As the busy season approaches, it is important that you and your operators maintain a productive fleet of tracked heavy equipment, particularly crawler excavators, to ensure you stay on schedule. The most effective way to do this is by training your equipment operators on the proper operation and maintenance of the excavator undercarriage and mini excavator undercarriage parts as outlined in the manufacturer’s operation and maintenance manual. Reviewing the following undercarriage maintenance tips and operational best practices with your equipment operators may help you get better performance and life out of your crawler excavator’s mini excavator track roller.
The excavator undercarriage parts can represent a significant portion of your operating costs. It’s important to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended operating procedures to minimize wear to the equipment.
Keep it Clean
Maintaining a clean excavator track roller is critical to efficient operation. At the end of each day, excavator operators should clean out dirt and other debris that may lead to undercarriage buildup. If the undercarriage is not routinely cleaned, it will lead to premature wear on components. Debris can also add weight to the undercarriage, which reduces fuel economy.
Many excavator manufacturers offer undercarriages that are designed for easier track carriage cleanout, helping mud, dirt and debris fall to the ground, rather than become packed in the undercarriage. However, if there is an excess of dirt and debris, excavator operators can use shovels and pressure washers to clean out the undercarriage. Companies that specialize in mobile equipment cleaning can clear dirt and debris from not only your crawler excavator, but also all your tracked machines on a jobsite.
Neglecting your excavator’s undercarriage can be costly. The best way to reduce unwarranted expenses is to complete a full undercarriage inspection for excessive or uneven wear, as well as look for damaged or missing components. Check the crawler crane undercarriage parts to see if any components look out of place. If so, this could indicate a loose track pad or a broken track pin. Crane top rollers, crane idlers and drive motors and sprockets should be inspected for oil leakage. A failed seal could lead to major failure. Make repairs immediately, or contact your dealer’s service department for assistance.
An overlooked maintenance item on many tracked undercarriages is maintaining proper track tension. For instance, if steel tracks are too tight, they can quickly accelerate wear. If they are too loose, they could detrack and lead to unnecessary downtime. Generally, when operators are working in soft, muddy conditions, it is recommended to run the tracks slightly looser. In more abrasive conditions, tighter tracks are preferred. Always consult the manufacturer’s operation and maintenance manual for proper tension levels.
Your excavator undercarriage consists of many expensive components, such as track adjusters, track chains that need to be maintained by you or your operators on a consistent basis.