It is needless to say that a worn excavator drive sprocket can significantly damage the tracks and other undercarriage components. It is attached to the final drive motor so that when the drive motor and the sprocket rotate as well. Its teeth then mesh with the links on the track and make the track move. Much like a sprocket on a bicycle catches the chain, causing the wheels to turn.
How to check the wear of the excavator drive sprocket?
Although the sprocket wheels do not wear frequently, they should be checked regularly for signs of damage or wear. The main area to check is the teeth that mesh with the machine track. If the drive star is worn, the teeth will be more pointed and sharp, while a good sprocket will have more rounded teeth. This is shown in the photo below: Worn sprocket wheel
As the teeth begin to wear down, the diameter of the wheel becomes smaller. This results in a so-called pitch mismatch – the teeth of the drive star no longer interact as effectively with the track links.
Checking the wear condition of the sprocket wheels is particularly important when replacing the tracks in the excavator. This is because a worn sprocket wheel accelerates the wear of the track links, which in turn results in wear on the tracks in a much shorter time. It is always recommended to replace the drive stars when installing a new track set on the machine. This saves time and costs of their assembly and prevents premature wear and extends the working time of the excavator.
How to prevent wear?
One of the most important ways to prevent premature star wear is to check the track tension. Too much tension will wear the sprocket wheel teeth. Keeping the undercarriage clean is also important as the condition of the undercarriage can affect the tension on the tracks. Especially in cases of dried mud and debris.
Without a working excavator drive sprocket, the track drive will not be able to propel the machine. Drive sprockets must be replaced before it begins to wear the tracks or affect the performance of the final drive.