Mini Excavator - What Are Your Options?

When it comes to high-quality mini-excavator tracks, Monster Tires has got you covered! We offer a wide variety of rubber tracks made from high-quality rubber compounds. Whether you need rubber tracks for extreme rocky terrain or other sensitive surfaces, we carry a range of mini-excavator track solutions to cater to the needs of your mini-excavator operations.

Monster Tires offers many types of mini-excavator tracks that are compatible with a wide selection of mini-excavator brand names including Bobcat, Case, CAT, JCB, John Deere, Komatsu, Kubota, New Holland and many more.

With so many different terrains and a variety of rubber track options available, it can be hard to decide which rubber tracks are the most efficient for your mini excavator. This article takes a deeper look into the main components that create this wide variety of rubber track options such as, track patterns, compounds, and type of industry.

Once you have chosen the best rubber tracks with the perfect track pattern, you may be interested in learning more about the variety of projects your mini excavator can be used for. Feel free to check out our recent article on the top 5 uses for your mini excavator.

Choosing the Right Track Pattern

Choosing the right track pattern design for your mini excavator can determine its performance on different terrains. There are a variety of track pattern designs to choose from, but one of the most important things to consider when choosing the right track pattern design is the terrain you will be using your mini excavator on. The right track pattern design will adapt to the terrain and minimize the impact on the environment allowing you to get your projects done faster.

A good set of high-quality rubber tracks with the most efficient track pattern can increase the longevity of your mini excavator. It's a good idea to invest in multiple track pattern designs if you know that you will be working on multiple job sites with different terrains. Investing in multiple rubber tracks with different track patterns will allow you to use your mini excavator on a variety of different job sites. Therefore, the benefits of this investment will outweigh the cost.

Knowing how to pick the best rubber tracks for your mini excavator requires you to be knowledgeable about the track pattern designs.

Six Track Pattern Design Options

  1. Turf
  2. TDF Super
  3. Zig-Zag
  4. Terrapin
  5. C-Pattern
  6. Staggered

Listed below are six different track pattern options and the terrains they are best suited for. These track pattern designs vary by manufacturer. To ensure you are getting the best track pattern for your mini excavator, it's a good idea to check with the maker of your rubber tracks to get a better idea of the possible lineup of track designs.

#1. Turf Pattern

The Turf track pattern design was specifically created for landscapers who use their mini excavators about 80% of the time or more on grassy terrain. This track pattern was designed to be smooth and provide minimal ground pressure. Because it has a lighter footprint the rubber tracks can ride over the delicate turf areas without damaging them or any irrigation systems underneath.

Best used for:

  • Landscapers
  • Pool Builders
  • Golf Courses
  • Gardens
  • Parks

#2. TDF Super Pattern

The TDF Super track pattern is designed to provide greater traction and torque in inclement conditions. The rubber tracks that have this TDF super track pattern are exclusively manufactured by McLaren as part of their NextGen Series. These rubber tracks are manufactured with 20% more rubber and multiple lugs per pitch making them an ideal choice when working on wet and rough terrain.

Best used for:

  • Hills
  • Mountains
  • Rocky terrain
  • Mud
  • Snow-covered surfaces
  • Demolition Sites
  • Construction Sites

#3. Zig-Zag Pattern

Many construction job sites have a muddy terrain. For this reason, operating a mini excavator running rubber tracks that can stabilize on slippery muddy slopes is an important factor to consider when choosing a rubber track pattern. The Zig-Zag rubber track pattern provides a substantial amount of traction that eliminates backward and frontwards slippage. However, this type of track pattern is not recommended for use on dry or rocky conditions because the tread will wear out prematurely.

Best used for:

  • Mud
  • Clay
  • Sloped terrain
  • snow
  • Irrigation

#4. Terrapin Pattern

It's not often that you can find a rubber track that can work in all terrains. McLaren decided to make this a reality when they started manufacturing their multi-purpose rubber tracks using an exclusive Terrapin design. Molded into the rubber are shells that make up this unique design. This Terrapin track pattern shell design is extremely durable when you are using your mini excavator on rocky or uneven terrains. The Terrapin design prevents the body of the rubber tracks from being damaged by rocks.

These multi-purpose rubber tracks provide superior traction on wet grounds and slippery slopes. The unique shell track design provides comfort for the operator by minimizing the vibration on hard surfaces. They even work efficiently for landscapers because this unique design minimizes the damage to turf and other sensitive ground.

Best used for:

  • Rocky Terrain
  • Mud
  • Construction Sites
  • Concrete
  • Demolition Sites
  • Landscaping

#5. C-pattern

If you are looking for a more commonly used or standard track pattern that would give you the terrain versatility closer to the Terrapin pattern, then the C-Pattern would be a good choice. The C-Pattern has sideways Cs throughout the rubber track. This sideway C shape is created when notches are cut out of the block tread.

This pattern is great for both on and off-road terrain. The C-Pattern is designed to provide a smooth ride over multiple surfaces such as clay, mud, concrete, sand, and asphalt. This pattern type provides extreme durability, increased traction, and supreme handling of your mini excavator. The C-Pattern design is extremely versatile, as it can quickly switch from delivering a smooth ride on paved surfaces to then provide increased traction for loose ground such as gravel.

Best used for:

  • Clay
  • Mud
  • Construction Sites
  • Demolition Sites
  • Off-road terrain
  • Asphalt
  • Concrete

#6. Staggered Block pattern

Many manufacturers provide standard track patterns such as the C-Pattern, V- Lug pattern and Block Pattern. The Staggered Block pattern is perhaps the most commonly used rubber track pattern. This particular track pattern is designed to work on hard abrasive surfaces such as gravel and paved highways. A mini excavator running rubber tracks with a Staggered Block pattern can turn frequently over hot paved surfaces and those surfaces will not decrease the life of the rubber track.

