Aftermarket rubber tracks: Choosing the best one for excavators

The excavator isn’t moving forward on the wet surface, that’s a common problem with steel tracks. But what you actually need is shifting to aftermarket rubber tracks.

The best thing about these rubber tracks is that you can use them on the toughest tracks without tear and wear. Most of these have formulated rubber compound construction. Also, the resistance against tearing and cutting makes them worth using.

Best aftermarket rubber tracks

How to measure rubber track size?

Well, to choose the right rubber track for your vehicle, you need to take correct measurements. You are ready to operate the machine wearing work boots for heavy equipment operators, but the rubber track isn’t.

Three different measurements are there you need to know about the rubber track size. You will find the measurement on the user manual of the product, which includes track width, pitch, and the number of links.

Follow the below steps to measure the sizes of these three units.

  1. Measure the track width in millimeters.
  2. Measure the distance between two links in millimeters.
  3. The distance is known as track pitch.
  4. Count the total number of links.

Best aftermarket rubber tracks

Aftermarket rubber tracks can serve the heavy machinery to work on any tough and rough surface. The protective rubber compound design makes it a durable choice on construction sites.

We’ve made a list of the top rubber tracks that can come in handy for any heavy equipment user. You may also like to read about ground protection mats for heavy equipment to save the lawn from damage to heavy-duty vehicles.

1. Bobcat 325 Aftermarket Rubber Track

Specifications

Brand

National 1 Track & Parts

Weight

276 pounds

Track width

300 mm

Track pitch

52.5 mm

Track link

74 all-steel links

Material

Specially formulated rubber compounds

Resistance

Cutting and tearing

Steel inserts

Drop-forged and special bonding adhesive

Users opinion about the track

After measuring the usable machine size, users have fitted the track properly. According to the majority of users, it fits perfectly to the recommended machine. With the formulated rubber compound construction, it provides a long-time service.

Most users have used the tracks without worrying about any sort of cutting or tearing. In other words, it provided freedom of use to the users. However, the users have suggested making sure whether it’s compatible with the machine or not.

More details you need to know

The rubber track comes with OEM matched for your machine. The manufacturer used formulated rubber compounds to construct it. Moreover, it’s a cut and tear-resistant track that is ideal for extended periods of usage.

It fits the machine perfectly because of the all-steel links that it comes with. Along with the exact guide operation, the all-steel links provide smoother operation on most types of terrains. It’s comparatively a much durable track.

One main reason for this extended durability is the steel inserts are drop-forged. Instead of brushing the steel inserts with adhesive, they have dipped them in a special bonding adhesive. It ensures a stronger and consistent bond.

The tracks are here to increase the versatility of the machine with its strong construction and durable performance.

The good

  1. It perfectly fits the machine.
  2. The track has a comparatively stronger adhesive bond.
  3. It provides a smoother operation on the terrains.
  4. It is resistant to cutting and tearing.
  5. A durable track.

The bad

Everything is good about the track so far.

2. Two Rubber Tracks for Bobcat 331 331E X331E X331 X331D 300X52.5X80 T1 Tread

Specifications

Brand

Rubber Tracks of America

Weight

-

Track width

300 mm

Track pitch

52.5 mm

Track link

80

Compatible machine

Excavator

Construction

Advanced natural and synthetic rubber blending  

Tread pattern

T1 tread pattern

Fitment

Bobcat 331, 331E, X331E, X331, and X331D

Metal-core

Forged and heat-treated, imbedded metal core

Steel cord

Wrapped and covered with rubber

Users opinion about the track

The tracks performed as it has been expected. The users are pretty delighted with the high-quality construction of the tracks. With the high-quality construction and sizing, it fits perfectly into the machine. The perfect fit enhances the performance quality.

Another great side is that the product comes with meeting the description. Meanwhile, the heat-treated metal core enhances the longevity of the track. Moreover, it’s a kind of track that is compatible with various bobcat machine models.

More details you need to know

The track comes with a T1 tread pattern that ensures a smoother run even on uneven terrains. The manufacturer has used advanced natural and synthetic rubber technology to construct the track. It’s a joint-less rubber track.

