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Best ways to prepare your construction equipment for winter

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After the heat of the summer, we’ve finally entered fall. That means that cold winter weather is not too far away, and it’s never too early to begin thinking about preparing your heavy vehicles for when the cold wind blows. In some regions of the US, the tough winters we encounter can be quite hard on your heavy equipment if you don’t take certain precautions to prevent damage from occurring.

These tips will help you preserve the efficiency of your vehicles when the temperature gets below 30.

Prepare the operators

First of all, make sure that your vehicle operators are dressed correctly for the cold, even if the machine is protected from the elements. Loose clothing should also be avoided as this is creates a real danger of an accident.

Operators need to be confident that they can handle their machine during snowy and icy conditions. This can avoid mistakes such as excessive down pressure, which may harm the operator and others. In order to increase visibility, flashing lights, warning sirens and other technology should be considered. Make sure the defroster is not impairing the vision from the vehicle’s windows and doors.

Visually check your machines

Check your machine owner’s handbook for maintenance tips. These generally include advice on your machine’s oil and fluid and other seasonal machine maintenance duties. A thorough inspection of your machinery will identify any problems that might be exacerbated when the mercury falls. Look closely at your tires, batteries, wiring and hoses and repair or replace any damage components, such as cracks, cuts or worn areas.  It also helps if the machine is as clean as possible to identify leaks and other issues.

Engine Maintenance

When it comes to the engine of a machine, three things must be focused on: fuel, lubrication and air filtration. If that is not achieve, it might be expensive to repair the machine.

Maintaining the fuel system consists of cleaning the cap / vent fuel tank and ensuring that the cap is correctly functioning. Be sure to check for water or debris in the gas as this is the number one cause of failure of the fuel injection system. Also don’t forget to check the fuel filter. Make sure that your supplier is providing you with quality fuel. Fuel quality issues, such as fuel moisture and contaminants, tend to be magnified by cold weather.

Motor oils safeguard the essential parts of the engine. It’s a good idea to ensure that the lubricant and changing interval recommendations of the manufacturer are always followed.
Examine the air filtration systems as it could have openings that let in unfiltered air, and use the correct filter when replacing it. Tainted air is a frequent cause of serious engine failure.

Maintain your batteries

Preventive battery maintenance starts in the fall. Many steps are required for operators to begin preparing their devices for the cold winter months. Check firstly that the electrolyte battery is up to the full indicator ring and above the plates. Dry plates will never work well again. The rated current output of the alternator and load test current output should also be checked.

Operators are expected to wash any dirt and debris from the top of the battery; they can produce a conductive trajectory and slowly drain energy. Take a little baking soda and a terminal brush to the posts when you see any corrosion. The most important thing is to ensure clean, secure contact between terminal posts and cables to ensure consistent levels of current from the battery to the machine.

If the machine is going to be parked for most of the winter outdoors, it is best to remove the batteries and put them indoors to avoid freezing. Whenever the battery is sitting for a longer period of time, you should connect it to a battery maintainer to keep fully charged. This will keep them fully charged until it time to use the vehicle again.
Contrary to popular belief, cold temperatures do not substantially affect the battery’s service life. It does, however, cause a ‘stress test’ that amplifies the impact of time, heat, vibration and efficiency of the charging scheme.

If the machine is to be driven throughout the winter season, it is essential to ensure that the batteries are correctly charged. An undercharged battery can perform well at 80 ° F, but its real performance is apparent at 0 ° F when the demands from the machine can boost by 200 percent and the battery, even in good condition, operates at 40% of it’s power during the summertime.

Utilizing the Undercarriage

The undercarriage of a machine embodies approximately 40 to 60 per cent of the costs of maintenance over the service life of the machine. In order to maximize the effectiveness of the machine in the winter, adequate undercarriage servicing is crucial. Operators should carry out regular checks and keep them clean of any mud, snow or debris. Look carefully for loose or worn components, and refer to the operator’s handbook for best-practice track tensioning and adjustment. Whether working or storing the machine during the winter, make sure that undercarriage inspection is scheduled once a year.

Store equipment in enclosed storage facilities

If your machine is not being used, it’s best to keep it inside for easier start-up and less time needed to brush off all the accumulated snow. Be sure to also remove any attachments and store them individually to avoid damage to the hinges and joints.

