Dozer Undercarriage Health and Maintenance Drives Total Machine Performance; PLUS: The Dozer Health Checklist
- Make wider turns: Counter-rotation, or pivot turns, causes accelerated wear. Make wider more gradual turns, such as Y-turns, when possible.
- Work up and down on slopes: Constant operation on a slope or hill in one direction can accelerate wear to idlers, rollers and guide lugs by placing greater forces on one side. Travel straight up or down the slope. Turns are best performed on level ground. Some jobs require hillside work - for these situations, keep in mind that minimizing time on the slope will always payoff in reduced wear and load to the undercarriage.
- Alternate turning direction: Continuous turning on the same side can cause asymmetrical wear and accelerated wear. Make every effort to balance the direction of turns throughout the day. If it’s not possible, check for wear more often.
- Control track spinning: Unnecessary spinning can increase wear and decrease productivity. Decrease the blade or bucket load to avoid it.
- Limit high-speed and reverse travel: Higher speeds can cause more wear, as can unnecessary travel in reverse. Minimize unproductive high speeds and avoid excessive travel in reverse.
- Use caution when edges are encountered: avoid loading just the side of the track pad, instead of the entire pad supporting the weight.
- Ensure proper track tension: Monitor track tension when the machine is in actual working conditions and adjust it accordingly. When steel tracks are too tight, it accelerates bushing wear. When they’re too loose it can create instability, and in the worse case scenario, it can cause the tracks to derail. Proper tension also ensures the machine puts available power to best use. Check the operator’s manual for specific track inspection and tensioning procedures.
- Keep the undercarriage clean: At the end of the day, clean out mud and debris from the undercarriage since it can build up and accelerate component wear. Doing so at the end of the day ensures that material that might freeze or dry up and harden overnight is removed. Optional covers and guards are available to help keep the undercarriage clean.
- Conduct daily inspections: Operators should inspect the undercarriage for excessive or uneven wear, as well as damaged or missing components. Any issues should be immediately addressed to minimize further wear or damage.
- Follow the schedule: Conduct a complete undercarriage inspection in keeping with the manufacturer’s recommendations. More frequent inspections should be performed if the machine is used in conditions that are more demanding than normal.
- Check all lines and components for water or oil leaks
- Check that all visible nuts and screws are tightened
- Check for structural damage that may have happened overnight or since the last operation
- Check the oil level, as well as the coolant level at the overflow tank
- Check for clogging or damage to the radiator
- Check the engine accessory drive belt condition
- Check that the air filter restriction warning light is not illuminated
- Check the fuel tank, DEF tank1 and hydraulic reservoir levels
- Check that the hydraulic oil is clean
- Check that all battery connections are properly tightened
- Check the condition of the blades, cutting edges and the ripper points
- Lubricate all grease points. Severe conditions, such as water immersion, may require more frequent greasing
- Did the engine start correctly? