Online sites like Craigslist are marvelously modernized versions of the classified ads traditionally found in the back pages of your newspaper.
The high-tech tools of these web-based want ads provide a fast, user-friendly system to locate things that other users no longer want or need. They can often be found at attractively low or negotiable prices, with the convenience of a local pickup point and mutually agreed upon meeting time.
But we can't advise you to look for your replacement rubber tracks here — especially not used rubber tracks from unknown, third-party sellers. There're just too many hidden "gotchas" if you decide to go that route.
We assume most people who choose to shop these sites for used rubber tracks are aware of the most obvious risks. But let's recap them, just to be sure.
No after-sales relationship is one. Once money has traded hands, the poster of a classified ad doesn't expect to see you again.
In fact, quite a few sellers take an extra step to ensure they won't see you again, adding "as is" or "all sales final" to the item description. Those "as is" disclaimers by third-party sellers raise red flags right away. They warn you up front that you will have no recourse if you discover something wrong with your rubber tracks after the sale.
In most cases, the seller is simply admitting they don't know of any defects or just don't know how to tell. The disclaimer makes sure you know up front they want no responsibility for inspecting them for defects. You get what you see, and if you don't see any defects, sorry, no returns.
Tracks are the quintessential component of a tracked machine. As such, the tracks on your equipment directly impact its performance, productivity and safe operation. The obligation to ensure your tracks meet OEM requirements must never be taken lightly, so we actually commend the "as is" seller for being aware of that.
On the other hand, if you're buying from unknown third parties, you also risk exposure to unethical sellers. They know exactly what's wrong with the used rubber tracks but, by feigning ignorance, might be able to dump them on you.
At the very least you'll want to ask up front why the seller is selling them, and then judge for yourself if you can trust that they're telling you the whole truth.
The Buyer-Seller Relationship
Buying directly from a rubber track manufacturer eliminates these risks. Their proven reputations back each and every sale. And they are industry specialists whose expert assistance can help you protect the productivity, reliability and safe operation of your tracked equipment.
What's more, you're the reason they're in business, so they're invested in your success using their products. They are eager to hear from you, both before and after the sale, there to answer any question you may have and provide you with immediate assistance.
Used Supply Chain Lacks Protection
You thought you knew all the risks up front, and you may even have had good luck buying used rubber tracks from an unknown seller before.
But each time you leave the supply chain, you roll the dice again. You're wagering your highest value chips — your machine's productivity and reliability, your margin of profitability, your customer's satisfaction and even the safety of property and personnel — that you might win what, in comparison, is a small gain.
Chain of supply management might be something the average track buyer never thinks about. Those who buy from reputable dealers don't need to — they are automatically protected.
The chain of supply begins with the raw materials used to make the tracks and stretches all the way to you, the end-user. An intact supply chain protects the continuity of quality control, mitigating risk at every step along the way.
Buying elsewhere breaches the security of the supply chain. All bets are off.
Spotting Rubber Track Knock-Offs
Did you realize used rubber tracks you buy outside a protected supply chain might not even be the real deal? It's almost impossible in today's sophisticated world of gray-market knockoffs for the average consumer to spot an imposter.
For almost every product made today — from smartphone chargers to heavy-duty construction equipment — you can find imitations passed off as coming directly from the original manufacturer's factory.
You can't trust some person you've only met through a Craigslist ad to know the difference. No matter how experienced you are at inspecting used rubber tracks for defects and signs of wear, can you verify them as genuine right away?
That's an extreme example, we agree. The most important thing to know is, when you buy from authorized suppliers, you don't have to gamble at all — your tracks come with a warranty.
High-Quality Rubber Tracks
As the OEM-manufacturer of Yanmar tracks and of Morooka tracks and undercarriage parts, Dominion takes every measure to ensure the quality of the tracks you buy is protected at each and every level of the supply chain.
We expect the highest quality of materials, manufacturing processes, and shipping performance. And we distribute only through trusted partners of our highly valued dealer network.
Dominion is also the OEM-authorized distributor of Yanmar and Morooka parts, and we are North America's largest importer and distributor of tracks.
Industry-leading brands include: Takeuchi, Bobcat, New Holland, Gehl, Case, Kubota, Caterpillar, John Deere, ASV, Komatsu, Ditch Witch, Volvo, Mustang, Vermeer and more.
Don't Gamble on Online Sellers
Your best bet is always to buy your tracks from a quality manufacturer or manufacturer-authorized dealer. This is the only real sure-fire way to eliminate unnecessary risk.
At Dominion, we'll work with you to not only find rubber tracks that offer optimal performance, reliability and efficiency, but we'll ensure you're protected at every step of the supply chain.
(This article is reprinted with permission from Dominion Equipment Parts LLC at www.depparts.com/blog/do-not-buy-used-rubber-tracks-from-unknown-online-sellers/)