Cost Management Tips for Undercarriage Maintenance on Track Loaders

by Lithium Technologies on ‎05-13-2016 02:00 PM

CATBC56533_blogimg.jpgCompact track machines serve as a useful solution for a variety of applications. Compact track loaders are ideal for heavy-duty applications that involve rocks and debris providing you with the smoothest ride available, while multi terrain loaders are ideal for applications in which there needs to be minimal ground disturbance, such as golf course landscaping. Although track machines can serve as a vital part of an operation’s fleet, many owners are concerned with the costs often associated with maintaining and servicing the undercarriage.


The good news is that a majority of these costs can be controlled with proper maintenance and operation. You can extend the life of your undercarriage by adhering to a few simple steps and tips:

  • Maximize the life of your tracks with more gradual 3-point turns.
  • Reduce wear by moving up and down a slope instead of across it.
  • Make sure your operators are experienced on track machines.
  • Avoid loose tracks, as they can cause lug damage and derailment.
  • Make sure the tracks aren’t too tight, as they can increase wear on the tracks, roller wheels, sprockets and drive motors.
  • Clean the machine’s undercarriage at the end of each workday.

While the majority of track machine owning and operating costs can be controlled, application, underfoot conditions and hours of operation make up the remainder of the uncontrollable costs. A critical factor for selection should be the hours of operation the project will demand. Applications that require increased torque and horsepower can cause more               wear on the undercarriage than others. Excavation and dozing are harder on tracks than jobs like trenching and grading. Underfoot conditions on the jobsite also play a role in the life of your undercarriage—the more abrasive the material and the more hours the project demands, the faster they wear. Rocky, jagged material and construction debris cause the most wear, while softer surfaces like soil, turf and snow are going to be easier on your tracks. This is when choosing the right tracks, based on application and terrain, is of utmost importance to help manage costs.


Some manufacturers offer several tiers of rubber track solutions, so it’s always a good idea to   research your options. First, consider your hours of operation.  If you are operating your machine more than 500 hours per year, you probably want to equip it with the manufacturer’s most durable tracks. It’s also important to factor in the underfoot conditions. Standard or   general duty tracks are better suited for smoother terrain, such as golf course applications in which minimal ground disturbance is important. Highly durable tracks embedded with metal are ideal on rocky or bumpy underfoot conditions. The undercarriage torsion axle suspension contributes to a smoother ride ensuring more material is retained in the bucket. Across the board, it is essential to match the tracks with the machine and undercarriage so the components work as a united system to maximize performance.


To learn more about how to extend the life of your compact track machine’s undercarriage or how to select the right tracks for your work, visit Cat® Rubber Track Undercarriage. For additional information, contact your local Cat® dealer or visit us online.


We’d like to hear about your compact track machine concerns and what you are doing to help extend the life of your track machine undercarriage.  

  • Are you currently considering purchasing or renting a compact track machine? If so, what are the factors that are most important to your decision?
  • On what type of underfoot conditions are you most commonly utilizing your track machine?
  • Are you doing the following to help extend the life of your machine’s undercarriage:
  • Daily walk-arounds?
  • Cleaning the undercarriage daily?
  • Is there anything else you are doing to extend the life of your machine’s undercarriage?
  • How do you train your operators on handling track machines?

by anja bbeler
on ‎06-02-2016 04:35 AM

Great tips! Some stuff which is really hard to find on the internet!

by Lithium Technologies
on ‎06-02-2016 03:45 PM

Thank you Anja! I appreciate your feedback and I am glad you found the information valuable.


- Estela Estrada

by martin
on ‎07-18-2016 07:37 AM

great tips! a machine is as good as the meintainance, better service increases the life and productivity of machines.

by Lithium Technologies
on ‎07-20-2016 10:42 AM

Thank you Martin. I appreciate your feedback. Please let us know what other type of service information we can post in future that would be of value. We welcome your ideas.

by Propel Parts
on ‎02-09-2017 04:52 AM

Useful tips for who used heavy construction equipment like track roller. The undercarriage Parts are the most costly part of any tracked machine. It is extremely important to keep the undercarriage clean. This helps ensure the longevity of components and keeps operating costs down. I also suggest buying only genuine undercarriage parts. It is more durable than cheap parts.

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