PDA

View Full Version : Rubber Tracks vrs Steel Tracks w/ Rubber pads


Dirty Water
09-03-2006, 11:54 AM
As most of you know, I'm still shopping. I'm curious about all rubber tracks, and how long they last, versus steel tracks with rubber pads.

Its seems to me that the steel tracks would last longer, and you couldn't replace individual links if you had too, instead of the entire track.

But perhaps they are harder on the rollers and sprockets?

Since I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy used, there are a lot of options around the same price, and I want something that I can test the waters with without being socked for another few grand for new tracks in a month.

Tigerotor77W
09-03-2006, 02:55 PM
In theory, rubber tracks are worse for the drivetrain because there is no slack in the system. Any debris that gets between the tire and the track adds a lot of tension to the track, the axle, and finally, to the chaincase. Steel OTT, on the other hand, compensate for this because there is [supposed to be] slack in the track. Therefore, I'd assume that you would want steel tracks with rubber inserts rather than rubber tracks.

Of course, this is on the speculation side. Perhaps someone has evidence otherwise.

Scag48
09-03-2006, 08:12 PM
We're referring to mini ex's, right?

Here's my .02. Rubber tracks last for about 1,200-1,600 hours, give or take. On a smaller machine, you're going to be dogging it with steel tracks plus the weight of the pads, just too much for the machine to be pushing. Your ability to climb a slope would be diminished, plus the bolt on pads are flat which take a lot from your tractive effort. Steel tracks with rubber pads are great if you're doing a lot of street work where you don't need to climb any slopes. The cost of replacing those pads is way less than a dedicated rubber track as when running on pavement all the time you'd probably only get a year or so of life out of rubber tracks.

Dirty Water
09-03-2006, 08:38 PM
I'm looking at 50 size machines. I think it should handle the steel tracks ok.

To me, it seems like steel/w rubber would grip better than just rubber.

http://www.machinerytrader.com/images/Machinery/fullsize/73498211.jpg

The rubber pads are almost like grousers compared to the mostly flat surface of a rubber track:

http://www.machinerytrader.com/images/Machinery/fullsize/72490644.jpg

But it may actually handle different.

mastercraft
09-03-2006, 09:07 PM
Steel tracks with rubber pads are the best of both worlds, and cost more new than either rubber or steel. If you find a machine that has them, thats great. As for weight, the rubber and steel tracks are not all that much different. On my 75 size machine, it was only about a #100 per track.

Gravel Rat
09-04-2006, 01:22 AM
Those steel tracks with rubber pads are horrible as Scag says if your running on pavement and doing utility work they work fine. You see them alot overseas its one of the reasons why you see gray market machines. Rubber tracks will conform to the ground those steel tracks with the rubber pads don't conform to the ground they are actually slippery because the rubber is so hard.

One thing to consider with the steel tracks with the bolt on rubber pads is you replace one it sits higher than the rest so it bears most of the weigh it will also cause the machine to teeter totter on a hard surface.

Have to decide are you going to be operating in areas sensitive to ground disturbance or running on peoples sidewalks and driveways then go with full rubber tracks. If you spend 99% of the time in dirt go steel and use plywood for protection on concrete and asphalt

janb
09-04-2006, 03:01 AM
I looked at some of these grey market machines with bolt on pads, before I bought mi Rubber track.

seems the 'bolt-on' rubber would be poor off road, especially mud, grass, or rain slick side hills. I'm pretty happy with the traction of my rubber tracks, as it can propel through deep mud / marsh, and climbs good. Since I don't have 'staggered' lugs, it will slide on a side slope, and it is agressive enough to tear up the grass on lawns, so I have to be pretty careful with turns in those conditions. Since mine is a bit of an 'antique' for a mini, I don't go anywhere too fast...

