Tracks for Mini Excavator: What are They?

How much do you know about mini excavators? The right type of tracks for mini excavator plays an important role. […]


How much do you know about mini excavators? The right type of tracks for mini excavator plays an important role. They provide stability and adaptability to these machines, allowing mini excavators to work smoothly and effectively.

If you have no idea, then it’s time to look at this article! Giving a glance at the article below could help in making an improved decision about your mini excavator tracks.

What are Mini Excavator Tracks?

Mini excavator tracks, also called undercarriages or crawlers, are the crucial parts giving primary backing to mini excavators.

Tracks spread the machine’s weight so that it can work well on rough or muddy ground. Mini excavator tracks are typically constructed with materials like steel and rubber. They vary to accommodate various conditions and job demands.

Steel Tracks for Mini Excavator

Steel tracks on a mini excavator

The common choice is steel tracks. These are created from strong steel links that can endure the challenges of rough terrain and difficult jobs.

In many cases, you will see steel tracks on construction locations where the excavator needs to travel over rocky and uneven ground or in situations with a lot of mud around it. Their durability makes them ideal for long-term use in such environments.


The durability of steel tracks is quite notable. They can bear heavy loads and are not easily harmed by sharp objects that might be present in construction areas.

Moreover, they give a good grip over different kinds of surfaces too.


Steel tracks tend to create more noise and possess increased ground pressure. This might not be seen as a good choice for applications in places where people live.

They can also lead to damage on lawns, gardens, or paved surfaces. Furthermore, steel tracks are heavier and this could affect the transportability of the excavator.

Rubber Tracks for Mini Excavator

Rubber track on a mini excavator

New material development brings about a more modern choice of rubber tracks. Many innovative manufacturers and brands will use rubber tracks for their mini excavators, among which a Chinese mini excavator is eye-catching.

Rubber tracks are a strong mixture of rubber and usually have reinforcement of steel or fabric core. Due to their flexibility and lightweight, they find frequent use in city and indoor applications, like demolition or construction work inside a structure.


1. Rubber tracks are kind to surfaces and leave almost no marks. They’re good for use in cities, landscaping, and working on gentle surfaces that need safeguarding.

2. The noise generated by these tracks is less than that of steel tracks, which can be useful in residential areas.

3. In the beginning, the cost of rubber tracks is a good value.


1. Rubber tracks tend to get worn out more quickly than steel tracks. They are vulnerable and can be damaged by driving over sharp items or on rough surfaces.

2. Rubber tracks require changing the whole assembly if they get damaged. On the other hand, steel tracks can have single links replaced instead of replacing entire parts.

Best Rubber Tracks for Mini Excavator

The compounds of mini excavator rubber tracks are often natural or synthetic rubber. For best results, choose the rubber track that matches your needs.

Natural rubber tracks are highly resistant to cuts and tears, making them ideal for rough or stony terrain. They also offer excellent grip on wet surfaces due to their superior hold power. This is useful for mini excavators in landscaping, farming, or other applications where flexibility and grip are critical.

Synthetic rubber tracks are often more resistant to oil, solvents, and wear and tear. They may be less expensive and have a longer service life. They often require chemical resistance or tracks subjected to heavy wear and tear due to their resistance to abrasion and cutting.

Mini Excavator Rubber Tracks for Sale

You can find many reputable manufacturers of mini excavator rubber tracks on the market.

McLaren Industries gives a cheaper alternative for rubber tracks in the market. Its Maximizer series tracks are made with a constant steel belt.

They stay strong, and their rubber material has 30% more content than others of similar size and grade. This could lead to longer life expectancy for these tracks. The Maximizer series uses sophisticated belt technology for top-notch track strength, following rigorous certified methods and quality management systems.

Also, Caterpillar and Komatsu provide rubber tracks for mini excavators as well. These tracks have a tread pattern, providing the best possible traction, flotation, and long-lasting use.

The steel cables in the track consist of high-strength steel wires. They are hard to cut or stretch, making tension more even over the track. The rubber grip is improved by a steel core design, and a special coating gives more protection.

Hybrid Tracks for Mini Excavator

Hybrid tracks are a mix of steel and rubber advantages. They give flexibility on various surfaces and allow you to change segments, which might be more economical over time. But, they could need extra care, and add weight to the machine.

Steel vs. Rubber Tracks


Steel tracks can handle heavy-duty and long-term use better than rubber tracks. Rubber tracks are also strong, but they might wear out faster when dealing with similar conditions.

Ground pressure

Rubber tracks have less ground pressure. They are good for places that need a gentle touch or where you want to avoid causing much damage.


Steel tracks have better traction on rough and slippery surfaces, but rubber tracks can be used on hard and soft terrains without causing damage.

Cost and lifespan

Steel tracks typically cost more initially. However, they tend to last longer before replacement. This makes them a smart option if the machine will be used heavily over time.

Rubber tracks are cheaper at first but might require more frequent changing which could result in higher costs from a long-term perspective.

What can Influence Choosing the Track?

Worksite Condition

The soil condition at a worksite

The soil and ground are probably the most important elements.

