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Earthmoving Machinery Inspection Guide

With over 20 years experience inspecting and repairing earthmoving machinery, we know what to look for. 

5 Important Tips:

  1. Logic

  2. Safety

  3. Tools

  4. Correct Part

  5. Connected Parts

Undercarriage Inspection

Performing an undercarriage inspection on heavy earthmoving machinery involves a systematic check of various components to ensure they are in good working condition. Here's a step-by-step guide to performing a thorough undercarriage inspection:

 

Safety 

  • Park the Machine on Level Ground: Ensure the machine is parked on a stable and level surface.

  • Turn Off the Engine: Shut down the machine and remove the key to prevent accidental startup.

  • Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Wear appropriate PPE, such as gloves, safety glasses, and steel-toe boots.

 

Visual Inspection

  • Tracks and Track Shoes: Check for wear, cracks, or damage to the track shoes and links. Look for missing or loose bolts. Track shoe wear: Check for any signs of excessive wear, such as uneven wear patterns, cracks, or missing track shoes. These can affect the machine’s stability and performance.

  • Rollers: Inspect the top (carrier) and bottom (track) rollers for wear, cracks, and proper alignment. Ensure they rotate freely and are not seized.

  • Idlers: Check the idlers for wear and alignment. Make sure they are not excessively worn or damaged.

  • Sprockets: Examine the sprocket teeth for wear and damage. Look for sharp or broken teeth.

  • Track Tension: Ensure the track tension is correct. Too loose or too tight tracks can cause premature wear. Refer to the manufacturer's specifications for the correct tension.

  • Track Guards: Inspect the track guards for damage and ensure they are securely attached.

  • Bushings and Pins: Check for excessive wear or movement in the track pins and bushings. Look for any signs of oil or grease leakage, indicating worn seals.

 

Physical Inspection

  • Track Tension Adjustment: If necessary, adjust the track tension to the manufacturer's specifications. This usually involves releasing or adding tension using the track tensioning system. Track chain tension: Ensure that the track chains are properly tensioned. Loose or overly tight chains can cause premature wear and damage to the undercarriage components. Track adjuster function: Ensure that the track adjusters are functioning properly. They are responsible for maintaining the tension in the track chains and ensuring proper alignment.

  • Roller and Idler Play: Check for excessive play in the rollers and idlers. Use a pry bar to check for movement; there should be minimal side-to-side play. Roller and idler condition: Inspect the rollers and idlers for any signs of damage. This means cracks, dents, or missing parts, as they play a crucial role in supporting the weight of the equipment.

  • Sprocket Engagement: Ensure the sprockets engage properly with the track links. Misalignment can cause uneven wear. 

 

Measurement and Wear Check

  • Track Chain Wear: Measure the pitch of the track chain (distance between links) to check for stretch or wear. Compare measurements with the manufacturer's wear limits.

  • Sprocket Wear: Measure the thickness and height of the sprocket teeth. Compare with the manufacturer's specifications. Sprocket condition: Check the sprockets for any signs of wear, such as worn-out teeth or misalignment. They are responsible for propelling the machine and need to be in good condition.

  • Roller and Idler Wear: Measure the diameter of the rollers and idlers. Check against the manufacturer's wear limits.

  • Track Shoe Wear: Measure the height of the track shoe grousers. Worn grousers reduce traction and can affect machine performance.

 

Lubrication and Maintenance

  • Grease Points: Lubricate all grease points, including rollers, idlers, and track tensioning systems, according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

  • Inspect Seals: Check seals around the rollers and idlers for leaks and damage. Replace any damaged seals to prevent contamination and wear.

 

Operational Check

  • Start the Machine: After completing the inspection, start the machine and perform a test run.

  • Observe Movement: Check for smooth movement of the tracks, rollers, and idlers. Listen for unusual noises that might indicate issues.

  • Track Alignment: Ensure the tracks remain aligned during operation. Misalignment can indicate issues with the undercarriage components.

 

Record Findings

  • Document Inspection Results: Keep detailed records of your inspection, including any wear measurements, adjustments made, and components that need replacement or repair.

  • Schedule Maintenance: Plan for any necessary maintenance or repairs based on the inspection findings to prevent future breakdowns.

Regular and thorough inspections of the undercarriage can help extend the life of the components, improve machine performance, and prevent costly downtime.

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