Store Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) properly

DEF can freeze when exposed to temperatures below 12 degrees. If your machine uses this kind of fluid, know that it can freeze and thaw and still work properly. DEF is good for up to one year but make sure it is stored in a HTPE plastic or stainless steel container, because it can corrode other materials. When storing DEF, make sure you don’t fill it to the brim. It can expand in freezing temperatures up to 7 percent and could crack the container it is in.

Now you know how to protect your investments during the colder months. By taking these steps, you’ll prepare yourself better whenever during the toughest weather conditions of the year.

How to install rubber tracks

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Are your rubber tracks worn out on one side and you need to replace them quickly? Have there been situations where the site mechanic was away and you had to stop working because your mini excavator wasn’t functional? Or do you just want your old steel tracks replaced with rubber tracks? Then you need to know some basic things about installing rubber tracks on a mini excavator to avoid any lag in your work.

Rubber tracks on a mini excavator or skid steer tend to deteriorate over time. To retain your machine’s efficiency, when you find signs of wear and tear you must learn how to install new rubber tracks.

Read on for tips on how to safety and effectively replace the tracks on your tracked vehicle.

Things to remember before starting

Some steps must be taken in order to ensure your safety.

First of all, make sure that you and your assistant are fitted with all the required safety equipment. The installation of rubber tracks is a two-person job, and it’s essential to set up your workplace by selecting a safe location and removing unnecessary machinery and distractions in your work environment.

Method

Here are basic steps to follow, but also refer to the operator’s manual. With the replacement track safely positioned nearby, do the following.

Step 1: Release the tension from the rubber tracks

Remove the grease valve with a wrench. Step down to collapse the idler on the bottom side of the track, releasing the tension on the track. This is a pretty good time to examine the grease fitting to evaluate whether to replace it or not.

Step 2: Remove the top carrier

Put a pin in the cleat. Turn on the vehicle and turn the track with the rear idler rolling over the pin. This will make the track adjuster collapse. Continue to rotate until you can remove the pin, taking care to clean up any grease that comes out. Make sure that the rear idler pusher is completely collapsed inside the tube before your put the grease valve back. Next, use a forklift or tool to pull off the top carriers.

Step 3: Raise the machine up

Next, take away the rear bottom roller triangle plates. Also, remove the linkage from the opposite track drive pump as a safety precaution.

Now you can raise the vehicle off the ground and place something underneath to support it. Remember, you only have to raise it high enough to remove the bottom cleats under the bottom rollers. Remove three of them if the sprocket is in sections and leave one attached. Just leave it as it is you only find one piece.

Placing a heavy duty jack is an important safety measure underneath the undercarriage as it helps to resist the enormous mass of the machine. This will protect your hydraulic system from hazards or accidents.

Step 4: Carefully remove track parts

You should now be able to release one end of the track from where the sprocket teeth hold it in place. A pry bar will come in handy at this point. You can use it to remove the track from the sprocket teeth while the person helping you moves the vehicle forward slowly.

Step 5: Remove the entire track

Extract the track carefully from the rear idler and pull it out. Keep pulling the track from below the vehicle and off of the front drive housing, pulling with straps on each end of the track. Because the tracks weigh several hundred pounds, you’ll have to use a forklift to remove it completely and place it in another place.

You can use this time to inspect the undercarriage of the machine for signs of wear and tear or damage to components that are sensitive. For removing stubborn items, including dirt, rocks, and other debris, a pressure washer and rake can be used. Inspect any components that might need to be replaced soon.

Step 6: Install new track and track parts

The next step is to install the new track. Bring your new rubber track next to to the machine and precisely hook the rubber track onto the sprocket teeth at the back end of the machine with the help of your buddy.

When installing tracks on the bottom of the track, use pry bars to support the top of the track. Then push the cleat (not the rubber track itself) so the track slides under the rollers at the bottom.

Once the track is fully underneath the bottom rollers, lower the supports to secure the track. Rotate the track with two pins that fit the entire way inside the links and stretch 6 inches to the inside of the track. The track will guide itself in place if the pins are on the right side. Now install the bottom roller, put the triangle plates back and tighten the nuts. Now you can lower the vehicle to the ground and install the upper carrier rollers at last.