Using the technology, the track gets flexibility and becomes anti-abrasive. Moreover, it comes with an embedded metalcore that is forged and heat-treated. It provides a metallic strength drastically to the track.

The steel core or cable included in the track comes wrapped and covered with rubber. This rubber wrapping reduces the friction between the steel cords. Therefore, there is an assurance of improved durability in the tracks.

The package includes two tracks, which come in with a tread pattern. According to the manufacturer, it is compatible with excavators.

The good

  1. The tracks are high quality and durable.
  2. It provides a perfect fit for the excavator.
  3. Provides a drastically improved metal strength for being heat-treated.
  4. The rubber wrapping reduces the friction between cables.
  5. It’s anti-abrasive.

The bad

Everything seems okay with the set of two rubber tracks.

3. National 1 Aftermarket Rubber Tracks Fits CAT 257B MTL Rubber Tracks

Specifications

Brand

National 1 Track & Parts

Weight

186 pounds

Track width

381 mm

Track pitch

101.6 mm

Track link

42

Construction material

Specially formulated rubber compounds

Compatibility

CAT 257B MTL

Resistance

Tearing and cutting

Users opinion about the track

The users are really happy with the quality of the rubber tracks. However, it is suggested by the users to take correct measurements of the machine before fitting the track. Following the correct measurement, it fits quite perfectly into the machine.

With the formulated rubber compounds construction, users have got a long-lasting service. Even after a long-time of usage, it didn’t seem the tracks have any kind of tearing or cutting.

Unlike cheap tracks, it arrived in good packaging, which creates a good impression as well.

More details you need to know

When you are looking for a pair of rubber tracks for the CAT machine, you should probably have a quick look at it. The construction quality is up to the mark as the manufacturer used the highest quality rubber compound here.

According to the manufacturer, it comes in pairs and is compatible with CAT 257B MTL machine. It is OEM matched for your machine, which is undoubtedly a great thing for any track. Again, both these tracks are resistant to tearing and wearing.

With the specially formulated construction technology, they can create protection against excessive friction. Therefore, a longer lifespan doesn’t remain a dream for the users anymore.

Compared to the other two products above in the list, this package includes slightly bigger tracks.

The good

  1. The tracks can resist any kind of tear and wear.
  2. It reduces the excessive friction on the terrain because of the specially formulated construction.
  3. It comes with the highest quality rubber compound.
  4. It fits perfectly with the machines.
  5. The quality is satisfactory compared to the pricing.

The bad

Everything seems okay with the rubber tracks.

4. Bobcat 331 Mini Excavator Rubber Track

Specifications

Brand

Ameritrax USA Inc

Weight

289 pounds

Track width

300

Track pitch

52.5

Track link

80 all-steel links 

Construction

Specially formulated rubber compound

Compatibility

Bobcat 331 mini excavator

Technology

Dual continuous steel cable technology

Resistance

Tear and cutting

Steel inserts

Drop-forged and special bonding adhesive

Certification

Meets or exceeds OEM specs

Users opinion about the track

As the listing says, it is compatible with the bobcat 331 mini excavator model. And in reality, it fit properly with this particular model, not with other models. With the quality rubber compound and steel cable technology, it meets up the users’ demand.

Users are happy to have a quick installation without wasting any time and the perfect fit. Even after using it for a long time, the track doesn’t seem tearing or cutting. In other words, the users found it supportive on uneven terrains for long time use.

More details you need to know

It’s another inclusion of rubber tracks for bobcat machines in the list. According to the manufacturer, you should fit it with a bobcat 331 mini excavator. The manufacturer used dual continuous steel cable technology to provide a smoother operation.

Moreover, the specially formulated rubber compound construct made the tracks a long-time user. The reason is that due to the rubber compound, it doesn’t damage the part that creates friction on the terrain.

Therefore, it creates a shield against wear, tear, and unwanted cutting of the tracks. Ultimately, it leads to a long-lasting duration. Meanwhile, the dipping in the steel inserts with the adhesive provides a much stronger bond within.

