In the tough, challenging business and unprecedented economic times you find yourself competing in, control of aftermarket costs is just one of many expenses you are keeping your eye on.
In our world, where we are focused on rubber-tracked vehicles of all kinds, we tend to spend an inordinate amount of time studying the problems that customers have with tracks and listening to their stories of painful fails and their suggestions for improvements.
The longer the economic situation remains in this slowdown period, the more our customers are looking to save every dollar possible. “A dollar saved is a dollar earned” is more than a clever proverb—it is a bona fide policy of most industries right now.
So let’s take a look at our specialty, the aftermarket equipment part in which we have earned a world-class reputation: the replacement rubber track.
In other blog posts, we’ve argued that we are the only reasonable choice for rubber tracks of every kind. Today, we’re going to tackle some related questions we’ve heard a bit more frequently over the past year: Is it ever safe to buy used tracks? Are there some special tricks to maximizing our chances of picking the good from the bad?
Let’s look at the obvious pros and cons first. For “pros”, all we can come up with is the presumably cheaper price. Now, in these times, that is nothing to sneeze at, we agree.
In the “cons” column, however, we find quite a laundry list of potential negatives.
Most of the time you literally have no idea who made the tracks, nor can you research their track record (pun intended!) online.
This applies to auctions, used products advertised in classified sections of magazines, and so on. Even if you are buying from your old buddy you went to school with, you have to ask if he will give anything like a limited warranty. Will he stand behind the sale if it turns out to be a dud?
This is the big one. The seller probably doesn’t even know the answer to the question. And absent conclusive visual evidence, this is the most important indicator of wear and remaining track life.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. You have no idea if the previous owner or his crew treated their machine and its tracks properly, or if they did any maintenance at all. A lot of times (we hesitate to say the majority) track maintenance is non-existent.
Buying used tracks, which by definition will not have a warranty, is pure gambling—you might as well go to Las Vegas if you want to test your luck!
Does that even exist? Certainly not for used tracks. All of our new track sales come with the support of our experts who probably know more about rubber tracks, as a general part of tracked equipment, than any other company in the world.
Speaking of the experience accumulated by our staff, we consulted with them to ask about the most common and most serious issues they had heard of regarding used tracks. They all answered the same way: premature breakage. That is, almost immediately after mounting used tracks, you have a fair chance of them breaking not long after.
Changing out your tracks is not a quick job. Every hour you spend mounting your used tracks is a lost hour of productivity, and the one guarantee in all this is that you will have to replace used tracks more frequently. If you are unlucky, much more frequently. As one of our customers put it so succinctly, “Personally, I’d want to have to swap tracks as few times as possible.”
And finally, there is a consideration that is much less obvious than the above. What most people don’t consider is that, over time, the relationship between specific equipment and the serial numbers of the type of replacement tracks they use changes. A track that would fit a certain model of—for example—Bobcat, in years past will have changed because that model uses a differently sized track now. In that case, the used tracks you buy just won’t fit, no matter what you do.
One of the things that make us the experts we are is that we keep up with those changes, and the new set of tracks we send out will fit.
So, when you need to replace the rubber tracks on one of your machines, please give us a call. Our service technicians will walk you through the steps you need to take to pick the new, warrantied tracks that are right for you.
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.