Step 8: Test the track movement

Once the front track has been installed correctly and the tracks are tightened, make sure the vehicle is repeatedly driven forward and backward. Check to see that the excavator’s tracks and other relevant parts move as normal.

Step 9: Bring the machine back down to the ground

Move to the track’s lower back side and slowly push the boom down to the ground. To lower the front of the track to the ground, lift the blade from this position.

If all these steps were done correctly, you have installed rubber tracks on your vehicle successfully.

Tracks and Teeth are one of the leading suppliers of tracks for skid steers, mini excavators and multi-terrain machines. We have experts to guide you in choosing the right tracks for your model. If you’re looking for replacement tracks for your rubber track machine, or any other machine attachment, please contact us today!

Please “click here” for a live tutorial on our Videos page

Top 10 heavy equipment manufacturers in 2019

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What are the most established brand names in the heavy equipment industry in 2019?

‘The Yellow Table’, the name of International Construction magazine’s list of the top 100 heavy equipment producers shows us how these multi-national, multi-billion dollar companies performed last year.
Globally, the market shares of the bigger heavy equipment companies remained virtually unchanged. But the biggest surprise seems to be the revival of the John Deere company, which jumped six places to 3rd place since 2018.

Here’s an ordered list of some of the world’s top producers of heavy construction equipment.

  1. Caterpillar

Caterpillar is an American company with a diverse portfolio. It designs, develops, engineers, manufactures, markets and sells heavy equipment, engines, financial products and insurance to customers around the world. Caterpillar is a major supplier of machinery for building and mining, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, as well as diesel-electric locomotives. The headquarters of Caterpillar are located in Chicago.

The company achieved 23,230 million USD in sales last year, with a dominating market share of 12.6%.

  1. Komatsu

A Japanese multinational in the manufacture of heavy equipment, for another year Komatsu has maintained its number two place. Renowned for its autonomous haulage systems (AHS), intelligent machine control and a multitude of other cutting-edge developments, Komatsu is a forward-thinking company not content to rest on previous successes. Komatsu has a large presence in the heavy equipment industry as well as producing metal presses, machine tools, recycling equipment, and temperature-control equipment.

With last year’s heavy equipment earnings of USD 22.010 million, Komatsu continues to strengthen its place as a worldwide leader with a market share of 11.9 percent.

  1. John Deere

John Deere is a long-time American manufacturer of heavy equipment. It was started in 1837 and has continued to grow ever since. A US firm a legacy spanning 200 years in heavy equipment, it has an outstanding reputation for manufacturing premium agricultural, construction and forestry machinery.

The company’s backhoe loaders, skid steer loaders, excavators and graders are a favorite of those who work on the land. John Deere has a more limited range of products compared to other earth moving equipment companies in this list, but what it lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in quality.

The company achieved 10,160 million USD in sales last year, with a market share of 5.5%.

  1. Hitachi Construction Machinery

This is one of Japan’s leading construction equipment manufacturers. It is a well-renowned business that provides customers around the globe with both small and large-scale machinery for a variety of functions. The main heavy equipment and construction machinery offerings from Hitachi include Hydraulic Excavators, Mining Dump Trucks, Forestry Equipment, Crawler Dump Trucks and Wheel Loaders.

  1. Volvo

Sustainability and safety have always been at the heart of Volvo’s philosophy.

For the engineering and safety of its cars, Volvo has always had an outstanding reputation and their heavy equipment is no exception. Constructed to last and incorporate new technologies such as diesel / electric hybrids, full suspension articulated loaders and autonomous vehicles, many people consider Volvo construction equipment to be a solid choice for reliability.

Volvo has a 5.2 percent share, with revenues worth 9,627 million U.S.D. Their impressive numbers are mainly due to their presence in Europe and Scandinavia.

  1. XCMG

The XCMG Group is a state-owned Chinese heavy machinery manufacturing firm based in the Jiangsu province of China. They are one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of building equipment. The company is 2nd in the list of the top 100 manufacturers of machinery in China.

XCMG has strengthened its sales not only in Asia, but also worldwide. The firm continues to expand its share in the market for heavy machinery with revenues of 8,898 million USD and a market share of 4.8 percent. With multiple Chinese heavy equipment manufacturers expanding rapidly on the world stage, XCMG’s backhoes, skid steers and cranes will likely become a sight more frequent sight on construction sites around the world.

