How do you fit rubber tracks to an excavator?

Fitting rubber tracks to an excavator is a crucial procedure that enhances the machine’s mobility and stability on various terrains. This process, typically carried out by professionals, involves several systematic steps to ensure safety and efficiency. By adhering to these instructions, operators can be assured that the tracks will be installed correctly, providing optimal performance and reducing the risk of operational downtime.

First, it is essential to prepare a clean, level, and stable working area, putting safety at the forefront. Gather the necessary tools, which usually include a hydraulic jack, jack stands, wrenches, grease, and a torque wrench. Ensuring you have the correct replacement tracks that match the make and model of your excavator is just as important.

Begin by parking the excavator on a flat surface and lowering the blade and boom to stabilize the machine. Engage the safety lock feature and turn off the engine before proceeding. Next, use the hydraulic jack to lift the side of the excavator you will be working on; then, place jack stands under the machine to maintain a secure elevation throughout the process.

With the excavator securely suspended, remove the grease fitting on the tensioning mechanism to release tension from the existing track. The track should become slack, making it easier to disengage it from the sprockets and wheels. Use caution here, as the tracks are heavy and can cause injury if not handled properly. Remove the old track by guiding it off the sprockets, idlers, and rollers.

Before installing the new rubber track, take the time to inspect the undercarriage parts, such as the sprockets, idlers, and rollers, for wear and damage. Addressing this now can prevent further maintenance issues down the line. If all looks well, proceed by aligning the new track with the sprocket and place one side on the idler wheel.

Carefully roll the track over the top of the sprocket, guiding it into place with your hands or a tool, being mindful not to pinch your fingers. Once the track is engaged with the sprockets, continue to place it over the rollers. Ensure the track’s teeth align correctly with the sprocket teeth to prevent damage or dislodgement.

When the track is in place, it’s time to reapply tension. Replace the grease fitting and use a grease gun to add grease into the tensioner. Watch as the track gains tension and stops once it has reached the manufacturer’s recommended tension level, which can typically be measured with a straight-edge or tension gauge. Over-tensioning can lead to premature track wear or damage, so precision is crucial.

Lower the excavator from the jack stands and remove them, followed by the hydraulic jack. Repeat the process on the other side if necessary. Once both tracks are fitted, conduct a thorough inspection to ensure everything is secure and properly tightened. It’s advisable to test the excavator’s movement in a controlled environment to confirm the tracks are correctly installed and to make any needed adjustments.

Remember, when working on such a task, safety is paramount. Never work under an unsupported excavator and always adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines. If in doubt, consult with a professional or refer to the excavator’s operational manual. Proper installation will extend the life of your rubber tracks and keep your excavator running smoothly.

Fulian Operation Team


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