Maintaining excavators can be challenging at first. Excavators have complex parts, making them confusing to others. But knowing how to do it right will make it easier the next time.
We have already talked about how to maintain your excavator during certain weather. We have also talked about solving engine problems. Today, we will be focusing on how to maximize a very important excavator part: rubber tracks.
Rubber tracks help your excavator function. So we created a comprehensive guide on how to keep them in good shape. Using rubber tracks to their fullest potential is the secret ingredient! And we are here to support you during the maintenance process.
1. Apply the appropriate tracks
Preventive maintenance begins with you installing the correct rubber tracks for your excavators. Make sure that the rubber tracks have the correct pitch and length. That way, you can have the perfect match for the sprockets. Investing in the wrong brand will only cause premature damage to the rubber and gears.
Also, the tracks should be parallel to the excavator’s horsepower. If you are unsure about what rubber tracks to use, contact experts. They will be able to guide you on what brand fits best to your excavator model.
2. Set up an inspection schedule
Right rubber track maintenance relies on effective daily and monthly inspections. Before and after using, you should conduct a quick check. See if something is missing, leaking, or damaged. This task is often tiring to some. But sparing a few minutes every day can save you more money in the future.
The most common defects are in the sprockets and rollers. You should be able to detect them early on. Faulty sprockets can pull links out of the rubber tracks. Meanwhile, damaged rollers can affect their function. Replace them as necessary.
Together with daily inspections, you should also set up more in-depth examinations. This can happen every two to four months. Doing this will help you examine the tension of your tracks. You will also be able to check for the proper alignment. If you find problems, immediately conduct repairs.
3. Take out objects
You can use a pressure washer to do this one easily. Cleaning your rubber tracks is a great maintenance tip. Always take out debris in the lugs. Oftentimes, snow and ice get stuck in the area. So always remove them to avoid frozen tracks.
Remember, anything that’s stuck in the lugs will grind over time. This causes them to drop off the track. Refusing to prevent this will lead to flopped recoil mechanisms. In the long run, this will result in broken track cables.
If you do not clear out particles, they will build up. These will increase the weight and tension of the track. It will also reduce the excavator’s fuel economy. So always look out for them.
4. Steer clear from very rough site conditions
Excavators can be used in various site conditions. But that does not mean that you will not look out for them anymore. Rubber tracks also work the same way.
You can maximize the life of your rubber tracks by traveling on soft surfaces. Examples are clay, sand, dirt, and turf. As much as possible, avoid too rocky grounds. This can cause chipping, cuts, and abrasions. So inspect your site if any sharp elements can endanger the rubber tracks.
Also, avoid driving over contaminants like salts and oil. Wash them off immediately if they get on the rubber tracks.
5. Make three-point turns
Making a fast turn can be tempting. But always remember that doing that is damaging for your excavator. Most especially on rubber tracks. Rather, do a three-point turn to lessen side wear. Full and slow movements will help keep the rubber from skidding on uneven surfaces.
This technique has been proven effective. This has helped operators prevent tip-overs.
6. Operate them on idle excavators
Rotating the tracks regularly will help avoid uneven wear. This will also prevent them from losing elasticity. Do this, especially if your excavators are idle. Follow your maintenance schedule and do this tip once in a while.
Do not also replace only one rubber track. Always replace them at the same time to avoid uneven treads. Alignment issues can happen if you only replace one. This will then lead to undercarriage damage.
7. Have an appropriate rubber tracks storage
At the end of the day, the storage area plays a big role. Your extra rubber tracks should be kept in a cool and dry place. It should be out of the sun’s reach. This will help double their lifespan since the sun can cause the treads to wear faster. The rubber tracks must also be resting on their side and not stretched out.
If outside storage is your only option, always cover the entire unit. Then, park it in the shade. If you want, you can also individually cover the rubber tracks with cloths or tarps.
It is best to take off the tracks from the excavator during off-seasons.
How Long Do Rubber Tracks Usually Last?
Imagine never caring for your excavator’s parts. Your repair costs will soar. Also, your operations will be interrupted. Fortunately, it just takes a few clicks to find the right maintenance tips for you. Following the tips above are already a good start! Now, we are just left with one question. How long do these rubber tracks last?
Well, it is hard to specify the exact lifespan of rubber tracks. We only have the industry average, which is between 1,200 to 1,600 hours. The lifespan greatly depends on a lot of factors. Namely:
The quality and brand of your rubber can affect the track life. The higher the quality, the more durable it is. So always seek reliable manufacturers that can offer you what you really want.
How you operate an excavator can also affect its lifespan. If you are too aggressive, then expect damages in the future. It is better for you to be cautious when driving this machine. You should also train yourself to stick to the set maintenance schedule.
The life expectancy of rubber trucks relies on your eagerness to care for them regularly. The more serious you are in maintaining them, the longer they will last.
We have already mentioned this earlier. Yes, excavators are big. Even the mini ones are still considered big compared to other machines. But that does not mean that rubber tracks will not degrade when used in harsh environments. Working on abrasive surfaces will fastly reduce their lifespan. Different ground conditions can cause different stresses on the rubber. Constant stress will limit the track’s abilities.
A lot of factors can affect the condition of the rubber tracks. From environment to maintenance methods, you really have to be aware of these things. Being informed is the only key to helping rubber tracks reach their full potential.
Excavators can be complicated at first glance. But after learning about them, you will know that they are just like other heavy machines. You also have to take care of some of its parts to keep them going.
Rubber tracks serve as the guide for your excavators. Without it, these machines cannot even go into places. So do not just dwell on the engine. You also have to consider the rubber tracks and how it helps your machine’s efficiency.