All the help you need to successfully help you fit your Tracks
How to fit Clark Tracks
Tracks should only be fitted by trained operators. Assess all risks and ensure personal safety prior to track installation.
Tracks are manufactured in standard lengths for each tyre size and may be too long, requiring the removal of one full track plate section prior to fitting in order to obtain the correct tension. (This is dependent upon whether the track is fitted to new or worn tyres and can also vary due to machine type and bogey design).
ALWAYS ENSURE TYRES ARE INFLATED TO CORRECT PRESSURES PRIOR TO FITTING TRACKS
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Running-in your Tracks
When tracks are new, they will quickly slacken off over the first few days of use and will require retensioning.
Retensioning involves the replacement of long track links with short track links and then the removal of one full track plate in order to maintain correct tension.
This process should be done using the Clark Tensioner Tool as described in our fitting instructions.
This slackening of new tracks is not any form of material stretching, but simply a bedding in process of the many components in the track link system.
It can be expected to retension tracks frequently for the first week of work, with this task becoming less frequent as the tracks bed in. It is also expected to have to remove one complete track plate within the first three or four weeks of work and perhaps a second track plate after three to six months of work.
The amount of wear experienced by the track link system over it’s working life is dependent upon the abrasiveness of the terrains together with the load and tension experienced by the tracks. (Overtensioned tracks will wear more quickly).
After the initial bedding in process, retensioning will become less frequently required.
Tensioning of Tracks
Tracks should be run with as low a tension possible providing that:-
- The tyres are not slipping and spinning inside the track
- The track is not falling off the tyres
- The track is not hitting the bodywork or any part of the machine
- The track is not causing any damage to the tyres
Tracks which are overtensioned unneccessarily will stress axles and hub bearings and increase tyre and track wear.
Recommended track tension gives a sag of between 40mm to 70mm in the centre of the track between the tyres.
CHECK TYRE PRESSURES REGULARLY
Track to Machine Clearance
In order to avoid tracks hitting or fouling the machine bunk or bodywork (which can in extreme cases cause transmission problems), a minimum clearance gap of 50mm between track and machine should exist. The tracks should be properly tensioned at all times.
This clearance gap should be measured with:
- The track pushed on the tyres towards the machine.
- The bogey at maximum tilt angle – the worst possible scenario.
Without this clearance there is a possibility of track/machine fouling when tracks wear, become slack or are run at faster than normal speeds.
Many 8 wheel drive machines have less clearance at the front of the machine for tracks than at the back. When tracks are fitted to the front of the machine, ensure there is adequate clearance between tracks and machine bodywork such as:
- Clearance from doors
- Air intakes
- Front blades
- Cab ladders
This should be tested at all bogey tilt angles with tracks pushed towards the machine on the tyres.
When tracks are fitted to the rear of the machine, clearance is required between the tracks and the bunk frame. When bunk frames are repositioned, e.g. for different timber lengths, this can change track to frame clearances and must also be checked.
Some machines are fitted with hydraulic bogey lifting rams and may be unsuitable for use with tracks due to inadequate clearances.
Checks must be made prior to fitting tracks.
When space is restricted using the QTT400 tensioner, the QTT401 may provide a safe alternative.