Due to its high degree of versatility, your skid steer track loader is likely one of the most-used pieces of equipment in your fleet. As such, it’s important to make sure you equip your machine with the right set of tracks. The tracks you choose to put on your skid steer can have a significant impact on which environments it can operate in, its lifespan, and how much maintenance it requires. In other words, you should choose this equipment wisely. Here’s what to consider when choosing skid steer tracks.
The Operating Environment
Perhaps the most important factor to consider when choosing which tracks to equip your skid steer with is your intended operating environment. Different terrains will require different skid steer track tread patterns in order to facilitate optimal efficiency and safety.
If you plan on using your skid steer in an area that requires minimal ground disturbance, such as someone’s lawn, you may want to opt for tracks with a turf pattern. When operating your skid steer on slippery terrain such as mud, clay, or snow, a track pattern with high traction—as is achieved with a zigzag pattern—may be more ideal. When choosing your tracks, it’s essential to be aware of which track patterns are most well-suited to your specific application environment.
Track and Machine Lifespan
In addition to your skid steer’s operating environment, it is also important to consider how much maintenance the tracks will require. If you only plan on using your tracks and skid steer loader for a relatively short amount of time, opting for a lower quality, less expensive track may be the most financially beneficial option. However, if you want to enjoy a longer track and skid steer lifespan, it is much more advantageous to spend more money on a higher quality skid steer track.
High-quality rubber tracks will provide a smoother ride, which will decrease the amount of vibration that the machine experiences. Reducing vibration can prevent premature wear and tear, thereby allowing the tracks and the undercarriage of the machine to last far longer.
Another crucial factor to consider when choosing skid steer tracks is the track width. Wider tracks will result in reduced ground pressure, as they will distribute the machine’s weight over a larger surface area. Narrower tracks, on the other hand, will result in increased ground pressure.
If minimizing ground disturbance and optimizing flotation is your top priority, wider tracks are the way to go. However, if you are more concerned about optimizing traction and maximizing push force, narrower tracks are likely the best option.