You can’t prevent undercarriage wear. The key to reducing your undercarriage costs is how you manage wear.
Extending Undercarriage Life
All undercarriage elements are wearing components and are costly to replace when required. To maximise the life of these components and minimise the costs, there are important maintenance requirements you must attend to along the way
1. Track Adjustment. It is important that you keep your tracks to the correct adjustment at all times. Refer to your Komatsu Operation & Maintenance Manual for your machine for details of the correct adjustment and how to achieve this.
2. Keep them Clean. It is important that you keep the tracks on your machine as clean as possible at all times. If you allow the tracks to pack or build up with dirt, mud, dust and other ground products it will lead to increased wear rates, perceived lower power and increased fuel usage. You should take every opportunity to use a high-pressure hose to clean your tracks. In addition, get in the habit of digging away as much of the dirt as you can before or after each shift.
3. Minimise Reversing. The tracks on your machine are designed to operate with less wear when travelling forward, compared with reverse travel. Reversing creates extra wear and you should reverse only when required. The extra power required for reverse will also cause an increase in fuel consumption.
4. Understand your Working Conditions. Look at the conditions where your equipment is operating; they are a major contributor to wear. Harsh conditions, such as abrasive or sandy materials in a wet site, will quickly wear an undercarriage. However, even in the worst conditions (and wet sand is right up there), keeping a close eye on undercarriage wear and taking action at the right moment can provide a substantially longer machine life.
In the past, it was accepted in an abrasive environment that you would simply run the tracks to destruction, then replace the links. Now, the preferred option is to carry out regular inspections and do a pin-and-bush turn (turning the pins and bushes through 180°) when wear gets to a certain level. This effectively gives more life from your undercarriage.
5. Measure your Undercarriage. You should ensure that your Komatsu Customer Support Sales Representative (CSSR) measures and checks your undercarriage components regularly; every six months at a minimum, more in demanding conditions. This is available free as part of our Komatsu e-Care undercarriage inspection service. By doing this, the CSSR will be able to help you manage you undercarriage to achieve maximum life and schedule replacement for minimal downtime. Your CSSR will be able to recommend pin & bush turns, roller rotation and the replacement of sprocket rings to maximise overall component life and minimise cost.
Combining regular undercarriage inspections (remembering that the wear on pins and bushes is measured in millimetres, so it’s not just a case of a visual inspection – you have to have the right tools), with a pin-and-bush turn can get you another 60% additional life from your track.
For example, if you do a pin-and-bush turn at 5000 hours, you stand a good chance of getting another 3000 to 4000 hours from your track. If you didn’t do the turn, you may only get a total of 6000-7000 hours.