Undercarriage: Maintenance Tips

Extending undercarriage life

Undercarriage elements are costly but you can maximise their life by taking the following measures.

1. Adjust tracks. It is important to keep tracks at the correct adjustment at all times. Full details can be found in your machine’s operation and maintenance manual.

2. Keep them clean. Keep tracks as clean as possible. Built up dirt, mud, dust and other ground products lead to increased wear rates, perceived lower power and increased fuel usage. Use a high-pressure hose to clean tracks and get into the habit of digging away as much dirt as possible before or after each shift.

3. Minimise reversing. Tracks wear less when moving forward. Apart from creating extra wear, reversing increases fuel consumption.

4. Understand your working conditions. Harsh conditions, including abrasive or sandy materials on a wet site, quickly wear an undercarriage but taking action at the right moment can lead to substantially longer machine life. In the past, it was accepted in an abrasive environment that you would simply run the tracks to destruction and 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.

5. Measure your undercarriage. Ensure that your Komatsu product support representative measures your undercarriage components at least every six months and even more regularly in demanding conditions. This service is available free as part of our Komatsu undercarriage inspection offering. Our representative will help you manage your undercarriage to achieve maximum life by recommending pin and bush turns, roller rotation and the replacement of sprocket rings to maximise overall component life and minimise cost. Combining regular undercarriage inspections (remembering that wear on pins and bushes is measured in millimetres) with a pin-and-bush turn can get you 60% additional life from your track.