5 Tips For Maintaining Excavator Undercarriages

Save money and downtime by ensuring undercarriage components get proper treatment

5 Tips For Maintaining Excavator Undercarriages

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When servicing excavators, most inspections focus on the hydraulics, boom arm, and cab controls as they are the heart of the machine’s functions. Yet the undercarriage is the true foundation of the machine, allowing 360-degree movement over grass, mud, sand, snow, and rocky terrain. Maintaining this important area ensures that the excavator can stay productive throughout the day.

Here are some undercarriage maintenance tips so that you avoid excavator malfunctions and costly repairs.

1. Keep it clean

With the undercarriage constantly caked in mud, the debris begins to prematurely wear down gears, rollers, and other metal parts. Also, having the machine lug around that extra weight causes the components to work harder while reducing the machine’s fuel economy.

Start by prewashing the tracks or tires before moving on to scrub off the accumulated grease. Then pressure wash the undercarriage and give it a final rinse.

2. Inspect carefully

The main areas to focus your inspection on are the track components, drive mechanisms, and the rock guards. Look for excessive wear on sprockets, rollers, bolts, and idlers. You also want to get a good look under the undercarriage to spot any oil leakage from cracked seals.

3. Adjust track tension

Track tension may need to be adjusted when working with different operators and road surfaces. You also should have the tension adjusted when servicing and replacing the old track. Tighten the track based on the manufacturer’s specifications and the operator’s experience. If the track is constantly going loose, this problem may indicate a cylinder leak on the track adjuster.

4. Grease bearings and fittings

An excavator requires grease to keep components moving freely, to adjust the track tension, and to act as a barrier against dirt. There are several grease points on an excavator, and the manufacturer’s manual will provide details on what requires lubrication and how much to apply.

5. Remove worn parts quickly

Avoid leaving a worn part in place just to complete a task. Even if you are nearing the end of a project, that worn part could malfunction and cause an accident or further damage the excavator. Change out high-wear components (idler, sprockets, rollers) when noticing any excessive wear or damage.

Keep your maintenance schedule and repair log up to date regarding any service done on the excavator. This process ensures that all inspections and repairs have been performed correctly and allows you to spot anomalies where certain parts are wearing down faster than others. These anomalies could be an indicator that the operator needs additional equipment training or the type of replacement parts you have been purchasing may be of lesser quality.

About the Author

Dustin Johnson is the marketing manager of FortisHD. Visit www.fortishd.com.


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