The good

  1. The pair of tracks is durable enough.
  2. It fits perfectly with the recommended machine model.
  3. Protects the rubber from tearing and cutting during a long time of use.
  4. Steel cable technology provides a smoother operation.
  5. Comes with a much stronger and more consistent bond within.

The bad

So far, it’s a good aftermarket rubber track package.

5. Kubota KX71-3 Rubber Track

Specifications

Brand

Ameritrax USA Inc

Weight

289 pounds

Track width

300

Track pitch

52.5

Track link

80 all-steel links 

Construction

Specially formulated rubber compound

Compatibility

Kubota KX71-3

Technology

Dual continuous steel cable technology

Resistance

Tear and cutting

Steel inserts

Drop-forged and special bonding adhesive

Certification

Meets or exceeds OEM specs

Users opinion about the track

When it comes to meeting the OEM specs, users had high expectations from the tracks. And the tracks successfully fulfilled the expectation. It performed in the same way as was expected. The special adhesive bond is something the users loved much.

The bond made the tracks much stronger than ever. Moreover, they have experienced a proper fit to the recommended machine model as said by the manufacturer. It is a worthy one to purchase for long-term usability.

The majority of the users found that the tracks can resist tearing and cutting in most cases.

More details you need to know

The manufacturer used dual continuous steel cable technology to construct the rubber tracks. However, it has a specially formulated rubber compound that enhances the performance quality to a great extent. Moreover, it comes with meeting or exceeding OEM specs.

According to the manufacturer, it is compatible with the Kubota KX71-3 model. They used hot dipped-in adhesive to ensure a strong bond within. Moreover, the tracks come with dual forged steel inserts. The special adhesive bonding is truly a good one for long-lasting performance.

Again, it has a shield created against tearing and cutting. Therefore, you can enjoy a long-lasting service from these tracks even after using them on uneven terrains for an extended period.

The good

  1. The adhesive creates a stronger and much consistent bond within.
  2. It provides long-lasting performance.
  3. A durable service is available from these tracks.
  4. It perfectly fits the recommended model.
  5. Meets or exceeds OEM specs.

The bad

Everything seems good with the tracks.

Buying guide: Things to consider before buying

By considering a few things, you can make the right decision about rubber tracks. It's not that you need to have a vast knowledge of it. Check out the following aspects to ensure you purchase the right tracks.

excavators rubber track

You may find interest in reading paint for heavy equipment to give your machinery a good look.

  1. Measure the size of the track.
  2. With which machinery model is it compatible.
  3. The technology used to construct it.
  4. Higher resistance for long-lasting service.
  5. It should have legal certification.
  6. The steel inserts should have a strong bond.

How to measure the track’s size?

We’ve already provided a way to measure the track’s size in one section. However, the measurement includes track width, track pitch, and the number of links. You need to measure both width and pitch. However, count the number of links available on the track.

Do you need to check the compatibility?

Even after buying a high-quality pair of track, people seem dissatisfied because it’s not compatible with the machinery he has. Not every track is made for any machinery. Typically, you will get tracks for particular machinery. Therefore, it’s necessary to check out the compatibility.

What is used to construct it?

A high-quality rubber compound is mostly used to construct rubber tracks. However, it has metallic parts as well. The links have steel inserts with adhesives that create a strong bond. Ultimately, you can have a long-lasting performance.

How long it will serve the user?

mud rubber track

The longevity of the tracks depends on the resistance mostly. Most rubber compound tracks are resistant to tearing and cutting. This offers you to have a smoother operation on uneven terrains for a long time without worrying about damage.

Moreover, these tracks are less prone to heavy equipment grease, which can reduce the performance for sure. Stay tuned to know more about this.

What types of aftermarket rubber tracks are there?

If you need versatile heavy equipment tracks, you should probably go for rubber tracks. Although these tracks are beneficial on any surface, you will find a few more types here for specific benefits.

