When you purchased your Cat® forestry machine with genuine Cat Undercarriage, you made a smart investment. A significant portion of the owning and operating cost of your machine is undercarriage related. Following these simple tips will help you keep costs down.
- High forward travel rates (idlers first)
- Heavy lifting and grading must occur over the idlers.
- Light lifting and grading, any other location around the machine.
- Occasionally, slightly lift tracks to clean soil from bushings:
-maintains proper track tension.
-minimizes track indexing due to packing.
- Minimize travelling with heavy lift over side.
- Contact between shoe and shoe support wears away leading edge of shoe and can cause shoe crossing/breaking.
- Typically short distances
- Idlers in downhill position so heavy loads are transferred from shoes to links to idlers, not shoes to links to bushings to sprockets.
- Do not travel with grapple full of logs over side. This can cause leading edge of shoe to contact shoe supports, wearing away the leading edge much faster.
- Minimize stump jumping on edges of shoe. If you must climb over stump, approach in dead center of shoe to minimize shoe deflection/crossing.
- Minimal travel
- A smooth bench is key to long life:
-Undercarriage life is not typically limited due to wearing out.
-Structural failures are common as the machine sits in one location, used only for impacts/load shifting.
-If your machine is rocking back and forth, the bench is not adequately built.
- Rotate track occasionally to spread the loading evenly across the undercarriage.
- Heavy lift over idlers; load truck over side:
-Keep boom and stick close when over side to minimize tilting/leaning.
-Minimize travel with machine leaning over side. Contact between shoe and shoe support wears away leading edge of shoe and can cause shoe crossing/breaking.
Track Feller Bunchers
- High travel with heavy lift, one of the most difficult applications:
-Idlers first – for both wear and structural concerns.
-Do not travel with loads.
-If you can’t avoid a stump, approach it center of shoe (between bolts). Do not clip edge of stump with edge of shoe.
-If clear-cutting small trees over side, switch sides of machine frequently to share load from right track to left; do not swing cab 180 degrees.
Loading on Trailer
Some of the highest load cycles are seen during loading the machine on the trailer.
- Approach trailer square on, both tracks at the same time.
- Make sure your shoes contact the trailer in the center of the shoes, not between the shoes.
- Use boom/stick to assist in setting machine down easy:
-Free falling a couple of feet can send loads many times the machine’s weight into the undercarriage.
- It is vital to the machine to avoid contact between shoe and shoe support.
- Ice lugs should be applied only when absolutely necessary:
-Minimize length and height of ice lugs.
-Apply only to leading edge grousers – pattern of 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1 or staggered. Do not apply too far outside of track bolts.
- Daily cleanouts are necessary, especially during freeze-thaw situations:
-Special focus around carrier rollers (minimizes roller seizing) and between bushings (allows proper sprocket-to-bushing contact).
- For machines with track over 1,500 hours and parked for a month or more:
-Exercise the track for a few minutes each month so track joints do not seize up.
- Inspect daily for loose hardware, broken shoes, etc. Hammer to listen for loose hardware and repair/replace immediately.
- At every track replacement, inspect shoe supports for excessive wear. Repair/ replace as necessary.
- Maintain track tension daily.