Tracked equipment comprises of numerous moving parts that require regular maintenance to allow them to run properly. Failure to regularly inspect and maintain the undercarriage of heavy equipment may cost you precious time, money and possibly reduce the track’s lifetime.
Our team at Fortis John Deere Tracks is keen on ensuring that you extract the best possible performance and lifetime out of your equipment’s undercarriage; thus we’ve outlined these five tips for you.
1. Keep the undercarriage dirt-free
After each workday, operators should clear away dirt and other rubble that may accumulate in the undercarriage. Pressure washers and shovels can help in the cleaning routine.
Failure to routinely clean the undercarriage accelerates premature abrasion on parts, more so in colder climates. Dirt, debris, and mud tend to freeze in colder climates. Upon freezing, these materials start rubbing on bolts, thereby, loosening the guiding and clutch up the rollers, causing wear later on.
Furthermore, debris adds pressure to the undercarriage, lowering fuel economy.
Many manufacturers offer undercarriages designed for simple track carriage cleanout, aiding debris fall off rather than accrue inside the track system.
2. Inspect the undercarriage routinely
It’s essential to conduct a comprehensive undercarriage inspection for uneven or excessive abrasion as well as monitor missing or damaged parts. Where heavy equipment is used in severe applications or other demanding conditions, the track may require more frequent inspections.
Inspect the following on a regular basis:
- Track chains
- Track bolts
- Drive motor
- Main rollers and idlers
- Drive sprockets
- Rock guards
- Track bolts
- Track tension
- Track shoes
During routine checks, operators should scrutinize the tracks to identify any parts that seem untoward. If so, it may be an indication of a broken track pin or a loose trackpad. Additionally, operators should assess the rollers, drives, and idlers for oil leakage. Oil leaks indicate a declining seal which may fail the idlers, track drive motors or rollers.
3. Follow simple best practices
Specific construction sites create more abrasion on excavator undercarriages and tracks than other applications, this it’s imperative that machinists comply with the manufacturer’s approved operating procedures.
Some tips that help lessen undercarriage and track wear include:
- Maker wider turns: Pivoting or sharp turns lead to increased wear and raise the odds of de-tracking.
- Reduce time on slopes: Regular operation on hills in one direction speeds up wear. However, many applications demand hillside or slope work. Whenever moving the equipment up or down a slope, ensure the drive motor is facing the right direction to minimize track wear.
- Refrain from harsh settings: Rough concrete or asphalt or other caustic materials damages the tracks.
4. Maintain appropriate track tension
Imprecise track stress leads to heightened track wear, this, it’s essential to observe proper tension. As a rule, operators working in soft and muddy conditions should run the tracks a little loser.
5. Use rubber tracks for on delicate surfaces
Rubbers tracks are accessible on smaller earthmovers, and they excel in an array of applications. Most apparently, rubber tracks provide excellent floatation, enabling excavators to move across and operate on soft grounds. Also, rubber tracks have negligible ground disruption on finished surfaces like asphalt, grass, and concrete.
The undercarriage constitutes a significant share of track replacement charges because of its costly components. Observing these five track maintenance tips reduces the costs of ownership and elongates the lifetime of your tracks.