Log loader tracked undercarriages consist of many moving components. Maintaining them is important for the undercarriage to function properly. If the undercarriage is not maintained, it can cost you time, money and decrease the track’s lifespan.
Follow these five tips and you can get better performance and life out of your log loader’s undercarriage, says Aaron Kleingartner, product and dealer marketing manager, Doosan Infracore North America.
Keep the undercarriage clean
At the end of each workday, operators should clean out dirt, sticks and other debris that may lead to undercarriage buildup. Regardless of the application, if the undercarriage is dirty, clean it. If the undercarriage is not cleaned, the faster it will lead to premature wear on components. This is especially true in colder climates.
“If operators neglect to clean the undercarriage and are working in a colder climate, the mud and other debris could freeze,” Kleingartner says. “Once that material freezes, it can start to rub on the bolts, move undercarriage components, loosen track guides and seize up the rollers, leading to potential premature wear and then failure later on. Cleaning the undercarriage helps prevent unnecessary downtime.”
Also, debris can add extra weight to the undercarriage, thus reducing fuel economy. Use shovels and pressure washers to help clean the undercarriage. Many manufacturer’s undercarriages are designed for easier track carriage cleanout, helping debris fall to the ground rather than become packed in the undercarriage.
Routinely inspect the undercarriage
It’s important to complete a full undercarriage inspection for excessive or uneven wear, as well as look for damaged or missing components. According to Kleingartner, if the machine is being used in harsh applications or other challenging conditions, like driving over stumps, the undercarriage may need to be inspected more frequently.
Inspect the following items on a routine basis:
During a routine machine walk-around inspection, operators should inspect the tracks to see if any components look out of place. If so, this could indicate a loose track pad or possibly a broken track pin. In addition, they should inspect the rollers, idlers and drives for oil leakage. These oil leaks could indicate a failed seal which could lead to a major failure in the rollers, idlers or track drive motors.
Always follow your manufacturer’s Operation and Maintenance Manual for proper undercarriage maintenance.
Follow basic practices
Certain jobsite tasks can create more wear on log loader tracks and undercarriages than other applications, so it is important that operators adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended operating procedures.
According to Kleingartner, some tips that can help minimize log loader track and undercarriage wear include:
Maintain proper track tension
Incorrect track tension may lead to increased track wear, so it is important to adhere to the proper tension. As a general rule, when your operators are working in soft, muddy conditions, it is recommended to run the tracks slightly looser.
“If steel tracks are too tight or too loose, it can quickly accelerate wear,” Kleingartner says. “A loose track could cause the tracks to de-track.”
Kleingartner advises referring to your manufacturer’s Operation and Maintenance Manual for correct log loader track-tensioning procedures.
Adhere to proper loading procedures
Your log loader operators should follow basic operating procedures—outlined in your manufacturer’s Operation and Maintenance Manual—to minimize excessive wear and track degradation. Improper operating procedures can cause stress to the track shoes and track links.
The log loader undercarriage consists of expensive components. Adhere to these five undercarriage maintenance tips and maintain proper track outlined in your manufacturer’s Operation and Maintenance Manual, to help keep your overall cost of ownership down and extend the life of your tracks.
About Aaron Kleingartner
Aaron Kleingartner is the product and dealer marketing manager for Doosan Infracore North America, LLC, headquartered in Suwanee, Georgia. Kleingartner has 18 years of product development, analytics and strategic marketing experience with Doosan.
About Doosan Infracore North America, LLC
Doosan Infracore North America, LLC, headquartered in Suwanee, Georgia, markets the Doosan brand of products that includes crawler excavators, wheel excavators, mini excavators, wheel loaders, articulated dump trucks, material handlers, log loaders and attachments. With more than 160 equipment dealer locations in North America, Doosan is known for its dedication to service and customer uptime, and durable, reliable products, says the company. na.DoosanEquipment.com.
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