Track Tension

Using the right track tension can help you avoid unnecessary wear and tear or damage to your excavator’s undercarriage. Your owner’s manual will let you know how to judge that and how to correct any deviance. First, let the excavator run for about 30 minutes to acclimate it to the worksite conditions, then see how the track tension looks. After that, check the tension after every 10-15 hours of use.

Looser tracks are better for soft or muddy conditions, while tighter tracks grip better on firm ground.

Shoe Width

If your shoe width is too narrow, your excavator might sink, opening up the undercarriage to debris and dirt. Too wide, and the tracks might experience excess wear. Again, ground conditions make a difference. Narrower shoes are better for penetrating and gripping rocky terrain, while wider shoes can keep your excavator from sinking into soft or loose terrain. Aim for the narrowest shoe width that still gives you the correct functionality and floatation.

Clean Machine

Your undercarriage is never going to win a beauty contest, but keeping it clean can help improve performance, preventing issues like:

  • Increased wear on parts in the undercarriage, lowering part longevity
  • Added weight to the undercarriage, lowering fuel efficiency
  • More difficulty inspecting and accessing various components for maintenance

Use a shovel to remove any large chunks of dirt, or a pressure washer for more precise cleaning. Remove debris as soon as possible to keep it from hardening.

Regular Inspections

You should carefully inspect your entire excavator after every 1,000-2,000 hours of use. That might be more frequent, depending on the work conditions it handles. 

During inspection, look for:

  • Uneven wear and tear, or accelerated wear, which might indicate a problem that requires a full service visit
  • Missing or damaged components to replace
  • Oil leakage in the rollers, idlers, and drives that might indicate a failed seal and can point to impending failure for those components
  • Any out-of-place parts in the tracks, which may indicate a loose trackpad or broken track pin

If you find any issues you can’t immediately handle, come see us at Bobcat of York, Frederick, Hagerstown, and Adams County as soon as possible! Our maintenance teams are ready and able to help you fix any malfunction you may have. We proudly serve the people of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Baltimore, Maryland—let us serve you today!