With a variety of track types and tread patterns available, choosing the rubber tracks to meet the demands of your work environment and job applications can be challenging.
From tracks that provide maximum durability and smoothness on paved surfaces to those that provide the best traction on wet ground and snow, there are rubber tracks for loaders that match nearly every terrain and job requirement.
Here’s what you need to know before you invest in a new machine or purchase new tracks for your existing loader.
If you’re considering purchasing a new machine, you should understand the performance and durability differences between the tracks of a compact track loader and a multi track loader. Both CTLs and MTLs utilize rubber tracks, but their track undercarriage design is very different; this makes each machine more suited for different applications.
CTLs use steel, both in their undercarriage components and embedded into their rubber tracks. This provides CTLs with longer operating life and lower operating costs across a variety of different terrains and applications. However, the use of steel makes CTLs heavier than MTLs, leading to higher ground pressure that can result in damage to delicate terrain.
On the other hand, MTLs utilize all-rubber tracks and rubber-coated roller wheels. This makes MTLs lighter than CTLs, allowing for greater floatation and the ability to work on delicate surfaces, such as freshly-laid turf or sod, without causing damage. In addition, this lighter undercarriage also makes it possible for MTLs to achieve higher speeds and provide greater operator comfort than CTLs.
However, MTLs do have two major downsides:
In short, the track undercarriage design of the CTL provides greater versatility and adaptability, but the MTL provides superior operation and comfort in certain types of applications.
Whether you choose a compact track loader or a multi terrain loader, you have several options for the pattern of their treads. Each trend pattern has its own strengths and weaknesses, and which one is best for you will depend on your typical work conditions.
As the standard tread pattern option provided for many factory-direct loaders from manufacturers such John Deere, Bobcat, Case, Takeuchi, Volve, New Holland, Mustang, Gehl and others, the staggered block tread is perhaps the most popular and most commonly used tread pattern type.
This tread design is the most general purpose pattern available, though it is particularly well-suited for use on hard and abrasive surfaces such as paved highways and gravel.
In general, treads with this pattern will be the most durable and longest-lasting if your work conditions require you to turn frequently on hot paved surfaces.
While other tread designs are more adapted to specific different terrain types, staggered block treads will operate smoothly on hard surfaces, cause minimal ground disturbances when used on finished lawns, and are generally suitable for use on sand, clay, dirt, mud, gravel and asphalt.
This tread pattern is very similar in appearance to the staggered block tread; however, the C-lug tread has notches cut out of each block, creating a sideways “C” shape. For those who need to operate their CTL or MTL both on and off-road, the C-lug tread is the mostly flexible across a variety of terrain types.
This tread pattern is extremely durable, and its high number of cutting edges allows for increased traction, superior handling and improved performance. Designed to provide a smooth ride over a number of different surfaces, the C-lug tread works well for clay, mud, asphalt, concrete, gravel and sand.
Designed to maximize traction, the straight bar tread pattern is specifically made for those who frequently need to operate their CTL or MTL on wet or muddy terrain. The design of this tread will significantly reduce the risk of getting stuck in the mud as compared to the staggered block or C-lug tread patterns.
Moreover, the straight bar tread design is the least likely to tear up finished turf thanks to its lower durometer rating, allowing you to pivot as well as operate at low or high speeds without scarring the underlying lawn.
However, this increased traction does come with some downsides, and straight bar treads provide rougher rides than either staggered block or C-lug treads.
While other tread patterns like the staggered block and C-lug treads work well on a variety of surfaces, the multi bar tread pattern is most appropriate when the operator needs to move back and forth between loose ground cover and hard surfaces.
This tread design is able to switch quickly between the smooth ride that is desirable on paved surfaces and the increased traction that is needed on loose ground cover. As compared to the straight bar tread design, multi bar treads provide a smoother ride across terrain types. In addition, the multi bar tread design is tremendously popular for use in snow.
Keep in mind that, although each tread is specifically designed for particular applications, they are all intended a wide range of applications. For example, while the multi bar is particularly well-suited for snow removal, all tread patterns are capable of completing this task to some degree.
The biggest benefit of choosing a tread pattern that most closely matches your work demands is that doing so can help prolong the life of your treads, thus lowering your operating costs and boosting productivity. The more repetitive your tasks are, the more impactful it will be to choose a specific tread type.
For more information on tread types and rubber tracks, contact Dominion Equipment Parts at 1-866-360-5489.
Search by Make & Model
Dominion Rubber Tracks are available for all mini excavators, compact track loaders and tracked Carriers. Our replacement undercarriage parts include a fully stocked line of sprockets, rollers and idlers, manufactured to the highest quality control standards. Dominion Equipment Parts is also the exclusive OEM parts distributor for Morooka Rubber Track Carriers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America.