Excavators spend the day carrying out heavy duty tasks such as digging trenches or picking up materials. Demolition is an even more demanding task, although it has the advantage of being stationary in one place, the swing of the machine house and movement of the arm and boom is hard work for the excavator. Tracking what the wear is like on the undercarriage, even though this type of machine mulcherparts sits in one place, is still important in your maintenance plan.
Check the wear on the machine’s undercarriage with a daily visual inspection of the tracks. Depending on what your excavator is used for, the tracks may need to be replaced simply because of old age, but it could also be due to a variety of other reasons which will be touched upon in this article.
A daily inspection of the track will prevent failure. The operator should start the working day walking around the machine and examining the track. They should be looking for any cuts or tears on the track and also any indication that steel imbeds are showing. If these things are not spotted quickly, moisture or contamination could get into the track which will lead to failure of the part. If this happens the potential downtime of the machine could be worse than what it originally needed to be. When replacing the part, it is important that you purchase a high quality replacement, so that the machine lasts longer before the wear part needs replacing again.
Another thing the operator should be checking on the track is the tensioning; it should be fitted not too tight and too loose. To find out what is the right tension range, they should refer to the operation and maintenance manual.
As well as the track, the undercarriage components need inspecting. Although, daily inspection is generally too excessive, operators should regularly monitor it so that any problems are identified at an early stage. Components that should be checked include; idlers, sprockets and rollers. Idlers and rollers are permanently sealed making it hard to see any wear. Something to look for is moisture or fluid which may be leaking around the seal indicating a failure. If this happens, then you should replace the damaged wear part. In order to check the wear on the sprocket look at the teeth which should have a rounded end, if it has been worn out it would be more pointed. It is particularly important that you check this as you do not want to fix a new track onto a bad sprocket as it will accelerate the new tracks failure.
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