  1. SANY

Founded in 1989, the SANY Group has a workforce of 50,000 in more than 150 countries globally. It is a Chinese firm dedicated to intelligent manufacturing and sustainable industry. Sany products are commonly used in India and the neighboring nations and offer a range of high-quality machines, such as mini excavators, cranes, loaders, excavators and equipment for road-building.

Sany has a presence on the worldwide market among a number of Chinese upstarts that are in the process of breaking the traditional domination of the American and European firms. Revenues of 8,434 million USD were achieved this year by the company.

  1. Liebherr

The Liebherr Group is a Swiss multinational producer of heavy machinery. Worldwide, it employs over 42,000 people.

Liebherr offers a wide choice of telescopic handlers, cranes, excavators, wheel loaders and dozers. Liebherr is a well-established company that continues to wield its influence on the construction market. It continues to produce high-performance equipment that can stand up to the most challenging of circumstances.

  1. Doosan Infracore

Doosan is a worldwide company committed to building durable, reliable products that will work in whatever environment you happen to be in. The Doosan Bobcat company is renowned for its high-performance mini diggers, which include compact loaders and excavators. Doosan is an expanding presence on the heavy equipment industry with a varied range of products for a diverse set of jobs.

  1. JCB

The only UK manufacturer in the top ten, JCB generated a market share of $5.5 million in 2019. JCB is well-represented in the UK and European markets, as well as having an international presence.

Perhaps best known for their LiveLink software, which allows operators to handle JCB equipment remotely, JCB has a history of creative development and continuous progression, the company is also renowned for its excavators, and JCB also offers rolling carriers and a range of equipment for building roads.

For more parts information on any of these Brands please visit our Online Marketplace Please “click here”

What to consider when buying an undercarriage?

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Construction worker working outdoors with the project

Before you buy a car, there are probably lots of checks you will make before you decide it is the one for you. Unfortunately, fewer people pay as much attention when considering a tracked machine’s undercarriage, but they really should. The main benefits of tracked machines over wheels are their ability to operate in a wide range of conditions, so it is important to know that they are built to increase productivity. 

The undercarriage of a tracked vehicle is similar regardless of whether it is a bulldozer, excavator or loader, as the undercarriage is inside the track mechanism. The most common moving components include the links, pins, bushings, sprockets, rollers, idlers, shoes and the overall frame.

Here are four things you need to consider when considering the undercarriage on a tracked machine.

  1. Types of suspension systems

There are three types of suspension system, rigid, roller and torsion.

  • A rigid system, of course, is attached to the loader frame,
  • A roller system has suspended rollers to reduce vibration and sudden shifts
  • A torsion axle system allows the main frame move a little independently from an undercarriage.

Rigid systems have very low suspension, so that the effects of every single bump are transmitted straight to the operator. This has the potential to accelerate wear of the track, front wheel and undercarriage frame. On the plus side, this kind of machine tends to cost less up front than suspended systems due to its simple design and the limited amount of moving parts.

Full suspension systems like roller systems and torsion axle systems absorb a great deal of vibration before it reaches the operator or the attachment.

Operator Comfort: A more comfortable ride for the operator will be the major advantage of using a suspended system. There is less vibration and impact on the person in the seat. A loaded bucket also escapes some of the ups and downs experienced with a rigid system.

Long-term savings on maintenance: The rubber in the torsion bars reduces vibration which enhances the preservation of material and improves track life. It is expensive to replace tracks on any track loader so the savings on a torsion suspension machine over the lifetime of the machine can go up to thousands of dollars.

The disadvantage of the full-suspension systems is that they of course require a higher upfront cost than rigid systems.

  1. Open or closed design

Another factor to consider in an undercarriage is whether it has an open or closed design. 

Closed undercarriages need sealed designs because of their specific requirements for track tensioners, wheels and sprockets. This metal box protects components of the underside well. But it does allow the possibility that dirt, rocks or sticks which enter the box could speed up wear within the undercarriage. 

With more open undercarriage designs, debris falls away naturally during operation. Open designs are also lower maintenance to clean than closed designs because of how open they are. Open designs have been shown to be able to extend some parts ‘ service life by up to 50% in field tests. In addition, open undercarriages allow quick access to parts that can be replaced rapidly, like sprockets and bogie wheels.

