Longer and more dependable uptime is good for your operation, right? Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that you’ll remain breakdown-free during the busiest months of the year. But you can take steps to guard your operation against unexpected downtime. And one of those steps is reviewing the health of your tractor’s tracks before you’re sidelined by a costly breakdown.
When compared to tires, tracks have more components. And more components mean more opportunities for failure in the field (or on the road). But there are solutions you can use to ward off common problems. At NTS Tire Supply, we offer AgriTraxx® Midrollers by Superior Tire and Rubber Corporation to help ensure more uptime under demanding field conditions.
Superior Tire and Rubber has been an OEM supplier of polyurethane midrollers and idlers since 2008 and has offered them to the ag market since 2002. They have supplied tens of thousands of wheels with only a handful of warranty claims. Superior guarantees its wheels against bond failure for extra peace of mind. If one of its rollers ever does fail, Superior will replace it for free, and in our experience, they have always remained true to this promise.
Heat is Your Top Track Problem
A track’s number one enemy is heat. Almost all the problems you’ll have with midroller damage (which will then cause track damage) are the result of heat buildup. Midrollers have to support the tractor’s weight, transferring its bulk to the track surface (and ground). This is a tough task considering the size of today’s track tractors and the enormous loads they have to pull. Standard rubber midrollers have a high coefficient of friction (a measure of how easily two surfaces slide when in contact with each other). The higher the coefficient of friction, the more heat that is generated. In the field, and especially during road travel, track components will experience a lot of heat buildup. As the rubber endures these heating and cooling cycles, it weakens.
What happens next? As the rubber weakens, it loses cut and tear resistance. Debris, such as gravel and rocks, can become embedded in hot rollers and damage the track surface itself. The heat also destroys the adhesive bond between the steel wheel and rubber. You’ll first notice debonding on the outsides of midrollers. Eventually, this will work its way across the entire wheel and cause a total failure. Faulty midrollers will lead to guide lug damage and even broken or protruding track cables. Unlike minor cuts and chips to the track surface, this is not normal wear and tear: it is damage caused by low-tech rubber compounds.
Polyurethane Midrollers and Idlers: Keeping Cool
Superior’s AgriTraxx Midrollers and idlers have a lower coefficient of friction than standard rubber wheels. This means they slide easier against the rubber tracks, which in turn generates less heat. Polyurethane midrollers don’t experience the heating and cooling cycles that affect standard rubber midrollers. Thanks to a lower friction level, these midrollers don’t cause the track to heat up, and the polyurethane compound doesn’t break down and grow weaker, which avoids many of the common problems (such as embedded debris) that bedevil stock rubber midrollers. With high cut and tear resistance and proprietary bonding technology that resists heat and shear forces, AgriTraxx Midrollers have the potential to maximize both roller and track life. Not only do AgriTraxx Midrollers avoid heat buildup, they also ward off harmful chemical damage from diesel fuel, weak acids, oil, and the sun’s UV rays.
Superior stands behind its AgriTraxx Midrollers with the industry’s only No Bond Failure Guarantee.
Midroller Reconditioning: Your Lower-Cost Solution
If you want to reap the benefits of Superior’s polyurethane technology without investing in brand-new wheels, NTS Tire Supply can send your existing midrollers to Superior for remanufacturing. Superior will strip your midrollers of existing worn or damaged rubber, clean the rims, and then retread them with AgriTraxx Polyurethane. If you don’t have time to wait, you can purchase a set of remanufactured midrollers from NTS Tire Supply and simply trade in your old midrollers.
Worn midrollers can be sent in for reconditioning. First, the used midrollers are stripped of their existing rubber and cleaned. Then, they are retreaded with AgriTraxx® Polyurethane which can provide up to four times longer life than rubber midrollers.
Cash for Cores: From Clutter to Cash
If you have track assemblies or parts lying around your farm, and you have the time to round them up and ship them off, Superior will pay for old and worn midrollers, idlers, and drive wheels. Superior will also arrange the pickup of your items, supply pallets for shipping, and assist with the paperwork.
At NTS Tire Supply, we’re confident recommending Superior’s AgriTraxx Midrollers to help extend the life of your machine’s tracks. Give us a call at (888) 787-3559 or drop us a line for a quote on replacement midrollers and idlers or reconditioning of your machine’s existing midrollers. We want to help you make increased uptime a part of your fieldwork this year.