Published on August 24, 2021

How to Maintain Rubber Tracks on Your Compact Track Loader

Performing track maintenance and inspection on a regular basis is key to getting the most from your Cat® Compact Track Loader (CTL) and Multi Terrain Loader (MTL) machines. Daily inspections should be routine prior to beginning your work shift. Here are some key tips from Ziegler CAT to ensure your rubber tracks are in good condition.

  • Start by inspecting your tracks for any damage, cuts, abrasions, or imbedded debris. By removing any packed material in or along the roller frames you can dramatically decrease the potential for accelerated of abnormal wear.
  • Inspect the drive sprockets for wear and periodically measure them to gauge the wear-life status. Be sure and consult your Operation and Maintenance Manual (OMM) for the exact procedure and specs for your particular model.  As a proactive measure, sprockets can be rotated from one side to the other to extend their life.
  • Check the bottom track rollers and idlers for any abnormal wear, leaks, or damage. Here again, any packed material should be removed daily to keep them free of debris, ultimately extending the component’s life cycle.
  • Check the track tension for proper adjustment. Periodic adjustment is critical to minimize damage and maximize performance. Be sure not to over-tighten tracks. Over tension can create power loss and bearing failures, and lead to premature wear or failure. On the other hand, make sure tracks are not too loose, which can increase the possibility of the tracks coming off (derailment), which can cause excessive drive lug wear or damage.
  • The most accurate method for Track Adjustment is on level ground, with the machine supported and the track off the ground. Here are the steps to check the machine track tension on site:
    1. First, move the machine in reverse to relieve any binding in the track.
    2. Lift the machine off the ground with the loader and bucket, resting it only on the rear idlers and bucket.
    3. With the operator remaining in the cab, have an assistant measure track sag at the CENTER bottom track roller. Track sag should be 2” (51mm) at the inner flat surface on the top side of the track.
    4. If adjustment is needed—tension or relief — please consult the OMM for your particular model and procedure before making any adjustments.

When you buy Cat products, you also get support from trained Ziegler Parts Service Reps who have the tools and knowledge for managing your fleet.  Working with your rep does not require any additional fee, and is one of the best ways to control your costs and downtime.  Understanding how your CTL undercarriage works and wears is critical.  Together, we can keep your machine in top condition, ensuring that it stays productive in the interest of your bottom line.

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