HOW TO ENHANCE THE LIFE OF YOUR EXCAVATOR’S UNDERCARRIAGE
The undercarriage of tracked heavy equipment, such as crawler excavators, consists of many moving components that need to be maintained regularly. If the undercarriage is not routinely inspected and cleaned, it can cost you heavily in breakdowns, reduced undercarriage life and above all, considerable amount of money
By following the tips given below you can get better performance and better life out of excavator’s track undercarriage:
Tip №1: Keep the Undercarriage Clean
At the end of each workday, excavator operators should take time to clean out dirt and other debris that may lead to undercarriage muck buildup. Shovels and pressure washers like Karcher model 9/20 can be used to help clean the undercarriage. If the undercarriage is not routinely cleaned, it will accelerate premature wear on components.
“Once that dirt hardens, it can start to rub on the bolts, loosen the guiding and seize up the rollers, leading to potential premature wear. Cleaning the undercarriage regularly helps prevent unnecessary downtime.” In addition, debris can add weight to the undercarriage, reducing fuel economy.
Tip №2: Routinely Inspect the Undercarriage
It is important to complete a full undercarriage inspection for excessive or uneven wear, as well as look for damaged or missing components. If the machine is being used in harsh applications the undercarriage may need to be inspected more frequently.
The following items should be inspected on a routine basis:
- Drive motor
- Drive sprockets
- Main idlers and rollers
- Rock guards
- Track bolts
- Track chains
- Track shoes
- Track tension
During a routine machine walk-around, operators should check the tracks to see if any components look out of place. If so, this could indicate a loose track pad or possibly a broken track pin. In addition, they should inspect the rollers, idlers and drives for oil leakage. These oil leaks could indicate a failed seal which could lead to a major failure in the rollers, idlers or track drive motors.
SURETECH AMC ensures periodic inspection of undercarriage and ensures you get better out of your excavator
Tip №3: Follow Basic Best Practices
Certain construction jobsite tasks can create more wear on excavator tracks than other applications. Tips that can help minimize track and undercarriage wear include:
- Make wider turns: Sharp turns or pivoting the machine can lead to accelerated wear and increase the potential for de-tracking. Train your operators to make wide, less aggressive turns. Track spinning can lead to wear and decrease productivity.
- Minimize time on slopes: Constant operation on a slope or hill in one direction can accelerate wear. When moving the machine up or down a hill, make sure that the drive motor is in the correct position to reduce track wear. The drive motor should be facing the back of the machine for easy maneuverability up a slope or hill.
- Avoid harsh environments: Rough asphalt or concrete or other abrasive materials can cause damage to tracks.
Tip №4: Maintain Proper Track Tension
Incorrect track tension may lead to increased track wear, so it is important to adhere to the proper tension. As a general rule, when your operators are working in soft, muddy conditions, it is recommended to run the tracks slightly looser. “If tracks are too tight or too loose, it can quickly accelerate wear,”