Excavator Undercarriage Maintenance
One of the important items on an excavator to keep properly maintained is the tracks. Whether they are rubber or steel, each needs to be monitored after each use or on a regular basis at least. How long your tracks last will depend on the type of work that is being done using the excavator as well as the terrain the machine is operating on.
Inspect rubber tracks for cuts and tears. Cuts or tears could lead to moisture or dirt getting down to the steel belting that holds the track together causing them to fail.
Keeping your undercarriage clean is extremely important. When working in areas where the soil has more clay can cause the undercarriage to become soil packed, which could prevent the rollers from moving freely and wear out prematurely.
Track tension should be checked regularly as well. If the tension is too tight is can actually wear your tracks out faster. If the tension is too loose the tracks could slip off. Check the service manual to find the correct tension for your equipment and how to properly adjust it.
There are other parts of the undercarriage to consider besides the tracks. If you want the tracks to remain in good condition for as long as possible make sure the idlers, rollers and sprockets are also checked for excessive wear.
Wear and tear on the idlers and rollers can be difficult to spot. One way to check though is to look for signs of any type of fluid or moisture leaking around the seals. Most idlers and rollers are meant to be permanently sealed and lubricated, so any sign of oil leaking from them indicates they need to be replaced. Another method is to measure the diameter of the roller with a caliper or depth gauge. Check with your local dealer or service manual for the specific diameter and wear limits for your machine.
The final drive sprocket should also be checked to make sure the teeth are rounded at the end. If they start to become pointed this means they are worn and it is time to replace them before it damages your track chain.
As with any maintenance, it will save you loss of time and money.