A friend found a near identical Nissan mini-x to my Yanmar 551x (same structure / different motor) He has paid it off ($6800) in 6 weeks, (part-time) just cleaning a couple ponds and doing some walls and terracing. He bought one of the mini-tracked 3-way dumps, ($3000) very popular in BC, and a 10,000# 6-way rubber tracked Mitsu crawler. All three combined under $20k, and all three paid off this season. (net $$ !! (minus expenses and wage) since April, with a 3 week break for haying) They are quite economical to run, less than gal / hr. I ran the rubber tracked dozer for awhile on Saturday, it is very nice and quiet too. (the exhaust is rear, and helps with operator comfort)

The mini-ex with steel would not be too noisy, (slow speed) but it really is a plus on a dozer or skid

minimax
09-04-2006, 03:58 PM
Where to start! I have steel tracks with bolt on pads and would not go back to rubber tracks,Scag and gravel rat say the is traction horrible is petty much are wrong ( not to be rude!), I run a 35c deere steel w/t rubber pads and it has way more traction then rubber tracks ( I ran rubber tracks on same machine for about 800 hr's).It only costs about $1300 to replace pads on 35 size machine.Steel track PRO'S,added stability because the outside edge of the track does not flex like rubber tracks,less risk of buying a new track because of a broken track,can run over concrete,rocks,garage,stumps without damage,can have the STRENGTH OF STEEL WITH THE ADVANTAGES OF RUBBER,the steel track chain lets the dirt and rocks out of the chain so there is less wear to sprocket teeth and bushings,and last twice as long as rubber tracks.CON'S more noise,not as easy on grass. Check out McLaren hybrid steel tracks with rubber pads Watch the video.[URL="http://www.mclarenindustries.com/new/products.php?pID=5"]
It is Not the pad that gives you the traction it is the space between pads!!

Dirty Water
09-04-2006, 05:50 PM
Scag and Gravel Rat, have you ever ran steel tracks with rubber pads?

I've got a few people here WHO HAVE THEM, saying they are great, and two people on here saying they suck. I'm inclined to believe the people that actually use them.

Then again, if you guys have ran them, let me know.

murray83
09-04-2006, 06:22 PM
Dirty Water,man once you use these you'll never wanna go back.

other than the best of both worlds,if a rubber pad wears,you replace one pad,after 1500 hours with complete rubber tracks,you replace the whole track.

one complete track varies in price from area to area i get mine though a local guy from goodyear about $4500 with tax for one track,a pad from that same guy was around $500 with tax,thats canadian,it would be cheaper for you folks in the south.

Dirty Water
09-04-2006, 06:35 PM
$500 per pad? There is 45 per side on the track above, thats $22.5k per side to replace the rubber, Assuming that 3/4 of the cost of the new track is for rubber, they are only $75 each when you pay $4500 for a whole new track.

$500 a pad is ridiculous.

Scag48
09-04-2006, 06:47 PM
I don't have extensive use with them, but I was working with this guy a couple weeks ago who had a grey market PC50UU with roadliner pads. The roadliners aren't tall like the ones in the picture you posted, they're much flatter and there's less space in between the rubber pads. They gripped like crap. I could see how the ones in the pic you posted would work, they're tall enough and spaced far enough apart to be a grouser bar on their own. Roadliners, on the other hand, aren't so good for any amount of slope work.

minimax
09-04-2006, 07:09 PM
I don't like road liner tracks at all, they are a rubber fused to a piece of steel and the edges break off up to the steel and they have space between the pads that bolt to the track chain.Roadliner tracks have no steel grouser bar pad,roadliner pads bend very easy:( .The tracks we are talking about are a real steel track with add on pads. Mine mini was in the shop last week and I had a loaner 35d deere with rubber tracks and had a job I brush mow 3 times a year,and the rubber tracks would not climb the same slope.One more PRO I forgot is that steel tracks with rubber pads self clean really well.

Dirty Water
09-04-2006, 07:12 PM
If you take off the rubber pads, do you have straight up single grouser steel tracks? Looks kinda like that in the video.

That could be handy in real bad area's.

murray83
09-04-2006, 07:13 PM
$4500 is one complete all rubber track like the pic of the cat you took,but remember thats canadian.

