Excavator Rubber Track – FAQs

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What causes excavator rubber track to fail?

Steel Cord Rupture which is attributable to;

  • Damage due to Undue External Tension
  • Damage due to metal fatigue
  • Damage due to Steel Cord Corrosion and Gouging of rubber

Separation of Metal Core
Mutilation of Rubber Lugs

How do the Steel Cords in the excavator rubber track rupture?

  • Materials such as sharp stones gouge the rubber lug creating cracks in the rubber; this will result in moisture and contaminant penetration into the body of the track which accelerates corrosion of the steel cord and metal lugs.
  • Stones, gravel or other foreign materials get caught into the cavities of the track, idler, rollers and sprocket causing increased tension on the track.
  • Metal fatigue is caused by fast driving and sharp turns.
  • The steel cord is adhered to the rubber with adhesives; the bonding tends to be reduced by chemicals or salt when in use for a long time.

How does the separation of Metal Core occur?

  • Operating with the rubber track not correctly tensioned and an excessive load is applied, consequently the track separates from the undercarriage causing damage to the metal lugs.
  • Excessive abrasion wear and tear on the inner base section of the rubber track due to concentrated contact with the track rollers; this allows moisture to enter the track and make contact with the metal lug causing corrosion.
  • Cracks or cuts around end parts of Metal Core due to external shock or bending, commonly occurs where track operated on narrow or rough roads; the side parts of the rubber track may be deformed, bent or broken allowing cracks or cuts to occur where the load is concentrated on the section of track.

What are the circumstances surrounding Rubber and Lug mutilation?

  • Rubber lugs are susceptible to damage by sharp stones, pebble and other obstacles on the road during operation and driving on uneven roads.
  • Fast turns on the road surface especially with sharp stones or other obstacles present will cause severe damage to the lugs.
  • The rubber parts near sprocket, idler extend and cause ozone cracks when the equipment is stopped or stored for a long time.
  • Cracks caused by flex fatigue grow from repeated stretching and shrinking when the rubber track is driven and operated for a long time.
  • When the rubber track operates with the tension set below the OEM’s standard recommendation, mutilation of the rubber track can occur;

o   due to interference with sprockets, rollers, idlers or equipment frame,

o   if the track comes off sprockets,

o   on turns when the gap between the frame and the rubber track narrows due to a build-up of mud and/or other foreign material.

What recommendations can be made to prolong rubber track life?

  • Avoid driving on uneven road and sharp obstacles on the road.
  • Avoid long distance driving and pavements with high friction coefficient. In these cases, it is desirable to use transport like tractor.
  • Check the tension of replaced rubber track after 50 hours of operation and correct the tension as recommended by OEM.
  • Remove mud or other foreign material in the frame, parts and rubber after each operation.
  • Avoid road condition with sharp stones, pebbles or other foreign materials, and minimize external shock by driving slowly on the above road conditions.
  • Avoid fast turns and ensure slow and wide turns.
  • Check rubber track tension regularly and maintain correct tension.
  • Be cautious in the use of rubber tracked equipment on the following road conditions.

o   Narrow roads

o   Mountainous area after cutting down trees

o   Rough lands

o   Construction sites with broken concrete pieces or sharp stones

  • Check all undercarriage and drive system components for signs of wear and tear when replacing rubber track, sprockets, rollers, idlers, and worn or loose parts can cause premature track wear and reduce track life.

Where are X=TRAC excavator rubber tracks manufactured?

  • X-TRAC excavator rubber tracks are manufactured by a high end quality track manufacturer situated in China; this manufacturer developed and holds worldwide patents for the manufacture of joint-less rubber track.
  • The rubber tracks are manufactured to and exceed OEM specification and standards in an ISO9001.2008 environment.
  • Misconceptions flourish about the quality of track manufactured in China; Bridgestone the OEM track supplier manufactures it track in China along with over ninety percent of all the other excavator track manufacturers.