  1. Standard block tread for hot paved surfaces, gravel, finished lawn, clay, sand, mud, and asphalt.
  2. C-lug tread for concrete, clay, mud, asphalt, gravel, and sand.
  3. Straight bar tread for wet or muddy terrain.
  4. Multi-bar tread for softer groundcover, snowy conditions, and concrete.

Advantages of using rubber tracks

When choosing rubber tracks over steel tracks, people think about how these tracks are beneficial. If it’s not beneficial, you wouldn’t have gone for it. We’d like to show a few advantages of these versatile tracks.

  1. Provides a high level of traction.
  2. Usable on soft surfaces like grass, muddy or snowy conditions.
  3. Suitable on the toughest terrains as well.
  4. Absorbs the noise to provide a quiet operation.
  5. It’s comparatively stable and flexible than steel tracks.
  6. The operator can move faster with rubber tracks.
  7. An affordable option because it requires less maintenance.

Are aftermarket rubber tracks worth it?

Spending $800 to $1900 is not a poor decision when you get a long-lasting service guarantee. It’s the rubber tracks that allow one to use heavy machinery on any surface. The cost typically depends on the brand value.

Also, you need to check out which brand’s machine or vehicle it is compatible with. The compatibility will differ in the price of the tracks. However, every package comes in pairs, and the features are mostly identical.

When should I replace the rubber tracks?

While checking the track tension, you may notice something unusual. Moreover, the rubber tracks' performance isn't up to mark. All these make you think whether it's time to replace the tracks or not.

Well, don’t decide until you are sure about a few things. There’re a few signs that indicate you to replace the worn-out or malfunctioning tracks.

  1. If the tension track is too tight or too loose.
  2. Keeping the tracks unclean for a long time.
  3. Worn sprockets can create problems.
  4. If you notice cracks on the track surface.
  5. One or more missing links can affect the service.
  6. If somehow the tread pattern has worn out.
  7. Corrosion on the steel parts.

FAQs

How long do aftermarket rubber tracks last?

Typically, aftermarket rubber tracks last from 1,200 to 1,600 hours. However, it depends largely on two things. The first thing is that on which type of track you are using it, and the second thing is whether it’s for a personal or rental vehicle.

Rubber tracks are good on both even and uneven terrains. But the more challenging the road is, the less time the tracks will last. Again, the tracks used for a personal vehicle will last longer compared to the tracks used for rental ones.

Can you repair the rubber tracks?

Well, it’s kind of impossible to repair the rubber tracks if it wears out, tear, or deteriorate. The primary reason for not repairing the tracks is the damaged pins or holes that keep both tracks together.

It is better to replace both the tracks if it needs repairing. Also, you shouldn’t replace one piece as it can damage the newer part quickly and deteriorate the older one.

These tracks can damage due to ultra-violet rays, long-time usability, uneven roads, etc.

Why do rubber tracks come off?

Using the rubber tracks on gravel, uneven terrains or muddy roads frequently can cause damage. This damage leads the tracks to come off when you may not need them to. Experts have gone through several tests to identify more reasons behind this coming off.

  1. Broken tracks spring.
  2. Insufficient track spring tension.
  3. Incorrect fitment of the track.
  4. The undercarriage has worn out.
  5. Leakage from the track adjusters.
  6. If the operator is abusive.
  7. Using on uneven or tough conditions for a long time.
  8. Faulty tracks.

Are rubber tracks directional?

Don’t take the rubber tracks in to reverse direction, which can put unnecessary pressure on them. These heavy-duty tracks are made to go forward, not backward. It’s better not to think of driving the vehicle in the reverse direction.

Final words

Don’t you think rubber tracks do a better job than steel tracks? It’s not that we’re trying to convince you, but the above discussion keeps rubber tracks on top. Before finishing up, let’s wrap up the things quickly.

  1. Specially formulated rubber compound construction.
  2. Compatible with one particular or several machinery models.
  3. Higher resistance from tearing and cutting.
  4. Meets or exceeds OEM specs.
  5. Provides a long-lasting performance.

Last Updated on June 17, 2022 by sajjad

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