The number one most important feature of a tracked vehicle is its tracks.
Tracks are the reason that you and your customers want that machine. Otherwise, you might prefer the greater speed you can get from a wheeled vehicle, since matching the right equipment to the job’s requirements and limitations plays such a large part in your profitability – as does economy in maintenance and upkeep.
Bargain shopping for cheap rubber tracks can cost you dearly in the long run. You have to be very careful about your decision to buy “discount” tracks.
Let us give you some advice from our unique perspective. At Dominion Equipment, we are the OEM track supplier for Morooka, and we make and distribute tracks for 39 major brands of tracked machines. We are also North America’s leading track importer.
First, just what does economy mean when manufacturers apply the word to tracks?
In our case, the tracks we offer to the market already represent the best economic value, since Dominion offers the highest quality tracks at competitive prices. We didn’t become a leading manufacturer and distributor of undercarriage parts and equipment by over-charging tracked vehicle owners.
So, naturally, our first question, whenever we hear that a vendor offers cheap rubber tracks at greatly discounted prices, is, “Where is that manufacturer cutting corners?”. It should be on your mind, too.
We never cut corners at Dominion. We make all of our tracks precisely to OEM specifications, from quality materials, in our quality-controlled manufacturing processes. It ensures our tracks are the proper fit for your make and model and offer you the most durable, trouble-free reliability for longest useful life.
When we can lower price-points, it’s only through continuous improvement of our in-house efficiencies, logistics of our shipping network and, of course, our high-volume leverage. That’s a saving we’re happy to pass onto our customers.
Yet we understand contractors who still want to find even lower prices. We’ve all been there.
We all weigh the pros and cons in choosing among our vendors. We might find ourselves rationalizing that we don’t need the highest quality parts and components. Maybe for the jobs we do, cheap parts will do just fine. So, why not save money by buying cheap rubber tracks?
If undermining your tracked equipment’s intended utility, relegating it for use on only the least demanding jobs, isn’t a factor for you, let’s consider a greater gamble you’re taking – safety.
Poor performance increases the risk of damage to your equipment, to the project owner’s property and to your operator – not to mention other personnel.
In confined spaces and on slopes, the poor fit and low-quality materials of cheap rubber tracks contribute to poorer handling and may contribute to its catastrophic failure.
Can you picture an operator losing precise control over a machine if a track fails near another piece of machinery, a building wall or a foundation, or while horizontally traversing a steep slope?
You have insurance against such things, of course. And putting cheap rubber tracks on your equipment increases the likelihood you’ll file a claim against your policy.
Consider also, that we live in a litigious society. How will your decision to use lower quality tracks play in your favor during an investigation of culpability? What will it do to your reputation as a contractor? And if there is injury or worse, the consequences are unthinkable.
We don’t mean to sound melodramatic. We agree that a track failure leading to damage or to bodily injury is a worst-case scenario, not something that happens all that often. It can even be argued that, although much less likely, Murphy’s law still can make a worst-case scenario possible even with the highest quality track.
Yet, throughout the industry, safety is the highest priority. Low-quality, cheap rubber tracks compromise safety.
More and more, customers simply will not allow a contractor to work for them that is willing to take risks to property and personnel. Some will not tolerate contractors who take shortcuts using one-off equipment and components.
Reduced job opportunities can be another one of the hidden costs of discount tracks.
We know that worst-case scenarios aren’t in the headlines often. That make may them seem too far-fetched to factor into purchasing decisions. So, then, now let’s simply consider the false economy of buying cheap rubber tracks.
The amount of money initially saved by purchasing cheap rubber tracks can be quickly overcome – and then some – by the frequency of purchasing them.
Tracks are a wear item, but if you treat tracks as merely a disposable commodity, you’re going to be buying more of them. This must be taken into consideration when estimating what the tracks will actually cost, comparing their up-front pricing to how long you can expect them to last.
The second consideration is performance, which ultimately affects your productivity.
One of the main reasons owners replace their tracks is that they’ve lost their fit through wear. Worn tracks degrade your machine’s ability to carry its rated load. They reduce its vertical climb capability and ability to navigate over snow-covered, muddy, and saturated ground. And it reduces its ability to push or pull – while towing another piece of equipment, for instance.
Replacing worn tracks with low-quality tracks that do not fit OEM specifications, to begin with, makes little sense at all. In short, you’re creating a problem you just spent money to fix.
And slippage due to an inadequate fit accelerates both track and carriage wear. You might not just be replacing tracks more often but shorten the useful life of undercarriage components as well.
Two other reasons to buy quality tracks are often overlooked – customer service and product support. In our opinion, it’s just poor practice to buy from vendors who can’t back up the product lines they sell.
These are all legitimate concerns and good questions you should consider when buying rubber tracks.
Unlike cheap rubber tracks, quality tracks come with quality support. They enable your tracked equipment to live up to their rated performance capabilities. And they’re safer.
Include these values while you’re comparing cost. You’ll quickly see why cheap rubber tracks are no value at all.
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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.