dozer undercarriage
dozer undercarriage

Select and Maintain Your Dozer Undercarriage

Undercarriage parts and service can total half of the dozer maintenance costs. The key to getting the longest life and best ROI is to follow Caterpillar guidelines for selection, inspection and maintenance. This ensures that all of the parts on your undercarriage wear out in a predictable, manageable manner.

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

By extending the life of your mining undercarriage system, you reduce costs, downtime and unplanned maintenance. With good protocols you can even schedule parts replacement and rebuilds between jobs or during the offseason.

Kyle Brown, an undercarriage specialist, provides recommendations on inspections and maintenance for Cat® dozer undercarriage. Brown suggests there are three methods for lines of defense when it comes to maximizing undercarriage life. Keep reading or check out this video to learn these tips.

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Cat® Undercarriage Maintenance | D11 Walkaround

 

METHOD ONE: CONSULTATION

When a Cat dealer provides a dozer undercarriage consultation, they pull from their expertise and industry best practices. But if you share more information about your specific operation conditions, they’ll make even better recommendations. Sharing information such as the following helps sharpen recommendations for your dozer undercarriage:

  • Length of ownership. Putting a seven-year undercarriage on a dozer you only plan to keep for three years may not be the best allocation of equipment dollars.

  • Operating hours. Because undercarriage wears in proportion to the time the machine spends moving, your dealer can plan maintenance based on operating hours.

  • Soil and ground conditions. Undercarriages last longer in loamy Midwestern farm soil than in sand, gravel, shale and rock.

  • Impact. Rocks, tree stumps or other immovable objects flex the undercarriage. This may create different wear rates and patterns. 

  • Grades and slopes. Uphill, downhill or side slope maneuvers also stress your undercarriage components in ways that flat surfaces do not.

With this information, your Cat dealer can provide custom recommendations. And for fixed maintenance costs, be sure to inquire about the Undercarriage Customer Value Agreements (CVAs) your Cat dealer offers.

 

METHOD TWO: INSPECTION

To maintain your equipment, check fluids, grease and general conditions at the start of every shift. Add the following inspections to your daily checks to keep your undercarriage working at its best.

  • Your inspection should begin with some of the smallest components on your dozer. Inspect your joints and pins to make sure they are greased and not dry.

  • Check the top and bottom rollers for any leaks or cracks in the shells. You’ll also want to examine the idler to make sure it is shimmed correctly with appropriate wear.

  • While inspecting your mining equipment, make sure you don’t overlook your bolts. Drive sprockets should not show cracking, uneven wear or loose bolts.

  • Shoe bolts should all be tight and intact. Make sure guide guard bolts aren’t missing and the guide guard is not wearing into the bogie.

End your inspection with a visual check. Eyeball the track tension. Too much sag or not enough sag accelerates wear. And always keep debris from building up around moving components.

 

METHOD THREE: SMART OPERATION

Coach your operators on how to minimize track wear. Provide guidelines to your operators so they can help extend the life of your dozer undercarriage.

  • Don’t operate at high speeds. And minimize side slope work — make every pass count. 

  • If the tracks are slipping, the operator is pushing the machine past its limits. Two light passes are better than one heavy cut.

  • Minimize time spent going in reverse, uphill and downhill. On a large site, design roads with the flattest grades possible. 

  • Structure your jobs so the dozer doesn’t have to travel further than is optimal for undercarriage health. 100 yards is considered the uppermost limit, but longer pushes with lighter loads are acceptable in some cases. 

  • And to ensure your operation is working at its best, learn how the Custom Track Service Pro (CTS Pro) can help with mine site maintenance.

For more information on how to select and maintain your dozer undercarriage, consult with your dealer.

CONSULT, INSPECT, MEASURE, MANAGE

Daily checks, annual inspections and smart operating extend dozer undercarriage life and lower costs.

HERE’S HOW
CONSULT, INSPECT, MEASURE, MANAGE
CONSULT, INSPECT, MEASURE, MANAGE

 

 

CONNECT WITH YOUR CAT® DEALER

Find out more about how your dealer can support your mining operation and keep your jobsite moving.

Consult
CONNECT WITH YOUR CAT® DEALER
CONNECT WITH YOUR CAT® DEALER

 

 

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Want even more info to help you keep your mining business running smoothly?
Check out our article page with tips for controlling costs and increasing productivity.