If you own or operate equipment that has rubber tracks then there will probably come a time when you need to replace them. Rubber tracks can range anywhere from a few hundred pounds to several thousand pounds. Because the rubber tracks are so heavy, it takes a great deal of force to remove and install them. With the amount of force required and the size of the equipment involved, it’s important to take every safety precaution to avoid personal injury or equipment damage.
It’s possible to remove and install rubber tracks using several people and special tools (straps, toolbars, etc.), but it’s recommended to use a relatively heavy duty piece of equipment. Forklifts are the most common choice. Once you have your forklift ready, find an open area that allows you to maneuver around the vehicle. Also make sure that you have a flat surface to work on to decrease the amount of movement during the rubber track installation.
Once you have your location, you’ll need the appropriate tools. You need heavy duty lifts and supports. If the frame of the vehicle is strong enough then you can use a lift, but if the frame is weaker then you should use support stands and jacks. You should have heavy duty pin tools ready (they need to be at least 10 inches long in order to get the track back on). You also need tools to remove the following:
Before lifting the vehicle off the ground, slowly loosen the track adjuster valve, allowing grease to come out. Once you no longer feel pressure, remove the valve.
Start by placing a pin in the cleat. Turn the vehicle on and rotate the track , rolling over onto the pin with the rear idler, causing the track adjuster to collapse. Continue rotating until the pin can be removed and clean up any expelled grease. Make sure the rear idler pusher is collapsed completely inside the tube and then reinstall the grease valve and tighten it. Next, with the vehicle still on the ground, use a forklift or tool to pry off the top carriers.
Next, remove the triangle plates on the rear bottom rollers and remove linkage from the opposite track drive pump (safety precaution). Now you can raise the vehicle of the ground and place supports underneath. Only raise it high enough to get the bottom cleats under the bottom rollers. If the sprocket is in segments, remove three of them and leave one attached. If it’s all one piece, just leave as-is.
IMPORTANT: The machine should be blocked in such a manner to support the machine, so use heavy wood blocks or stands that are suitable for the vehicle’s weight.
With the vehicle raised, you can now slowly rotate the track to remove parts. Here’s how:
The following image is what you’re trying to achieve. Once you have this, set the brakes to hold in that position:
Carefully remove the track from the rear idler and pull it out . Work the track from under the vehicle and off of the front drive housing, pulling on each end of the track with straps.
Now it’s time to install the new track:
Use pry bars (or similar tool) to support the top of the track when installing and work the bottom of the track, installing the track on the planetary first. Then push on the cleat (not the rubber track itself) so that the track slips under the bottom rollers. Once the track is completely under the bottom rollers, lower the supports a little to lock in the track. With two pins that fit all the way inside the links and extend to the inside of the track by 6 inches, rotate the track. If the pins are the correct side, the track will guide itself in place. Now install the bottom roller, replace the triangle plates and tighten the nuts. You can now lower the vehicle to the ground and finally install the upper carrier rollers.
If all of these steps were done correctly, then you have successfully installed rubber tracks on your vehicle. If you have any questions on how to install rubber tracks or to order rubber tracks for your vehicle, contact Dominion Equipment Parts.
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.