$500 is one set of pads (sorry for that) a set is 10 individual pads for the steel track system $50 a piece with tax not that bad,i can see why you thought that was a bit overpriced:rolleyes:

heres one for a laugh,the cat dealer quoted a buddy's 247B both tracks.........$9,000 for 2 tracks....i nearly died of laughter hearing that.

minimax
09-04-2006, 10:31 PM
No, it is a 2 bar pad. but have never had the need to take them off,more traction then power. And 2 nuts X 43 pads a track x 2 tracks = 172 nuts :dizzy: You will love a mini when you get one, here is a foundation hole I dug last week only took 5.5 hr's

Gravel Rat
09-04-2006, 11:27 PM
One of the excavation contractors in the area that I work for the odd time had them on a Komatsu PC-75 he had a scare when the machine started sliding uncontrolably. General lack of traction those tracks got turfed and a new set of 3 grouser bar tracks went on. The guy has been in the excavation business for 15 years he definatly knows how to run a excavator.

Most contractors just run straight steel tracks they last the longest if you have to run over a concrete driveway etc put down some plywood or old truck tires. You mainly find rubber tracks on the under 12,000lb machines anything larger its steel.

You guys must do alot of work walking a machine on pavement or concrete if you want rubber tracks or a hybrid track.

Tigerotor77W
09-05-2006, 11:54 AM
We're referring to mini ex's, right?

:hammerhead: uh... ooops.

Scag48
09-05-2006, 04:46 PM
:hammerhead: uh... ooops.

Way to go ruin the thread! :realmad:
















Nah, I'm just playin!

Mike33
09-05-2006, 07:02 PM
Way to go ruin the thread! :realmad:
















Nah, I'm just playin!
Since were on the subject, i dont have an excavater but looking for next season have a question. I see post here on 3 4 5 ton excavaters how can i relate that to a bobcat 331 which i rented a few times. Thanks
Mike

murray83
09-05-2006, 07:32 PM
thats a 3 ton model i believe.

minimax
09-06-2006, 12:01 AM
Gravel rat,I have seen a 160 go skiing on a set of 3 bar grouser pads full of wet mud filled pad because they don't self clean worth crap!!!

ksss
09-06-2006, 01:14 AM
Dirty Water,
Are you planning to buy a machine based on the track system it currently has? Or are you planning ahead for when you have to replace the tracks? I had never put much thought into the steel with rubber. I can see the advantages of the them. I have heard that the skid steer tracks with the rubber inserts don't last long. Longevity of the rubber would be an issue as would down time. I can't imagine just being able to replace one rubber shoe at a time. Unless you just happened to tear one. It would seem more like an all or nothing deal. If you can get the hours out of them that would be fine. If it is a 500 hour replacement cycle I can't see the benefit of them.

RockSet N' Grade
09-06-2006, 09:35 PM
I run a 20,000 lb machine and currently have rubber bands. For the work that I do, I would prefer steel with rubber pads. I set rock and any time you drive over something sharp with the rubber bands, you get a slice in the tread.
When choosing rubber bands, please check out different manufacturers specs to see how many and where their interior steel cables are placed in the rubber tracks......the cables are the heart and soul of the rubber band system and as soon as you slice a cable, you are not far from throwing a track or replacement.
In short, both have their place.......for my work load steel/rubber pad is the way to go......for other job applications, the rubber band is better.......

Dirty Water
09-06-2006, 09:39 PM
Dirty Water,
Are you planning to buy a machine based on the track system it currently has? Or are you planning ahead for when you have to replace the tracks? I had never put much thought into the steel with rubber. I can see the advantages of the them. I have heard that the skid steer tracks with the rubber inserts don't last long. Longevity of the rubber would be an issue as would down time. I can't imagine just being able to replace one rubber shoe at a time. Unless you just happened to tear one. It would seem more like an all or nothing deal. If you can get the hours out of them that would be fine. If it is a 500 hour replacement cycle I can't see the benefit of them.

Kiaser, I'm planning on buying a used machine, a lot of them in this area have the hybrid tracks, so I was wondering if I should avoid them, or look for them specially. I don't want to replace the tracks until the machine has proven to make money.