Tips for Installing Rubber Tracks on Your Mini Excavator
Is your mini excavator due for new rubber tracks? Then you need to know how to install these tracks, and you’ve come to the right place. We put together a comprehensive guide including some tips for installing rubber tracks on your mini excavator. If you want to learn more about installing your new rubber tracks we encourage you to continue reading. You’ll be changing your tracks in no time.
Safety First, and Keep the Team Small
As with any operation or routine maintenance, safety should be top priority. Always use your operator’s manual and follow the instruction for changing rubber tracks as listed since your make and model may be different from others. If you have any concerns about safety – please reach out your machine’s manufacturer or dealer for specific instructions.
Every worker should wear safety goggles and gloves. Additionally, to avoid tripping over each other, limit the number of people involved in the installation process. Removing and installing rubber tracks is a two (maybe three) person job. Plus, you’re going to partially suspend the machine, and if you do so incorrectly, you risk injuring a team member. By ensuring fewer workers stick around the site, you reduce the likelihood of accidental injuries.
Suspend the Mini Excavator, Loosen Track Tension, and Open the Grease Valve
As you likely know, propping up a mini excavator using the bucket and boom is the easiest and safest way to suspend the machine. It is necessary to use additional jacks for support as an extra safety precaution. Once you have the mini excavator partially suspended, you can loosen the track tension and grease valve. By loosening the tension and grease valve, the weight of the track will begin to sink which will make removing the old track much easier.
Remove the Track With an Operator and Start at the Idler
Have an operator in the cab of your mini excavator rotating the sprocket forward, and then you should remove the track from the idler first. Once you slide the old tracks off the idler, you should be able to remove the track from the sprocket easily. Some old tracks can be worn-in around the sprocket teeth, so you might need to use a pry bar around the teeth. Once you free the first couple of teeth, the rest of the track should come off easily.
Take this Opportunity to Inspect the Undercarriage
After you remove the old track, before installing the replacement, you should inspect the undercarriage. Check your sprockets, rollers, and idlers for any severe wear and replace them if necessary; swapping out any faulty parts during this time can save you from unnecessary downtime in the future. You may also want to perform general maintenance such as tightening or replacing valves, nuts, and bolts if you didn’t do so previously.
Attach Your New Rubber Tracks and Ensure You’re on Track
To attach your new rubber tracks, you’ll want to reverse the process we covered above. This time, you should start by attaching the tracks on the sprocket—this way, the track is already held by the teeth. Then, the operator should rotate the sprocket slowly forward, as it will help you install around the idler. Throughout the installation process, be sure to keep your hands clear of the undercarriage. If you’re having a hard time getting your new track on, you can use a pry bar to assist and guide the track onto the idler. Before lowering the mini excavator, you should retighten the grease valve and track tension. The operator should test the machine slowly in both forward and reverse to make sure the track is seated correctly. Once you’ve ensured the track is properly seated, you can reattach the grease valve cover, remove any jacks, and lower the mini excavator with the bucket first and then the boom. Now that your mini excavator is on the ground, you should run the machine forward and in reverse one last time before sending it back to the job site.
Why You Should Use McLaren Rubber Tracks
For over twenty years, McLaren has invested both time and money in research and development. We set out to offer the best rubber tracks, and ours are more durable than anyone else’s. In fact, our competitors only lab-tested their tracks, while we’ve lab and field-tested ours. Our tracks will improve your bottom line, productivity, and employees’ comfort. Also, our tracks provide superior pushing power and traction because of our advanced rubber compounds, SpoolRite Belting Technology™, and up to 50% stronger forgings.
We take pride in the fact that we understand your goals. We’ve been in our customers’ shoes before, so we dig deep to create products specifically manufactured to their needs––other companies don’t. Our team recognizes the need for specialized rubber tracks that can handle the most demanding operating environments. McLaren has supplied OEM tracks for years, we know exactly how to engineer aftermarket tracks for machines used in challenging environments.
No doubt, installing high-quality rubber tracks on your mini excavator is important for your machine’s longevity. That said, you should only work with a company that understands the industry first-hand. McLaren Industries is a respected manufacturer and supplier not only because of our personal experience in the field but also our determination to be the best. We invest in quality because we know how important it is to have reliable equipment on the job site. It’s time to further expand the potential of your machinery with our rubber tracks for mini excavators.
If you’re looking for a long-term relationship with a company that understands you and your industry, look no further than McLaren. Ready for a quote or have questions regarding our tracks? Contact us today—we’ll be happy to help.