The machine undercarriage accounts for approximately 40-60% of the maintenance costs over the life of the machine. Proper undercarriage maintenance is essential to maximize machine performance in winter. In this article, we will focus on why maintaining your caterpillar track in winter is so important. /track maintenance in winter/
Cleanliness is very important
Very cold temperatures can have a significant impact on the excavator’s performance and maintenance… If proper precautions are not taken to prevent damage from occurring. When the outside temperatures are below zero, it is recommended to clean the tracks of mud and snow after finishing work in such weather. Frozen lumps have a destructive effect on the caterpillar components. In addition, it is important to check that all the rollers are turning before moving off. Caterpillars that are clean and well taut should not run smoothly in frost.
A good way to assess the operation of the undercarriage before driving off is to put it in neutral prior to driving off. You have to gently lift each side of the machine on the bucket in turn. Then start the caterpillars in the air, at idle speed. If everything is fine, work can begin.
If very low temperatures are forecast for the next day… It is a good idea to set the machine down on firm ground and clean the tracks in more detail. This prevents unpleasant surprises in the morning and wasting time forcing frozen soil off the running gear. A machine left in the mud overnight can easily break down. This is because the water increases in volume as it freezes.
Sometimes, for fear of negative temperatures, the machines are left based on makeshift sleepers made of branches or boards. This helps reduce the likelihood that the excavator will freeze to the ground. /track maintenance in winter/
The steel tracks do not require any special frost protection. It is important to regularly clear mud from them, as it can be difficult to get the tracks contaminated with frozen mud moving. However, let’s not forget that in extreme frosts, the metal becomes less plastic, and thus more susceptible to damage. This mainly applies to more worn parts.
Now you know what maintenance is for in winter and why it is worth taking care of the excavator undercarriage. Especially during this period.