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Important tips for maintaining your tracked machine's undercarriage

November 5, 2020
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At SMS Equipment, we understand that undercarriage can represent 50% of your tracked machine’s maintenance expenses.

Follow these undercarriage maintenance tips, so you can get better performance and life out of your dozer or excavators undercarriage and help to reduce those overall maintenance costs.

Be sure to speak to your local SMS Equipment Product Support Representative about how we can help with free inspections and reporting support.
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Routinely inspect the undercarriage

Routinely inspect the undercarriage

It is important during undercarriage maintenance to complete a full undercarriage inspection for excessive or uneven wear, as well as look for damaged or missing components.
The following items should be inspected on a routine basis:
• Drive motor
• Drive sprockets
• Main idlers and rollers
• Track bolts
• Track chains
• Track shoes
• Track tension

Ignoring damage and wear on smaller components could indicate or lead to more complicated, costlier problems.

Contact us to complete your free undercarriage inspection today.

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Keep the Undercarriage Clean

If you allow the tracks to build up with dirt, mud, and other debris it will lead to premature wear on the components. Debris on the undercarriage can also make the machine feel less powerful and can also increase fuel usage. At the beginning or end of each day operators should spend some time cleaning the undercarriage – shovels and pressure washes can be used to assist with the cleaning.

Track adjustment

Incorrect track tension may lead to increased track wear, so it is important that you keep your tracks to the correct adjustment at all times. Refer to your Komatsu dozer or excavator Operation & Maintenance Manual for details of the correct adjustment and how to achieve this.

The correct shoe width

Choose the proper shoe width by considering the weight of the machine and application. For instance, narrower excavator shoes are better suited for hard soil and rocky conditions because they have better soil penetration and grip. Wide excavator shoes typically work well in soft underfoot conditions because they have more flotation with lower ground pressure.

Best practices for dozer or excavator operators

Reduce speeds – As machines accelerate, they wear the bushings, sprockets and pins.
Minimize reversing – The tracks on your machine are designed to operate with less wear when travelling forward compared to reverse travel, so you should only reverse when required.
Make wider turns – Sharp turns or pivoting the machine can lead to accelerated wear and increase the potential for de-tracking.
Minimize time on slopes – Operation time on sloped ground conditions, which increases wear on rollers, idlers and guide lugs.
Avoid obstructions – as well as uneven ground.

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Measuring Your Undercarriage Wear

Undercarriage is one of the most expensive components on your tracked machines. Documenting and knowing the life expectancy is essential to determining costs and planning for replacements on your machine. Just a half hour of your time can save you time and money in the future and reduce downtime and increase profitability on your tracked machines.
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Planned maintenance

Contact SMS Equipment today to book your free undercarriage inspection and detailed report on component wear.
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