Utility Contractor

MAR-APR 2018

As the official magazine of NUCA, Utility Contractor presents the latest information affecting every aspect of the utility construction industry, including technological advancements, safety issues, legislative developments and instructional advice.

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20 Utility Contractor | March/April 2018 T he undercarriage of tracked heavy equipment, such as crawler excavators, consists of many moving components that need to be maintained for them to function properly. If the undercarriage is not routinely inspected and maintained, it can easily cost you valuable time, money and potentially decrease the track's lifespan. By following these six tips, outlined by Shane Reardon, Doosan excavator product specialist, you can get better performance and life out of your crawler excavator's steel track undercarriage when working in construction applica- tions. Tip No. 1: Keep the Undercarriage Clean At the end of each workday, excavator operators should take time to clean out dirt and other debris that may lead to undercarriage buildup. Regardless of the application, if the undercarriage is dirty, it needs to be cleaned. If the un- dercarriage is not routinely 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, dirt and debris will freeze," Reardon says. "Once that material freezes, it can start to rub on the bolts, loosen the guiding and seize up the rollers, leading to potential wear later on. Cleaning the undercarriage helps prevent unnecessary downtime." In addition, debris can add additional weight to the un- dercarriage, therefore reducing fuel economy. Shovels and pressure washers can be used to help clean the undercar- riage. Many manufacturers offer undercarriages that are designed for easier track carriage cleanout, helping debris fall to the ground rather than become packed in the un- dercarriage. Tip No. 2: Routinely Inspect the Undercarriage It is important to complete a full undercarriage inspec- tion for excessive or uneven wear, as well as look for dam- aged or missing components. According to Reardon, if the machine is being used in harsh applications or other chal- lenging conditions, the undercarriage may need to be in- spected more frequently. The following items should be inspected on a routine basis: • Drive motor • Drive sprockets • Main idlers and rollers • Rock guards • Track bolts • Track chains • Track shoes • Track tension How to Properly Maintain Your Excavator Undercarriage Follow These 6 Tips to Keep Your Equipment in Running Efficiently By Allison McNeal

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