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Undercarriage Maintenance Issues & Products

Issues

Common Undercarriage Maintenance Issues

  1. Wear and tear: Heavy equipment undercarriages are subjected to constant wear and tear. This is due to the harsh operating conditions they are exposed to. Over time, the track chains, track shoes, rollers, idlers, sprockets, and other undercarriage components can wear out. This leads to reduced performance and increased downtime.

  2. Misalignment: Misalignment of the undercarriage components can occur due to various reasons. Some possibilities are improper tensioning, uneven loading, or impacts from obstacles. Misaligned components can cause uneven wear and premature failure of the undercarriage, leading to costly repairs and reduced productivity.

  3. Track damage: Tracks can get damaged due to impacts from rocks, debris, or uneven terrains. This can result in cuts, tears, or punctures in the track rubber. This reduces the traction and stability of the machine, affecting overall performance.

  4. Leaks: Hydraulic fluid or oil leaks can occur in the undercarriage components, such as seals, gaskets, and bearings. Leaks can lead to reduced performance, increased wear, and potential damage to other components if not addressed promptly.

  5. Corrosion: Heavy equipment used in corrosive environments, such as coastal areas or mining sites, can be prone to corrosion. Corrosion can damage the undercarriage components, leading to premature wear and reduced lifespan.

  6. Lack of lubrication: Proper lubrication is essential for the smooth operation of the undercarriage components. Inadequate or irregular lubrication can result in increased friction, accelerated wear, and potential damage to components.

  7. Overloading: Overloading heavy equipment can put excessive strain on the undercarriage components, leading to accelerated wear and potential failure. It is important to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended load limits and operating guidelines to prevent overloading.

  8. : Irregular or inadequate maintenance can result in undercarriage issues. Skipping scheduled maintenance tasks, such as tensioning, alignment checks, or component replacements, can lead to increased wear, reduced performance, and costly repairs.

 

Common undercarriage maintenance issues in heavy earthmoving machinery often arise from wear, improper adjustment, or lack of regular maintenance. Here are some typical problems and their potential causes:

1. Track Tension Issues

  • Over-Tensioned Tracks:

    • Cause: Incorrect adjustment or failure to relieve tension after use.

    • Effect: Accelerated wear on track components, reduced lifespan of rollers and idlers, increased fuel consumption.

  • Under-Tensioned Tracks:

    • Cause: Incorrect adjustment or natural stretching of the track chain.

    • Effect: Tracks can derail, increased wear on track links and sprockets, reduced traction.

2. Excessive Wear on Track Shoes and Links

  • Cause: Operating in abrasive environments, improper track tension, lack of lubrication.

  • Effect: Reduced traction, increased risk of track breakage, higher operating costs due to frequent replacements.

3. Sprocket Wear

  • Cause: Misaligned tracks, improper engagement with track links, over-tensioned tracks.

  • Effect: Uneven wear on sprocket teeth, reduced efficiency in track propulsion, potential damage to track links.

4. Roller and Idler Wear

  • Cause: Lack of lubrication, operating in harsh conditions, improper track tension.

  • Effect: Increased friction, reduced rolling efficiency, potential failure of rollers and idlers, leading to costly repairs.

5. Loose or Damaged Track Pins and Bushings

  • Cause: Normal wear and tear, lack of regular maintenance, improper track tension.

  • Effect: Increased play in the track chain, noise during operation, risk of track derailment.

6. Track Misalignment

  • Cause: Worn or damaged track components, improper track tension, debris buildup.

  • Effect: Uneven wear on track components, increased fuel consumption, reduced machine stability.

7. Debris and Contaminant Buildup

  • Cause: Operating in muddy, sandy, or debris-filled environments.

  • Effect: Increased wear on track components, blocked rollers and idlers, reduced machine efficiency.

8. Seal and Bearing Failure

  • Cause: Lack of lubrication, exposure to contaminants, overloading the machine.

