Undercarriage Maintenance Tips for Your Heavy Equipment
The undercarriage of heavy equipment not only supports tremendous weight, but also helps operate the machine in difficult terrains. This essential and hard-working machine component undergoes wear and damage from extended use, which has a direct impact on the value and operating costs of equipment. Proper and adequate undercarriage maintenance brings numerous advantages including stable value, increased safety, reduced repairs, and powerful performance.
In order to benefit from healthy undercarriages, alongside preventive maintenance, it is also important to follow some operational best practices.
Undercarriage Preventive Maintenance:
- Daily Inspection of Undercarriages: Operators must carry out thorough examination of their machine’s undercarriage on a daily basis. During this inspection, they should check for potential issues such as missing parts or components, build-up of dirt or debris, damage, and uneven or excessive wear. Damage and wear may quickly lead to equipment related problems that are larger, costlier, and more complicated. It is also essential to check if there is proper clearance between the idler roller and track chain.
- Daily Track Tension Checking: Please remember that there is an increased wear on components, if the tracks are tighter than normal. This lowers the machine’s fuel efficiency as well as power. On the other hand, tracks that are too loose may lead to instability and ultimately trigger track derailment. It is important that for all heavy equipment, the sag is adjusted to the manufacturer-recommended measurement. If your equipment is in working condition, check the tension on a daily basis.
- Daily Cleaning: Sand, mud, debris, snow, and other materials tend to cake on the undercarriage. This leads to an increased track tension, which adversely affects the undercarriage. This problem can be solved by daily cleaning.
- Track Alignment: Track misalignment has a serious impact on undercarriage components. Therefore, keeping a close eye on track alignment is necessary to protect the equipment’s track and carrier roller flanges, track links, idler flanges, rock guards, and sprockets from undue wear and damage.
- Following OEM Recommendations: One of the best things you can do to keep undercarriages in the best possible shape is to follow all OEM recommended maintenance schedules and care guidelines.
Operational Best Practices for Undercarriage Protection
- Ensure that all machine operators are adequately trained to perform regular maintenance of the equipment they use. They should also have access to operating manuals.
- For the ground conditions, it is a must to use the right type and size of tracks. Also, shoes used for the necessary flotation should have appropriate widths.
- Reverse and high-speed machine operations should be minimised because they accelerate wear on pins, sprockets, and bushings.
- As much as possible, operators should make gradual and wide turn because this reduces undercarriage wear.
- Making more turns in one direction often causes asymmetrical wear. Therefore, over the course of the day, operators should try to make equal number of turns in both directions.
- Track spinning resulting from bucket or blade load increases wear and reduces productivity. This problem can be solved by reducing bucket or blade load.
- Operating time on sloped ground conditions should be minimised to reduce wear on idlers, rollers, and guide lugs.
- Travelling with tracks on ground with obstructions or uneven grounds should be avoided.
If you have any questions related to your heavy equipment, please feel free to contact out experts in K and G Machinery. We offer a wide range of heavy machinery suitable for all your needs.