Undercarriages are one of the more costly parts of an excavator to repair and replace so contractors can save a lot of money and downtime by ensuring the components of an undercarriage are treated in ways that maximize their lifespans.

  1. Inspect and clean the excavator track frequently Debris that gets stuck or left on the track can damage or increase the number of parts that come in contact with it.

The presence of debris can also affect its performance. When the operator enters the cab, he or she should inspect the track for debris and dirt buildup.” “In addition, the type of material will affect how and how often you clean the landing gear.” If there is sand or dry dirt on the excavator track, swing your arm over the side of the machine and push into the ground until the other track leaves the ground, rotating the overhead track forward and backward. Then, do the same thing for the opposite track. For wet or compact material, it is best to use a shovel to remove it, and the landing gear may need to be cleaned more frequently. Operators should also look for signs of damage to other landing gear components (track pads, idlers, rollers, sprockets) while inspecting the undercarriage for debris.

2. Adjusting the track tension

The tracks are an important part of the chassis and often require the most frequent adjustments.

Tracks will stretch over time and need to be tightened. How often the tracks need to be tightened depends on the application, the environment and the operator. If you don’t make too many demands on the chassis, this may be part of your weekly inspection; if you make demands on the chassis, this may be done daily.

Under-tensioned tracks will wear out more quickly than properly tensioned tracks. Likewise, tracks with too much tension will wear faster, so it’s important to have the optimum tension.

How you measure sag depends on whether your excavator is equipped with a single-top roller chassis or a double-top roller chassis.

For a single top roller chassis, open the relief valve on the chassis. Between the front idlers and the rollers, step on and apply downward pressure; this will help you see exactly how much sag is present. Place something with a straight edge, such as a two-by-four, across the track from the front idler to the rollers. Find the point where the track is sagging the most. Measure from that point to the nearest point on the straight edge. Compare this number to the number specified by the manufacturer. Tighten until the track is within specification.

3. Check components for signs of wear and tear

The chassis is made up of many parts, which need to be checked occasionally for signs of wear and tear.

For example, check the rollers for damage and flat parts. The rollers should be round, so if a part is flat, it is quite worn and should be replaced as soon as possible. Also, check for signs of moisture under the rollers. This could be a sign of a leak.

Measure the top and bottom rollers with calipers and record the measurements.

Look at the pins and bushings to see if they need to be turned. If the top half of the bushings show wear, it’s time to turn them. Measure the pins and bushings with calipers and record the measurements.

Use a tape measure to measure the width of the track shoe and a depth gauge to measure its depth. Also measure the track height and idlers with a depth gauge.

Next, compare all your numbers with those specified by the manufacturer in the machine manual. By taking a little time each day to inspect and work on the chassis, you can extend the life of the chassis and save time and money when repairing and replacing it.