A little treadmill maintenance can go a long way to extending the life of your cardio machines. By following a few simple steps, you can avoid the most common causes of mechanical issues and keep your treadmills working well for even longer. Regular treadmill maintenance can help you to get the most out of your equipment investment and keep your members happy too.
The Most Basic Form of Treadmill Maintenance – Regular Cleaning
The simplest form of treadmill maintenance is regular cleaning. By giving the entire machine a wipe over, you can eliminate dirt and debris before it becomes a problem. If these are allowed to build up, they can eventually get into the motor and cause mechanical problems. Although most treadmills are built to withstand liquids (in case a water bottle is accidentally spilled over them) it’s best to avoid using chemical detergents. Over time, these can degrade the plastic and powder coated surfaces, making the equipment look old before its time.
Align & Flip the Belt
Realigning the belt is an important part of treadmill maintenance. Over time the belt can migrate towards one side which causes it to become worn unevenly. So, in the same way that your car tires sometimes need to be realigned, your treadmill belts need it too.
To realign a treadmill belt, disconnect the machine from the mains power and remove the motor cover. Towards the back of the deck, you’ll find some holes that are suitable for an Allen wrench. Using small movements, adjust the roller little by little until the belt is back in the center. There should still be space on both sides once you’re done.
Some treadmill belts are also designed to be used on both sides. This means that once they’ve become worn on one side you can flip them over and use the other side. If you’re unsure what type of belt you have, check with the manufacturer or ask a service engineer.
Lubricate the Belt
Lubricating the belt is a vital part of treadmill maintenance but doesn’t need to be done too often. It helps the belt to move smoothly around the rollers and delivers a superior running experience for members. Ensure the machine is switched off and that the lube you use is 100% silicon, otherwise, it may damage the belt instead of extending its usage.
A treadmill lubricating stick or sponge can be used to apply it to the belt. Simply lift up the belt and apply the lube along the underside, then repeat on the other side.
Clean Underneath the Motor Cover
As well as cleaning the outside of your treadmill, it’s important to clean underneath the motor cover too. Dust, sweat, dirt, and debris can all get caught inside it and clog up the motor unit. If too much gets in, then the motor can stop working altogether. Thankfully this problem can be completely avoided with a regular cleaning schedule.
To clean underneath the motor cover simply remove the screws that attach it to the deck. A duster or vacuum cleaner can be used to gently remove the dirt and have everything looking like new. Since the motor is electrical, this definitely isn’t an area that you want to use liquid cleaners in.
Bonus Treadmill Maintenance Tip – Rotate Your Machines
Although this isn’t strictly part of treadmill maintenance, it can help to extend their life. In most fitness facilities it’s common for one or two treadmills to be more popular than others. They might be located underneath an aircon vent which makes them cooler or positioned with a little more privacy which makes them appealing to self-conscious members. Whatever the reason, the end result is that the most popular machines experience more wear and tear than the others.
It’s therefore a good idea to swap these machines with ones that aren’t used as much, to even out the usage. This way your treadmills will all receive equal wear and tear, so you won’t need to service some more than others. Rotating your machines is a smart way to minimize the overall treadmill maintenance that’s needed.
To learn more about treadmill maintenance or other ways to get the most out of your gym equipment, then get in touch with our knowledgeable team. They’ve got over 80 years of fitness experience between them and can advise you on the best cardio equipment for your needs. Call us at 888-502-2348.