Komatsu Australia is discussing with its Customers several reasons why they should choose and stick with Komatsu’s Genuine Undercarriage – foremost being component wear-life and reduction in undercarriage overall cost-per-hour.
Newman, said Komatsu Australia and Komatsu globally continuously works in partnership with its Customers in comparing life cycle data for Genuine Undercarriage. The results back up the theory behind why Genuine Undercarriage components last longer.
“Customers can find a cheaper up-front alternative appealing, but that doesn’t always equate to value over the machine’s service life,” said Scott. “If your machine has a failure and can’t operate or doesn’t achieve the desired life, that initial saving can erode and lead to a higher operating cost.
“We want the best outcomes for our Customers, so we want to be active in helping them understand the true cost whilst working efficiently. Together we gather data to understand the differences and how it impacts the Customer. Ultimately, we want our Customers to make a wise decision and maximise their profits. That won’t happen if you lose productivity and uptime due to undercarriage failure or premature change-outs due to poor wear life. This is the risk with the cheaper alternatives.”
measuring bush thickness, link, and shoe height and roller shell thickness as part of its Genuine Undercarriage support. “Customers can rely on us to monitor their undercarriage condition and be proactive in avoiding any potential problems ahead of time,” said Scott. “That way, downtime is minimised over the wear life.
in our Undercarriage Management System (UMS) for overview reporting. It provides a precise picture of the state of your undercarriage and removes the guesswork from your machinery investment.
“We can work with our Customers to plan future change-outs and conduct cost-per-hour analysis. The inspections give us visibility for what can be done to prevent any unplanned downtime through premature failures.
Scott said Genuine Komatsu undercarriages offer a greater hardness depth than the cheaper aftermarket alternatives. “Greater hardness depth in the Komatsu’s quality manufactured undercarriage components equals longer component life. Using Genuine means less downtime, parts purchases and labour costs through less undercarriage replacements over the machine’s lifecycle, reducing the overall operating cost of the machine.”
Scott said that whilst Komatsu has confidence that its Genuine Undercarriage is the best option for our Customers “We understand that there are situations where our Customers might require the support of options in reducing their operating costs. This could be the machine being at the end of its life, working in a very light-duty application or unknown future prospects for the machine.”
Komatsu is now offering a lower-cost option for select construction excavators: General Construction (GC) tracks are designed to be engaged in lower-impact applications while retaining wear life, the reassurance of buying quality Genuine Undercarriage and the back up and support of an OEM.
Whilst undercarriage wear can’t be prevented – it’s something we all must accept – Scott had plenty of valuable advice on managing undercarriage wear. “The key to reducing your undercarriage costs is monitoring the wear and overall maintenance of the undercarriage” said Scott.
Get in the habit of carrying out regular machine inspections – including the track. You are looking for things like oil leaks or unusual wear. We recommend regular inspections on excavators and dozers, inspection intervals are dependent on wear rates and site conditions. High abrasion would call for much shorter inspection intervals.
Komatsu’s undercarriage inspection service – available free of charge through Komatsu Australia’s network of Customer support sales representatives*– involves electronic and ultrasonic measurement of the undercarriage components including bush and roller shell thickness, plus link and shoe height.
This indicates the percentage of life of key undercarriage components and allows for component forecasting and on-site planning for the ordering of replacement parts in time for scheduled down-time.
When the track frames become packed with soil or material it can speed up the undercarriage wear on components. Regular cleaning can promote a longer life and reduction of premature wear.
Incorrect track tension can also affect the underfringe life dramatically. Too loose or too tight can lead to high wear, component breakage, hot joints, excessive noise or uneven wear. This is one of the most important contributing factors to premature wear.
Track can be installed backwards, if this happens bushes and sprockets can wear out faster. Also, on dozers the traction can decrease causing further issues.
One of the best ways to reduce track wear is to minimise operating in reverse; this increases wear because of the higher tension it puts on the track.
Varying the direction of turns spreads the wear, allowing you to get a full life from evenly worn components.