Rubber tracks are typically the choice for urban construction, landscaping, or other applications to avoid great damage. They offer a softer touch decreasing chances for harm to underlying surfaces by minimizing impacts from metal treads.

On the other hand, steel tracks are good for heavy-duty uses on soft, wet, or uneven terrains like mud, sand, and rocky areas.

Steel tracks have a strong build and can evenly spread weight making them suitable for difficult situations such as these.

Use Frequency

Rubber tracks cost less at the start, but might require more often changes. They are sensitive to wear in harsh situations.

Yet, they provide a smoother journey and quicker flexible movement for tasks demanding much travel time between job places or inside work zones.

Tracks made of steel, in contrast, have better endurance and longevity. This makes them more fitting for continuous and intense utilization. However, they could lack quickness and nimbleness because of their increased weightiness.

Environmental Considerations

For those who work in a residential area or other place where noise restrictions apply, rubber tracks are less noisy and less likely to cause disturbance.

Further, the lower ground pressure of rubber-tired machines is better for places that are environmentally delicate and need to pay attention to reducing ecological impact.

Even though steel tracks last longer, they could produce more noise and visible marks on the ground. This might not be suitable in some places.

Mini Excavator Track Maintenance

General Tips

Mini excavator maintenance also involves maintenance of the mini excavator track. You should frequently examine the tension and alignment of your tracks.

Wrong tension might cause increased tearing, de-tracking, and even damage to the machine itself. Check that the tracks are in line correctly so that you avoid uneven wearing and keep the excavator’s tracking capacity.

Simultaneously, carry out regular track inspections to identify signs of wear like lugs and links becoming worn-out or damaged parts such as cracks or broken components.

This will aid you in dealing with issues before they turn into significant problems.

Steel Track Maintenance

Take special care of steel tracks because they touch the ground and can collect debris. You need to make sure the tracks are clean and not filled with rubbish, which could make them wear out too much or even breakthrough.

To avoid any issues, make sure that the track links are in the correct position and that all the components underneath, such as rollers and idlers, are in good condition.

If there is excessive wear, it can be controlled by maintaining the correct tension on the track and replacing any worn-out parts before they cause damage to other parts of the system.

Rubber Track Maintenance

Rubber tracks have special requirements for their maintenance because they give better comfort and protection to the ground. You must not let oil, gasoline, or solvents touch them as these substances can make rubber worse over time.

To make rubber tracks last longer, do not run over sharp things or waste that could poke holes or rip the rubber. Consider the temperature because rubber tracks might become fragile in cold conditions and more prone to damage.

Rubber tracks also need tensioning. Wrong tension might result in de-tracking and irregular wearing. It’s necessary to establish the right tension and modify it based on the definite use and floor circumstances.

Mini Excavator Track Replacement

We’re already talked about how to put a track back on your mini excavator and replace rubber tracks. You can learn about the replacement process from the articles mentioned above, but there are still some points that need to be pointed out.

Signs for Replacing Tracks

Excessive Wear: If the rubber on these track links has worn away to reveal the metal underneath or is no longer giving good hold, then it is necessary for change.

De-tracking Frequency: Frequent de-tracking can be a sign of worn or damaged tracks.

Lug Damage: When the lugs experience serious harm, it can cause less grip and more wear out.

Structural Damage: Look for cracks, broken links, or missing components within the track system.

Performance Issues: When the mini excavator is not able to move or turn well, it may have problems with its tracks being worn out.

Repair vs. Replacement

For the best outcome, you might at times choose to repair or substitute tracks.

Repair: When there are only small problems like one link being broken or a rubber track getting punctured, repairing them can sometimes be cheaper than changing the whole system of tracks.

Full Replacement: When tracks show heavy wear, structural damage, or impact in multiple parts, complete replacement is the smarter option.


Knowing different types of mini excavator tracks and their pros and cons is always good for your mini excavator. Each option brings unique advantages for mini excavators, so you need to compare all the factors to choose the best one for your task.


How long do rubber tracks last on a mini excavator?

Operators can expect rubber tracks to last anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 hours before replacement. However, this timeframe can be extended with proper maintenance.

What are the differences between steel tracks and rubber tracks for mini excavators?

Steel tracks are sturdier and more appropriate for robust uses. They can break down buildings, handle scrap metal at a junkyard, or work in rough rocky areas. They do not get punctured and can dig into the ground very well, but they might cause more harm to pavements or soft surfaces.

Rubber tracks have superior floatation ability and a lower ground pressure effect. They are kinder on the terrain so they work best for jobs in gardening, wet locations like mud, or places where surface damage needs to be minimized.

They usually give a less bumpy ride and are quieter when working, but rubber tracks could become more worn down in rough surroundings than steel ones.

Can you put steel tracks on a mini excavator?

Of course, a mini excavator can indeed have steel tracks. Steel tracks are usually heavier and stronger, providing longevity in tough surroundings. They offer better grip and do not get punctured easily.

But, they might inflict more harm on the surface, particularly in paved or delicate areas. Additionally, steel tracks are usually costlier to substitute than rubber tracks.

Therefore, it is crucial to evaluate the working surroundings along with job requirements before deciding if changing a mini excavator’s tracks from rubber to steel is necessary.

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