Benefits of Rubber Tracks vs Steel Tracks
Machinery such as mini excavators can be outfitted with rubber tracks or steel tracks, or even a hybrid of the two, with rubber pads bolted to steel tracks. Your jobsite, application, and machine will dictate which type of track you need, but here are some considerations to keep in mind:
Rubber tracks are ideal on grass or dirt, but in wet or muddy conditions, you’ll need a more aggressive tread pattern to avoid getting stuck; steel tracks offer more traction, especially on hills or uneven surfaces, but they leave their mark on almost every surface, even concrete.
Rubber tracks are much more affordable than steel tracks, but they aren’t as durable, so they need to be replaced more often.
- LESS GROUND DAMAGE
Rubber tracks cause less damage than steel tracks on roads, lawns, and fields, especially in wet or soft terrain.
- LOW NOISE
Compared to the loud clattering of steel tracks, rubber tracks are more neighbor-friendly.
- HIGHER SPEEDS
Rubber tracks reduce vibration, so they can be driven faster than steel tracked-machinery.
- INCREASED DRIVER COMFORT
Rubber tracks produce a far more comfortable ride than steel tracks, reducing operator fatigue.
- VIBRATION REDUCTION
Lower vibration invariably leads to longer machinery life, and reduced lifetime maintenance costs.
- LOW GROUND PRESSURE
With ground pressure as low as 0.14-0.30kg/cm2, rubber tracks are ideal for wet or soft terrain.
Benefits of Rubber Tracks vs. Tires
Rubber tracks are ideal where ground disturbance must be kept to a minimum, such as landscaping or construction work around homes. Tires offer more precise steering, so they excel where tight cornering is important. Also, tires usually perform better than rubber tracks in the snow, unless you choose an aggressive rubber track tread designed for use in the snow.
- FLOTATION & STABILITY
Rubber tracks distribute a machine's weight more evenly than tires, so they offer better flotation and stability, especially on sand or mud, or any soft or wet surface.
A skid steer outfitted with rubber tracks gets superior traction because it has more footprint making contact with the ground, enabling it to pull twice the load of a skid steer equipped with rubber tires, except in snow (see above).
Solid Skid Steer Tires vs. Pneumatic Tires
- SOLID VS INFLATED
Trojan Tracks "flat-proof" solid tires last up to 4x longer than traditional, inflated tires, and are available in both tread and smooth configurations.
Pneumatic tires may be inexpensive compared to rubber tracks, but they also don't last anywhere near as long. If you opt for tires over tracks, choose "flat-proof" solid tires, which last 4x longer than pneumatic tires. Solid skid steer tires are made with dense rubber compounds for rigid tire structure and added weight, which not only makes them impossible to puncture, but improves stability in almost any terrain.
If you have any questions about rubber tracks vs. steel tracks, or solid skid steer tires vs. pneumatic tires, please call one of our friendly product experts at 1-877-307-3298 (USA) or 1-855-514-8833 (Canada).