  1. The track’s material composition

Tracked machines usually come with tracks in one of three materials:

  • steel-embedded
  • all-steel
  • all-rubber

Each one offer benefits and drawbacks according to the conditions in which it is used.

First of all, steel embedded carriages are made mainly of steel components: rollers made with steel fittings to move rubber tracks. Because of fewer moving parts, this type of track material boasts low maintenance and high durability. Several suppliers also offer all-steel paths to extend wear life in specialist applications. These heavier and more expensive stainless steel tracks are more suited to challenging work like demolitions and other work where other materials can damage the tracks. Our steel-embedded and all-steel tracks come with a 3 year/4000 hour warranty, which should give you an idea of the kind of durability steel can provide.

Some manufacturers produce tracks with fiber-reinforced rubber and industrial strength rubber and polyurethane. These are all-rounder tracks, ideal for a wide variety of conditions. There is no steel, too, which means no rust. When the time comes to replace the track, it is also easier to handle rubber, which is more flexible and is half the weight of stainless steel tracks. The downside is that rubber tracks inevitably wear out much quicker than steel or steel-embedded tracks. These tracks carry a 15 month/1500 hour warranty when bought from us.

  1. The drive system

Maintenance, operational costs and performance can also be affected by the type of drive system used on an undercarriage. Based on the type of tracks, manufacturers provide either external drive or internal drive sprockets.

External drive sprockets shift steel tracks using steel teeth, protruding through track holes. These systems could lead to drive torque passing through one or two rocket teeth simultaneously, accelerating tooth wear and generating stainless steel hooks which can lower track life. The operator must also replace the entire sprocket when the teeth have been worn down.

Internal drive sprockets, on the other hand, have replaceable steel rollers, which fit with molded rubber lugs in order to move rubber track designs. There’s no wear between rolls and track locks, and their replaceable sleeves mean that when specific rollers are worn down, operators don’t have to change the entire sprocket.

Remember, when buying a tracked machine, you should consider more than its horsepower or cab features. Just as important factor is the design of the undercarriage. Keep the above features in mind the next time you’re shopping for a tracked machine. Depending on your choices, this can have a massive impact on comfort, performance and your return on your investment.

Undercarriage Maintenance and Cleaning

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The undercarriage is one of the parts of a vehicle that do not get the right attention. The undercarriage is an integral part of any motor vehicle especially construction equipment. It serves as protection for internal sensitive components such as the gears, the transmission, and the engine underside from ground wreckage. The undercarriage is most important in construction sites. It shields the internal components of heavy equipment from materials that are capable of causing damage or corrosion. Owners of construction equipment should invest in proper undercarriage maintenance. Undercarriages are built with durable materials that can resist the abuse it will undergo. Yet, you have to put some measures in place to avoid damage to the undercarriage and extend its lifespan. Construction equipment is on a daily basis performing heavy duty tasks such as: picking up materials, digging trenches, moving along rough and muddy terrain. Demolition work is another demanding task that an undercarriage is used for. Though, an excavator can be static while it’s working. The movement of the arm, the swing of the machine house and boom is hard work for the excavator.

We recommend the following steps to achieve proper maintenance of your undercarriage;

  • Regular cleaning and maintenance


What you need most to achieve this is a pressure washer. Undercarriages on a regular basis come in contact with grime, dirt, and corrosive chemicals. Monthly washing of the undercarriage will ensure the removal of chemical buildup. This is capable of causing damage soon if not removed. Do thorough inspection after cleaning the undercarriage to check for damages. The pressure washer will blast away the dirt deposits and chemicals hidden in the crevices and cracks of the undercarriage.

You should consider the application of the rubberized spray. This will help reduce the possibility of buildup. It will serve as a guide layer against these elements thereby ensuring the durability of the undercarriage. Serious damage should not make you result in self-help rather consider consulting a professional for necessary guidance and repair. In serious situations such as accident, replacement of the entire undercarriage is usually advised. Proper maintenance culture forestalls high expenses on repairs.

