How do I Install Rubber Tracks on a Skidsteer?

Installing rubber tracks on a skid steer can be done in less than an hour if you are an experienced user. If this is your first time, it may take longer, depending upon your mechanical skill level. Following correct procedure is crucial, as is acquainting yourself with the new tools shipped with your tracks. Use caution, and wear hand and eye protection. Read the entire installation and maintenance manual you received with your tracks before beginning, and keep it handy for reference as you work through the process.

Tracks installed over wheels greatly improve traction and eliminate most spinning on your skid steer.

Step 1

Insert the wheel spacers and install the boom stop on your skid steer. Apply all other safety precaution features your unit may have. Remove a single section of the track assembly and use it to visually check for sufficient clearance. If you encounter clearance issues, call the provider before continuing.

Do not remove any tread sections until you have re-inflated the tires.

Raise and block the machine boom per usual procedure for doing so. Deflate the tires, up to 50 percent if necessary, to make sufficient room for fitting and installing the tracks. Lay out one of the tracks on one side of the machine directly aligned with the tires. Unroll and straighten it, leaving no slack when fully extended.

Step 3

Drive slowly forward centering the wheel in the track. Make sure the machine is stopped in the middle of the extended track, with equal ends under the front and rear tires. Keep the tip of the "V" shape in the track in the same direction the machine will travel when going forward. These are directional tracks and rubber pads.

Rubber tracks are a lot quieter than metal tracks.

Lift and lay each loose end of the track lying on the ground over the front tire, then the back tire. Look closely at the track to find where the dog-bone links and pins connect on the outside edge of the track. This is where you will attach the C-clamp to connect the ends right at the lip.

Step 5

Refer to the measurement guide in the rear of the manual to determine if any sections of track need to be removed, or if you can simply connect them. Use both C-clamps to connect the ends of the track by hooking the C-clamp into the side of the track unit flange.

Some tracks must be mounted from the inside of the wheel closest to the tractor.

Mount the extension onto the ratchet and tighten to draw the ends toward and into each other, making the connection secure. Alternate and tighten both clamps simultaneously, keeping them aligned as you tighten. Gently move the machine back and forth by inches until all slack is out of the track.

Step 7

With the ends together and no track slack, align the dog-bone link with the bolt hole and insert the locking pin. Check the installation by driving forward around 20 feet and backing the machine to its install location. Follow the previous steps to install the other side.

Chuck Brown

Chuck Brown is a freelance writer and former teacher and athletic coach. He has held professional stints as a business owner, personal fitness trainer, curriculum designer, website designer, market trader and real estate investor. Brown holds a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in Christian counseling.