Maintenance and Welding

The lifespan of spikes mainly depends on the ground conditions. On hard rocky ground, the life can be as little as 6 months, and on soft ground, they can last for many years. Spike re-welding is a delicate balance between getting enough penetration on the joint and NOT overheating the trackpad. We strongly recommend following the procedures for best results:


  • Take the track into the workshop 24 hours before welding on spikes.
  • Clean the area where the spike is to be welded, removing dirt, rust and debris, and make sure there is no moisture on the track.
  • Preheat this area to 150˚C with a gas torch.
  Esab OK Autrod 12.50 Esab OK 48.00
Diameter, mm 1.0mm wire 1.2mm wire 3.2mm electrode
Arc voltage, V 22v - 25v 24v - 28v 23v
Welding Current, A 200A - 220A 260A - 300A 115A


Welding Process

  • Place spikes into position and tack onto the track.
  • Starting at the first spike (1), weld on opposite side of the tack lateral to the track plate (A), and then move onto the next spike (2), completing one weld only on each spike.
  • Never weld across the track plate.
  • After all spikes have been given one weld, start at the first spike (1) and weld on the opposite side (B).


It is vitally important that the tracks are clean and dry to reduce the possibility of hydrogen embrittlement which can be fatal to a track.


MIG wire electrode:

ESAB AUTROD 12.50 (or similar)

Welding electrode:

ESAB OK74.78 (or similar)


Tensioning of Tracks

Tracks should be run with as low a tension possible providing that:-

  1. The tyres are not slipping and spinning inside the track
  2. The track is not falling off the tyres
  3. The track is not hitting the bodywork or any part of the machine
  4. The track is not causing any damage to the tyres

Tracks which are over tensioned unnecessarily 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.