 

 

  • Daily inspection

Whenever the equipment is in heavy use, do a daily inspection of the equipment. Check for bends, breaks and cracks on any of the components. Make sure all fasteners are well tightened, re-tight loose ones and exposed inner components. Some of the components you should look at are rollers, idlers and sprockets. If you notice any damage, try to make corrections before using. When you discover potential problems on time it won’t cause any serious equipment failure

  • Low operating speeds

The drive to finish a project or deliver as soon as possible may push an operator to high speed but note that over speeding increases wear and tear that the machine will undergo. High speed is the cause of wear on bushings, pins and sprockets. This is because speed and distance are the main causes of wear and tear. High operating speed increases the likelihood that damage will occur to the undercarriage. The faster you go the higher your possibility of delivering less quality work. There’s also a higher risk of accident as well. Hence, working at low speed is best to achieve quality and as well as maintain your equipment.

  • Decrease reverse operations

Unless necessary, try as much as possible not to do reverse operation. It wears out the sprockets and bushings.

  • Discourage digging over the sprocket

Prevent digging over sprocket by the excavator. This is capable of causing the bushings to break or crack. Encourage that the operator dig over the front idlers. It handles the vertical load better.

  • Make your dealer your maintenance partner


Arrange regular routine maintenance check with your machine dealer. They have trained personnel who can help you run routine test services at regular intervals. These services are commonly affordable. This will put potential damage in checks as they can detect this earlier than your operator.

 

 

  • Adhere to the telematics system

The telematics system tracks how you use your equipment, its performance and also the right time for maintenance and draw your attention to issues.

  • Follow proper safety guidelines


Following proper safety guidelines during the inspection of heavy duty equipment is vital. It brings about secure parking of the equipment and ensures that the brakes are locked. This helps to avoid activation and damage risk during the inspection. When you make time to inspect your equipment you automatically cut down the cost of repairs and prolong the durability of the equipment itself. The undercarriage is just a part out of many.

 

Are you looking at how best to maximize life out of your equipment? Simply ensure the replacement of undercarriage parts whenever you are replacing the tracks. Remember that worn out sprockets if not change is capable of causing premature track wear and failure. Do not wait any longer for serious damages before taking the right step. TRACKS N TEETH has made getting all your undercarriage parts easy. We offer the best deals in the sales of undercarriage parts such as;

  • Track Pins & Bushings
  • Carrier Rollers
  • Link Assemblies
  • Bogies
  • Track Rollers
  • Sprockets
  • Idlers
  • Spring Recoil
  • Equalizer Bars
  • Track Adjuster & Recoil
  • Track Shoes
  • Track Guides
  • Rubber Tracks
  • Pivot Pins

with our affordable and competitive prices for both dealers and contractors, you assured of the”Right Parts, the Right Price, every day”. Our undercarriage parts are supplied by renowned manufacturers: Berco of America, ITR America, Trek direct, Value parts, boyd and sons, bluemaq, American crane and tractor, KTSU among others. They are famous for quality and ISO certified. Contact one of our parts specialists today for detailed information on Replacement of parts.

Mobile Ordering Made Easy

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A lot of our customers are out in the field, often in very remote areas. They don’t always have the time to travel to a local dealer or even know where to begin to look for Replacement Aftermarket Parts. Having the ability to pull up our website and explore our Online Catalogue has changed the game. Many of our customers are ordering right off their phones.

Mobile Made Easy is a Chat software that allows any visitor to the site to Immediately start chatting with Live Undercarriage Professionals.  We have Representatives standing by to answer any questions that you have about your Equipment needs.

3 Key things we want to Identify when contacting us:

  • Make and Model of the Machine
  • Serial Number of the machine
  • Part Number of the Replacement Part needed

If the customer doesn’t have the Part Number we are able to help them locate it by browsing over 90,000 parts in our Online Catalogue. With this many parts to choose from its rare to not be able to find what our customers are looking for. This ensures they get what they want when they want it right from their phone. Once the parts are located we can quickly send a link through the chat that allows the customer to quickly see Price, Availability and be able to check out right from their Cart.

Simply click on the link:

  • Verify Part Information, Price and Quantity
  • Add the selected items to their cart
  • Verify Billing and Shipping information
  • Shipping is Usually 2-3 Days

TracksNTeeth works with suppliers all over the country to ensure we have a location that is near you.

Feel free to start browsing our Catalogue for your next Replacement Parts!

 

 

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