With track-type machines, the undercarriage is the single most expensive item, soaking up an approximate 50% of the total costs attributed to crawler maintenance. Yet it’s been said that some users treat the undercarriage like an old shoe, they don’t think about it until they’ve worn a hole in the bottom.
Consider that when the job is all done, a win or a loss is often decided by your operating costs per hour. So with today’s tight profit margins, it may be time to overhaul your maintenance strategy rather than your undercarriage.
Ongoing improvements to an undercarriage maintenance program are clearly a payoff to the bottom line—whether you own one machine or a fleet of crawlers. Undercarriage wear cannot be eliminated but it can be controlled and cost-effectively managed. Yes, you may take advantage of the latest innovations in undercarriage design and metallurgy, and you may always use quality replacement parts. Certainly these initiatives play a large part in minimizing downtime. But they do not replace a solid understanding of the causes of wear (some that you can influence, and some that you cannot), and a commitment to the operational and maintenance practices that increase the working life of the undercarriage.
The undercarriage comprises of the track assembly and its frame. Track components include shoes, pads, bushings, links, and pin and track seals; while the track frame assembly includes the frame itself, track rollers, carrier rollers, idlers, sprockets, recoil springs, track guides, track guards, and a hydraulic track adjuster. All parts of the undercarriage are designed and manufactured to work and wear as a system. So as soon as one of the components starts to wear, it will eventually have some effect on the rest of the system. Wear rates differ greatly depending upon the job profile and one’s approach to it. Working conditions such as the lay of the land, material abrasiveness, and moisture content cannot be changed. But owners and operators can minimize their effects on wear by applying best practices in track configuration and operational methods, and by staying on top of maintenance and repair tasks, and by staying on top of maintenance and repair tasks.
Pin and Bushing Turn Maximises System Life
Pin and bushing turn 180° prevents internal wear and maximizes bushing life. If you continue to operate in the same working environment, wear life on the second bushing side will equal that of the first side. This enables you to maximize the life of other undercarriage components, greatly reducing your cost per hour. We have the correct service tooling and trained service personnel to perform a ‘wet’ bushing turn. We’ll get your equipment up and running quickly and reliably.
Idler Rebuilding – Extends Wear Life
Like rollers, idlers are designed to be rebuilt, extending wear life and reducing your maintenance expenses. Their excellent seal ability means we can reuse internal components, lowering your overall repair costs. In the resurfacing process, we disassemble the idler and check internal components.
Track Shoe Re-Grouse – Increases Shoe Life
This process extends shoe life at a cost much lower than replacement. Because track-type machines work in many different conditions, track shoes are a major wear item. In some cases, they may need to be replaced when they reach their service limit. If the shoe pad is structurally sound, however, new material may be added to the grouser surface.