The Staggered Block track pattern is considered to be a multi-purpose track pattern as it can operate on a variety of terrains. It is most commonly used for hard surfaces like asphalt but can work just as efficiently on sand, clay, gravel, dirt, mud, and finished lawns.

Best used for:

  • Street Paving
  • Concrete
  • Asphalt
  • Irrigation
  • Landscaping
  • Demolition

We have just covered some of the unique rubber track patterns available for your mini excavator in addition to the more commonly used track patterns. With such a variety of track patterns available on the market, bad weather and multiple terrains are no longer an issue for your mini excavator.

Choosing the right track pattern is just one of the things to consider when deciding to purchase a new set of rubber tracks. The next thing you will want to consider is the compounds that make up the material for your rubber tracks.

Rubber Track Compound Options

Different manufacturers supply rubber tracks that are made from different compounds. These different compounds give their rubber tracks benefits that are hard to find anywhere else. Some of the compound options include rubber with steel belts and hybrid tracks. Deciding which rubber compound option is the best one will weigh heavily on your budget and your mini excavator needs.

Rubber With Steel Belts

Rubber tracks with steel belts reinforce the design of the rubber tracks. Steel belts are described as a sheet of metal embedded inside of the rubber track. This sheet of metal is considered to be the strongest option for rubber tracks.

Rubber tracks can also contain continuous and non-continuous cords. The continuous steel cords form an ongoing loop that has not been spliced. This option is the second strongest option as it is less prone to snapping.

Manufacturers also supply rubber tracks that consist of non-continuous steel cords. These cords are spliced and then connected at the end with a single joint causing them to be more prone to snapping when twisted and stretched.

Hybrid Rubber Tracks

As we just discussed, steel belts and cords are embedded inside of the rubber track. However, some manufacturers supply what they call Hybrid Tracks. These tracks contain a steel belt embedded inside of the rubber track and on the outside as well. These tracks include replaceable rubber pads for the outside.

This hybrid option gives your mini excavator the ability to work on the roughest terrain making it almost indestructible when you aren't using the rubber pads and the ability to work on soft and delicate ground when using the rubber pads.

Because the mini excavator doesn't put as much stress on their tracks as let's say a compact track loader, the steel belt inside isn't of great importance. However, what is highly important to consider when choosing your rubber tracks is the quality of rubber that is used to make up the rubber track.

Many contractors and homeowners are unaware that not all rubber is created equally and does not have the same properties. Therefore, many manufacturers create rubber tracks with various types of rubber in multiple places on the rubber track. For example, the performance of a rubber track is dependent on having hard durable rubber on the exterior to stand up against harsh terrain and softer rubber that sits up against the undercarriage to provide greater rubber track flexibility.

Do Your Research

It is always a good idea to do some research before purchasing your next set of rubber tracks. Knowing where your rubber tracks were manufactured can be a deciding factor, in addition, to how they were manufactured i.e the amount of rubber and quality of steel belts. Keep in mind that a quality set of rubber tracks will have diverse types of rubber in multiple places such as hard durable rubber on the exterior and softer more flexible rubber on the interior.

If you are looking for the best place to get high-quality long-lasting rubber tracks, is a valuable online resource. We supply premium rubber tracks that are constructed using the most durable rubber made from the tough rubber compounds. Our rubber tracks are puncture-resistant and crack resistant. The last thing to consider when purchasing a new set of rubber tracks for your mini excavator is the industry you work in and terrain you work on.

Matching Rubber Track Patterns By Industry & Terrain

It's pretty common for contractors and homeowners to pick rubber tracks based on the industry they work in and the terrain their mini excavator works on. In order to have your mini excavator perform all year long, you may need multiple sets of rubber tracks with various track patterns, unless you purchase rubber tracks with multi-purpose track patterns like a C-Pattern or Terrapin Pattern.

Below I have included a list of four different industries and terrains along with the recommended track patterns.

#1. Construction: Hybrid Steel tracks, Zigzag pattern, Terrapin pattern, C-Pattern, durability is the key

#2. Landscaping: Turf pattern, Terrapin pattern, Staggered Block pattern, smooth surface tracks are ideal

#3. Demolition: Hybrid Steel tracks, Staggered Block pattern, C-pattern, rubber tracks with a lot of traction is ideal

#4. Inclement Environments: Zigzag pattern, TDF Super pattern, rubber tracks that can handle wet and reduce slippage

In conclusion

As you can see, there are many factors when it comes to determining the right set of rubber tracks for your mini excavator. You should do your research before replacing your mini excavator's rubber tracks because you want to make sure the tracks you are considering are made from hi-quality rubber.

There are companies who will only use one type of rubber on their mini excavator rubber tracks instead of using various types of rubber. There are some great options on the market that allow contractors and homeowners to purchase tracks that have a multi-purpose track pattern. Another critical factor to consider when finding the right rubber tracks for your mini excavator is the size.

Choosing the right size rubber track for you mini excavator can determine it's overall performance and the life of your rubber tracks. If you purchase rubber tracks that are too small the tread on your rubber tracks will wear out prematurely. Purchasing tracks that are too large won't fit correctly and will cause other issues. Here is a great article on how to measure your mini excavator's rubber track size.

Needing some assistance with measuring your rubber tracks or choosing the right track patterns?

Then contact us at 530-292-6400 or fill out our contact form. Our knowledgable team members will be happy to answer your questions.

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