Rugged Rubber Tracks
The robust undercarriage and rubber track technology of the Cat Multi Terrain Loader (MTL) and the Cat Compact Track Loader (CTL) sets it apart from Cat Skid Steer Loaders and other rubber-track loaders. The simple design reduces the machine’s sensitivity to challenging underfoot conditions and adverse operation. The undercarriage and rubber tracks of the CTL and MTL are designed to fit your need for unmatched suspension, traction, flotation, speed, productivity and versatility in a wide range of environments. Low ground pressure and low-impact rubber tracks allow the MTLs and CTLs to tread lightly on fragile, sensitive surfaces such as turf, where other machines would cause damage.
The Cat Mini Excavator has one of the most versatile undercarriages available. Designed to accommodate either rubber tracks or steel tracks, the Cat Mini Ex can handle the most delicate ground conditions on golf courses or the demands of the unforgiving conditions found on a busy demolition site.
No matter what rubber track you need, Cashman Equipment has the solution for you. Our experienced product support representatives can help you find the right style and size track, at the right price for your budget.
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Rubber Tracks for Cat MTL
The tracks used on Cat MTLs are unique since they do not use steel. This track is part of a patented system and is all-rubber with embedded high-tensile cords that run the length of the track. The cords are coiled like springs, allowing the track to stretch when the suspension articulates or when debris is caught between the track and rolling components.
Treads are molded on the outside of the track for added traction. Edges of the track are beveled to help prevent damage when turning on sensitive surfaces, like turf.
Track lugs are molded, not glued, to the inside of the track. These lugs provide surfaces for the drive sprocket to engage and also guide the track around the undercarriage. The tension at which the track is maintained is important, however the system does not depend on high tension to drive the track like on friction-drive track systems. Some slack in the track is normal and required. Proper track tension will increase undercarriage performance and extend component life. The Operation and Maintenance Manual provided with your machine will specify the proper track tension and tensioning procedure.
The Cat MTL track is a tough, durable component and proper use can dramatically increase wear life and reduce owning and operating costs. Working in severe applications such as demolition, quarry, or scrap, where the undercarriage is exposed to sharp, ragged edges can significantly impact track and undercarriage component life.
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Steel Embedded Rubber Tracks for Cat CTL
The steel-embedded rubber tracks on Cat Compact Track Loaders (CTL) do more than provide excellent traction control. Their unique design also contributes to high flotation, low ground pressure, machine stability, and smooth ride. Low owning and operating costs are attributable to the rubber-and-steel undercarriage that contains specialized components similar to what is found on track-type tractors. The undercarriage is designed to work as a complete system and is unlike any rubber-tired machine.
The steel-embedded rubber tracks used on Cat CTLs are specially designed for durability in challenging environments. Steel embeds provide rigid support the width of the track, distributing the weight of the machine over more area and reducing ground pressure. The Cat CTL rubber track is a tough, durable component, and proper use can dramatically increase wear life and reduce owning and operating costs. Working in severe applications such as demolition, quarry, or scrap, where the undercarriage is exposed to sharp, ragged edges can significantly impact track and undercarriage component life.
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Tracks Options for Cat Mini Excavators
Rubber Belt Tracks
The rubber belt is the most common track on mini hydraulic excavators (up to and including 8 ton size class). The standard rubber track lets you work on multiple surfaces such as grass, pavement or stone without damaging the surface or machine. Rubber tracks offer the lowest ground disturbance of all track options for the mini excavator and have excellent traction and performance in soft underfoot conditions.
Triple Grouser Steel Tracks with Rubber Pads
Optional individual rubber pads can be bolted on to the steel track to prevent damage to paved surfaces and minimize noise and vibration during travel with the steel track system. They provide less ground disturbance than regular steel tracks; however the exposed steel on outside edge can damage curbs. The rubber pads offer less traction than rubber track options. Available on the 16” and 18” steel track only, these tracks are pre-drilled for easy retrofit of rubber pads. As this is the heaviest track option, maximum stability is achieved.
Triple Grouser Steel Track
Optional steel tracks are available for mini excavators operating in harsh conditions such as demolition and heavy duty applications. The extra weight of the steel tracks generally provides better stability when digging over the side of the machine, and come with a 24” option for maximum machine flotation.
Operating for Minimal Wear & Best Results with Rubber Track Undercarriage
Cat MTLs and CTLs are built to withstand the rigors of quick, aggressive operation. Operators familiar with similar equipment, such as skid steer loaders, will quickly maximize the productivity of multi terrain and compact track loaders by taking advantage of its additional traction, flotation and stability.
For operators making the transition from a skid steer loader to a multi terrain loader, it’s important to remember that some adjustments in operating technique will improve results.
Track Turning Techniques
Anybody with skid steer loader experience knows counter-rotating, as a regular means of turning, is the quickest way to change direction. It is also the quickest way to wear out tires. A skid steer can readily counter-rotate because of the relative ease that tires can lose traction, skid and spin.
Counter-rotating a multi terrain loader or a compact track loader, with significantly more tread on the ground and traction, is more difficult. Counter-rotating a multi terrain loader or a compact track loader can also lead to unnecessary wear to the tracks and other components.
To help maximize the life of multi terrain loader and compact track loader undercarriages, counter rotations should be used only when required, such as in very confined areas. Instead, use more gradual turns while slowly moving forward or in reverse.
Sharp turns on abrasive material, like jagged rock, will cause premature wear to the track and roller wheels. Gradual turns will minimize cuts and tears and help maximize undercarriage component life. Multi terrain loaders and compact track loaders are some of the best pieces of equipment for work on sensitive surfaces, like turf and landscaping, while causing minimal damage—particularly when driving straight, forward or reverse. When turning on soft, sensitive surfaces, make gradual turns. Sharp turns and counter-rotations can cause scuffing and unwanted material deposits.
Points to Remember:
- Applications that require higher horsepower and torque will cause faster undercarriage and rubber track wear.
- Abrasive materials (rock, gravel, debris) accelerate undercarriage and rubber track wear.
- Operating on rugged, sloped terrain can cause undercarriage components to wear faster than operating on level terrain.
- Aggressive operation, like counter-rotations, increases the rate of undercarriage and rubber track wear.
- Proper rubber track tension can prevent unnecessary undercarriage wear.
- Keeping the undercarriage clean of mud, rocks and debris reduces wear.