Most rubber belts are not taken out of service because they no longer perform. Many rubber belts removed from machines because they have reached a certain thickness such as 50 mm or 45 mm, are often capable of performing perfectly if rubber belt tension is increased.

Most rubber belts are removed from service because of damage to the rubber belt resulting from accidents, poor machine operator practices, poor maintenance, etc.

Good quality rubber belts used to pre-shrink 14-3/4 oz. (500 gr/m2) denim, if properly maintained by well trained shrinking machine operators, should last between 11 and 14 million yards (10 and 13 million meters). Some users have even reported 10% greater useful life.

Rubber belts used for lightweight goods or cotton blends, as well as belts used to improve cloth hand only, may last between 20 and 25 million yards (18.3 and 22.9 million meters).

Unfortunately, many users of good quality rubber belts who shrink heavy weight denim fabric regularly obtain only 7 to 9 million yards (6.4 to 8.2 million meters) of useful life. This is due to poor operator skills, poor preparation of cloth to be pre-shrunk, and poor rubber belt and shrinking machine maintenance.