Skid Steer Tracks Accessories: Spacers, the Final Frontier

Do your skid steer tracks fit right? The original skid steer loader had a set of wheels that allowed the machine to turn on a dime, so the little machine was an instant hit. That is, until people started driving the things willy-nilly into any and every kind of terrain. In really gooey mud, loose sand and some unpacked gravel, the skid steer spins those wheels, no matter how deep the tread.

It turns out that a skid steer with dedicated skid steer tracks will give more traction over a wide range of terrain, but the cost of maintenance for all of those moving parts can be up to four dollars per hour more than a wheeled machine.

That’s why the best solution for getting the most traction for the least amount of money is to fit rubber skid steer tracks to a wheeled skid steer loader. Rubber skid steer tracks offer a truly enhanced tracking experience over the standard skid steer wheel-set. They still allow for the perfect pivoting that skid steer loaders are famous for, but in wet, grainy sand — everything but the steepest, slickest goo that the earth and the weather can dish out — rubber tracks are life-savers. They can also be used in all of the residential areas that steel skid steer tracks can not: they are harmless to sidewalks and drives, and perform even better than stock wheels on grassy areas as the weight of the machine is distributed over a larger contact area.

The only problem seems to occur when it comes time to fit skid steer tracks to the myriad sizes of skid steer machines available. The new rubber tracks may rub against the skid steer frame, or come into contact with the boom, stopping it from lowering correctly.

The correct wheel spacers are the answer and they are available to you. Some skid steer owners are lucky enough to have off-set wheels and gain the clearance they need by flipping each wheel around. Do that, and you will off-set your tires enough to allow you to run skid steer tracks without the need for spacers. However, machines with centerline wheels (wheels centered on their rims) don’t allow you to flip the wheels around and gain a few inches of additional clearances.

However, there must be sufficient space between the skid steer tracks and the skid steer frame, and the boom must not touch the tracks in its lowest position. It is crucial for most attachments to fully engage with the ground surface. Interesting how something small like wheel spacers can totally transform your skid steer loader.

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