Should you have bought your own excavator there are a few things that you should know in order to keep your new piece of machinery in the best possible decision. In this blog, we’re going to share some of the basics.

Earth moving equipment is expensive and therefore maintaining the hard working machine is essential to make it long lasting.  The undercarriage consists of various components and these certainly need proper maintenance to improve their lifespan.

Keeping the undercarriage clean is the first step towards maintaining your equipment and this should be done on a daily basis.  Each day after working with your equipment, clean the undercarriage.

Materials that get stuck on the undercarriage can wear down bolts, seize up rollers, loosen the guiding and generally add unwanted weight to all the components.  These factors can lead to a waste of fuel and cause unnecessary downtime of your equipment.

After cleaning the undercarriage, it should get a routine inspection.  By doing this the operator can establish if any components have excessive wear, are damaged or missing and check for oil leaks.  These inspections are even more essential if your equipment is operating in harsh conditions.

The following items should be inspected on a routine basis:

  • Drive motor
  • Drive sprockets
  • Main idlers
  • Rollers
  • Rock guards
  • Track bolts
  • Track chain
  • Track shoe
  • Track tension

By doing this inspection, major failure of components can be prevented.

The track frame is the backbone of an excavator.  This supports the track assembly, rollers, front idler, recoil spring and the adjusting mechanism.


Here are some tips on how to prolong the life of an excavator:

  • Alternate Turning Directions: This will prevent asymmetrical and excessive wear that is caused by continuously turning to the same side.
  • Making Wider Turns: More gradual turns as opposed to y-turns decrease the risk of de-tracking of rubber-track machines and will prevent excessive wear.
  • Unnecessary spinning can decrease productivity and increase wear.
  • Limit the amount of high speed and do minimum travelling in reverse.
  • Avoid travelling on concrete, asphalt and any abrasive materials.
  • When working up and down slopes, remember that working in one direction will place greater force on one side and increase the possibility of excessive wear to the rollers, etc. Turning when working on slopes should be done when you are on level ground.
  • Be cautious when encountering edges. Constant driving over a steep edge will cause damage to rubber tracks.
  • Depending on the terrain and work conditions, make sure you select the correct type of grouser. The more grousers you have between the track and the ground can reduce the vibration and increase the life of your equipment especially when working in more abrasive conditions.
  • Always select the shoe width that matches the weight and working conditions. Narrow shoes have better soil penetration and grips and are therefore better suited when working on hard soil or rocky conditions.  Wide shoes are best suited when you working on softer soils as they offer more flotation.