  • Effect: Leakage of lubricants, increased friction, potential failure of rollers and idlers, leading to costly downtime.

9. Cracked or Broken Track Shoes

  • Cause: Impact with hard objects, fatigue from heavy use, manufacturing defects.

  • Effect: Reduced traction, increased risk of track breakage, potential damage to other undercarriage components.

10. Hydraulic Tensioning System Issues

  • Cause: Hydraulic leaks, improper maintenance, system failure.

  • Effect: Inability to maintain proper track tension, increased wear on track components, potential derailment of tracks.

Preventive Measures and Solutions

  • Regular Inspections: Conduct frequent undercarriage inspections to identify and address wear and damage early.

  • Proper Lubrication: Ensure all moving parts, including rollers, idlers, and track tensioning systems, are adequately lubricated.

  • Correct Track Tension: Regularly check and adjust track tension according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

  • Timely Replacement: Replace worn or damaged components, such as track shoes, rollers, and sprockets, before they lead to more severe issues.

  • Cleaning and Debris Removal: Keep the undercarriage clean by removing mud, sand, and other debris that can accelerate wear.

  • Operating Practices: Train operators on proper machine handling to minimize excessive stress on the undercarriage components.

  • Use Quality Parts: Use high-quality, manufacturer-recommended parts for replacements to ensure compatibility and durability.

 

 

 

Undercarriage Maintenance Products

There are various maintenance products available in the market that can help extend the lifespan and improve the performance of the undercarriage. These include lubricants and sealants specifically designed for undercarriage components, track shoes and components, as well as replacement parts and accessories. These products can help reduce friction, protect against wear and corrosion, maintain proper tension, and ensure smooth operation of the undercarriage. It is important to use high-quality products that are recommended by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to ensure compatibility and effectiveness.

However, if you want to be more serious about undercarriage maintenance, then it is essential to look at higher quality maintenance products. One example of this is a Master Pin Pusher. When a track needs replacing, one must remove the master pin which can be extremely dangerous if the proper tooling is not owned. A Master Pin Pusher is a hydraulic tool where you simply place the C-Frame shaped equipment over the track, and let it jolt the pin out for you.

 

A product of the same ilk is the Pin Puller. This does exactly what it sounds like and is responsible for pulling pins that require just that, because not all can be pushed.

Knowing this, an innovative piece of equipment sold by HEMS is the Dual Action Press. This combines the master pin pusher and pin puller into one, allowing you to have one gadget for both tasks.

HEMS also provides other essential products such as a track press, sprocket puller, hydraulic torque wrench, roller & idler builder, track winder, and of course seal lubricator. You can see HEMS’s full list of undercarriage maintenance products here

Conclusion

In conclusion, the undercarriage of heavy equipment plays a critical role in the performance, stability, and longevity of the machines. Regular inspection, proper usage, and maintenance are essential to detect and resolve issues early on, prevent costly repairs, and ensure optimal performance. The use of high-quality OEM-recommended maintenance products can further enhance the lifespan and performance of the undercarriage. By investing in proper undercarriage maintenance, heavy equipment owners can maximize the productivity and efficiency of their machines, ultimately leading to better returns on investment.

 

Undercarriage

 

 ITR offer the most complete range on the market ranging from standard excavator and dozer applications to asphalting, drilling and logging machines. All components are manufactured at the plants of the Group.

Bands: Caterpillar, Komatsu, Hitachi, Liebherr, John Deere, Volvo, JCB, Hyundai, Kobelco Kubota, Yanmar, Caterpillar, Kobelco, Komatsu, Takeuchi

 

Industries: civil, construction, mining, forestry, drilling and agricultural, mining and quarrying to crushing and recycling. civil, construction, drilling, road building, forestry, and agriculture.

 


Heavy Vehicle machines: dozers, excavators, drill rigs, harvesters and apron feeders ranging in size from 0.5 tonnes up to 190 tonnes. All crawler machines

improving wear time and reliability of the components. quality replacement for your construction equipment

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