What Are The Benefits Of Used Rubber Tracks?
Rubber tracks are built to be one of the most hard-wearing components of industrial and agricultural machinery imaginable, for obvious reasons. This sometimes means they outlast the rig, harvester or excavator above them or the purpose for which their initial owner required them. Others are often returned to suppliers virtually unused because they were the wrong type for the intended vehicle or the encountered conditions.
The chief advantage is predictable – buying previously used rubber tracks may get your job completed for a lower outlay. This might be a godsend to a contractor trying to complete within a tightening budget, perhaps when left in a corner by changed weather conditions or an untimely breakage.
Cost savings may afford an opportunity to purchase a better quality type of track. Some contain tighter overlapping steel links that maintain better contact with their guide system. This results in less jarring and vibration to fatigue the driver and less wear on the vehicle undercarriage. Another possible upgrade is to continuous steel cords (CSC). These can be 40% stronger than ordinary overlapping links, however, take advice as the benefit varies.
Finding the right model for your vehicle is one of the challenges. One reason many barely soiled tracks find their way back to the market is because identifying the correct one proved not so simple for their previous owner. Width, pitch and link details are usually printed somewhere on the old track – if you can find them!
When you are certain of your requirements, the second problem will be locating one. Although there are firms that specialise in used rubber tracks there’s never any guarantee that they’ll be sitting there waiting for you.
Even though tracks may be compatible, some were designed for a specific vehicle to get optimal traction and minimum vibration. You may sacrifice this optimisation if you don’t get the same ones.
Remember that you also want the best tread for the conditions you’ll be working in – mud, snow, peat, gravel or sand. Of course, over harsh surfaces like a demolition site, steel tracks are best. The rubber pads on some tracks can be removed when a bare steel track is preferable and this flexibility might be worth paying extra for.
Another thing to bear in mind is not to unbalance your left and right drive. In normal circumstances, the tracks on both sides of a vehicle wear at a similar rate, as do the sprockets, rollers and idlers. Ideally, maintain symmetry of wear in any vehicle for better handling and longer lifespan of the vehicle.
The final challenge for some contractors will be fitting the tracks. If the only tracks you’ve seen before have been ready-fitted, remember this is something you’re going to have to do on site and releasing the old one is sometimes the difficult part.
Whatever type of track you’re fitting always put safety first. If in any doubt consult an experienced professional supplier.