Almost 50% of your compact equipment’s repair expenses over its lifetime can result from poor undercarriage maintenance. Moreover, an inadequately functioning system may adversely affect your machine’s other parts, decreasing overall productivity. It requires the proper care and attention to ensure efficiency and maximum operating life. Whether you own a compact excavator, mini track loader, or compact track loader, learn how to maintain and enhance the undercarriage life to get the most out of your compact equipment.
Tips for Undercarriage Care & Maintenance
Inspect Steel Tracks
Since steel tracks are designed to perform in challenging conditions, equipment owners often overlook this component. However, constantly working in muddy, wet, rocky, or slippery conditions with abrasive materials can cause rapid wear, leading to high repair costs. It is best to check their condition and replace them when necessary.
Clean the Undercarriage
When debris and mud build up on the rubber tracks, it can wear the components faster. It is best to ensure the area is clean every day before beginning your work. If you are operating on rough terrain with abrasive materials, clean the undercarriage 2-3 times during a shift.
Avoid Unnecessary Reverse Function
Operating in reverse, even slowly, leads to bushing and sprocket wear. Avoid unproductive operations unless you have to do so to accomplish your task.
Avoid Spinning the Rubber Tracks
Track spinning increases fuel consumption, accelerates wear and tear of the undercarriage and reduces production, affecting your overall profit. Careful operation is essential to prevent track slippage.
Do Not Overspeed
Although some jobs may require higher speed operation, avoid continuous speeding. This is because it depreciates the undercarriage and the rubber tracks. Idlers, rollers, and links are particularly vulnerable. Controlling your speed can keep them working longer.
Be Careful with the Turning Directions
If you always turn in the same direction, the undercarriage components on the particular side will wear sooner than those on the other. To put it clearly, turning right frequently will accelerate wear on the left side and vice versa. Ensure even wear by paying attention to the turning directions and changing it whenever possible.
Make Gradual Turns
Counter-rotating compact loader wears out the rubber tracks and undercarriage components, including idler, sprocket, and roller. Avoid this technique unless it is impossible. Instead, you can turn the equipment gradually while moving reverse or forward. Doing so will help reduce the chances of excessive wear, tears, and cuts in the undercarriage and minimize the damage to soft work surfaces.
Be Careful with Slope Activity
Operating constantly across a slope can reduce the life of the undercarriage components. Ensure minimal cross-slope activity and move up or down instead whenever possible.
Identify Transition Areas
A transition is where you may need to change elevation or slope. It could be a ledge, curb, or an area where a sloped ground begins. See if you can reduce operations over them to prevent undercarriage wear. If you need to work across one, position your equipment 90 degrees to the transition and ensure proper ground support to avoid side stresses.
Use Appropriate Techniques for Your Equipment
Some operating techniques for skid steers may not be suitable for compact loaders or excavators and vice versa. Learn the correct methods and read the instruction manual carefully to avoid expensive breakdowns and mishaps.
Extending the Life of Your Rubber Tracks
Undercarriage upkeep is an essential aspect of rubber track maintenance. Inspecting the sprocket teeth, sprockets, rollers, idlers, and other elements is crucial. This is because faulty parts can adversely affect the machine’s performance. Replace the worm, cracked, or broken components as required and do not neglect the maintenance schedule
3 Crucial Tips to Extend Life of Your Undercarriage
Understand What Lies Below
Improve safety and enhance your machine’s life by performing walk-around, regular inspections, and visual checks. Look for debris, loose or missing bolts, unusual wear patterns, damaged components, and oil leaks. Identifying potential issues can help prevent them from becoming more severe, which may significantly reduce undercarriage life.
Here are the aspects you should focus on:
- Drive motor and sprockets
- Idlers and rollers
- Rock guards
- Track chains, bolts, and shoes
Pay Attention to Tension
Track sag or incorrect track tension is often the cause of undercarriage damage and accelerated wear. It may lead to excessive wear if it is too tight. However, if the tracks are too loose, they may come off, resulting in casualties. Follow track adjusting procedures in your equipment’s manual to avoid mishaps.
Seek Professional Advice
Undercarriage parts require significant investment, whether they are made of rubber or steel. To get maximum value and ensure their long life, consult professionals who know what they are doing. If you have doubts, get in touch with your supplier for expert advice. This is because undercarriage and compact equipment upkeep require skills. Moreover, expertise is crucial to identify problems with them. In addition, plan scheduled maintenance and repair routine. Be proactive to ensure the best results when it comes to compact track loaders, excavators, and compact loaders.
Get High-Quality Undercarriage Parts for Compact Equipment
Tag Equipment is Canada’s preferred supplier of rubber tracks, attachments, and undercarriage parts for compact track loaders, multi-terrain loaders, and excavators. Whether you want to purchase idlers, rollers, or sprockets for your equipment, we can help you find the most suitable product. We feature an extensive inventory to ensure quick delivery to our customers. Our products are compatible with machines by major brands, including Bobcat, Case, CAT, John Deere, Kubota, and more. Our experts will ensure you find the most suitable accessory for your machine’s make and model, needs and application requirements.
Our selection includes the following undercarriage parts:
- Sprockets – Camso sprockets for best fit to ensure long track life
- Rubber Track Pads – ITR bolt-on steel track pads, clip-on pads, Roadliner pads
- Steel Tracks – to maximize your equipment’s capability
- Rollers/Idlers – front and rear idlers with fabricated and cast applications and top and bottom rollers
- Rubber Tracks