-800-DURANTE.