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Best Practices

Track Tension Tips


Adjusting Tension

Improper tension

Over tightening can cause power loss, excessive roller and idler wear, and tearing of the tracks. Loose tracks may even come off the machine. Refer to your operator’s manual for any track inspection and tensioning procedures that are specific to your machine.

How to adjust

Track tension is controlled by a track adjuster located behind the front idler. Tension adjustments are made by pumping or draining grease through the track adjuster valve. Even small adjustments in track sag can drastically change tension. A change in sag from 1" to 0.5" will increase tension by about 3,000 pounds.

Inspect adjuster valve regularly

Visually inspect your adjuster valve periodically to make sure it is working properly. If the valve shows any signs of leakage, bring your machine in for repair as soon as possible. Leakage can lead to decreased track tension and increased wear.

Match Tension to Operating Conditions

Adjust track tension on-site

Make track tension adjustments on the jobsite, instead of in the shop. Tension may increase if the chain and sprocket are packed with mud or other materials. A track that is properly tensioned in the shop may become too tight when packed with mud.

Test packing conditions before adjusting

To match track tension with the jobsite’s specific packing conditions, run your machine for a short time on the jobsite, and then make the necessary adjustments.

Make frequent adjustments

Changes in weather throughout the day can alter the packing conditions of the jobsite. Regularly adjusting tension in response to these changes can help reduce track wear and costs.

Do not operate your machine if the tracks are frozen

Wait for the weather to improve if your tracks become frozen. If you try to use power to force the tracks to move you might destroy them.

During Operation

Avoid abrupt turns and high speeds

Do not make abrupt turns, which place unnecessary stress on the track and undercarriage. Continuous turning to the same side can cause asymmetrical wear. Higher speeds cause more wear on the undercarriage. Use the slowest possible operating speed for the job to lower the risk of damage.

Limit reverse operation

Do not operate in reverse unless necessary, because reverse operation wears tracks up to three times as quickly as forward operation. In addition, high speed reverse is particularly destructive to tracks and undercarriage components.

Schedule annual undercarriage inspections

Have a trained technician inspect your undercarriage every year to catch problems early before they result in unnecessary damage.

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