Skip to main content

Heat: The Treadmill’s Archnemesis

By June 28, 2016August 1st, 2019Guides & Best Practices, Products

Think about the last time you walked into a fitness facility: You walk in, catch a glimpse of people taking some sweet selfies, and survey the floor to see which machines are in use and who’s on them in order to pick the perfect place to begin your workout. 

On the cardio side of the gym, this normally includes trying to find a treadmill that hasn’t been sandwiched between two other users. The best case scenario is an island of solidarity with no one on either side — a true rarity, as treadmills are historically the most used pieces of equipment in a gym. Everyone from the beginning quick-start walker to the fully-profiled 5k trainer can step up and get a stride going with ease! So what’s the problem?

Big Bad Heat

Due to their popularity, treadmills are some of the most expensive pieces of equipment in the gym as their high usage means they take a lot to maintain. And what’s the leading cause of sky-high maintenance and repair bills? Heat. More specifically, heat caused by excess friction and amp draw.

Friction occurs whenever you step on a treadmill belt and start walking, but the real issues arise when the belt is not properly lubricated. This causes the belt to wear more quickly, requiring the motor to work harder and pull more amps than necessary. Over time, the increased amp draw and friction can lead to drive board failures, electrical shorts, burnt out components, and torn belts, all of which are costly to repair if you don’t have a warranty that covers wear and tear.

Defensive Maneuvers

The best way to prevent these problems and costly repairs is to reduce heat by keeping your treadmills well-maintained. A typical maintenance plan calls for regular belt lubrication every 3 to 6 months (depending on usage) to prevent friction from escalating. Unfortunately, this in an of itself is typically pretty expensive, too. Every scheduled lubrication costs a facility time and money, by requiring treadmills be temporarily marked ‘out of order’ while a service professional visits your site.

The most cost efficient way to take overcome this is to invest in a treadmill with an auto-lubrication system, which enables your treadmills to service themselves more frequently with just the right amount of lubrication. This solution keeps friction levels and amp draws low, which also reduces strain on sensitive components and helps decrease the amount of energy used overall.
The Eco-Glide lubrication system in SportsArt treadmills is one such system, allowing facilities to save an average of $550 per year in maintenance and energy costs. These savings, as well as the savings generated by other aspects of our equipment, are just a fraction of what contributes to SportsArt’s lowest cost of ownership.