HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT UNDERCARRIAGE FOR YOUR EQUIPMENT
With so many different choices available, it can be overwhelming trying to evaluate and decide exactly which type of rubber track is the right one for your Cat® compact track loader, multi-terrain loader, or mini excavator. While a big part of that decision rests on two factors – budget and jobsite conditions – it’s important to also understand the track types that are suitable options for each machine.
COMPACT TRACK LOADERS
Three rubber track types are specified for use on compact track loaders (CTL).
- Heavy Duty Bar Rubber Tracks deliver a lower ground disturbance solution, making them a great fit for all types of finish-grade work. The bar-style rubber track tread offers extra traction over the block tread when operating in snow or soft underfoot conditions.
- Heavy Duty Block Rubber Tracks deliver a rugged, all-purpose solution suitable for machines working in high-impact and high-abrasion, production-style applications.
- General Duty Zig-Zag Rubber Tracks are designed for the cost-conscious customer. The zig-zag tread pattern is suitable for a variety of medium- to low-impact applications and provides optimal traction for snow conditions.
The difference between general duty and heavy duty rubber track options comes down to a balance between value and life expectancy. General duty rubber track is a solid choice on machines that see lower hour accumulations and when the full value of Cat heavy duty rubber track isn’t necessary. This track choice helps lower ownership and operating costs while helping optimize value. While the quality is the same in both, the heavy-duty option is constructed to specifications designed to deliver more service cycles. No matter which rubber track option you choose, you can have confidence in their performance knowing that they’re covered by a minimum 12-month/1,000-hour warranty.
MINI HYDRAULIC EXCAVATORS
Cat tracks for mini hydraulic excavators (MHE) are engineered to provide optimal traction and durability in a variety of applications and underfoot conditions and come in four different undercarriage types, depending on the machine weight and specific type and model.
- Heavy Duty Rubber Tracks are ideal for machines working in production-style, tough applications where high hour accumulation is expected, and let you work on multiple surfaces such as grass, pavement, or stone without damaging the surface or machine.
- General Duty Rubber Tracks are also ideal for working on multiple surfaces without causing damage and are a better choice for machines with lower hour utilization, older vintage machines, or where the price is a key factor in the purchasing decision.
- Steel tracks with rubber pads provide the versatility of rubber track belts while allowing debris to self-clear from the link assembly which reduces the overall wear on the sprocket and bushings. The rubber pads reduce machine vibration, leading to a smoother ride, less terrain damage, and improved operator comfort compared to traditional steel grouser shoes. Steel tracks with rubber pads also allow you to replace individual rubber pads – if necessary – as compared to replacing an entire rubber track belt. Both the steel tracks and rubber pads are available in general duty and heavy duty options.
- Steel tracks are a good choice for harsh conditions, such as demolition, that could damage rubber tracks. The extra weight of the steel tracks generally provides better stability when digging over the side of the machine, and they’re available in general duty and heavy duty options.
- General duty rubber tracks are proven by Caterpillar engineers to meet the established product performance goals of your Cat machine. Lower machine utilization, as well as budget, are the primary deciding factors in choosing general duty over heavy-duty tracks.
- Heavy duty rubber tracks provide an increased lifecycle and have a higher initial purchase price when compared to general duty rubber tracks.
Trust the product support experts at Carter Machinery to first help you evaluate your current tracks’ condition, review the various factors that help guide replacement track choice, and then recommend the best option for your budget. By updating your machine’s undercarriage with new tracks, you’ll notice improved traction, reduced wear, and increased operator efficiency. Get more information on your next replacement track, and then start the conversation today by calling, clicking, or coming by a Carter store location.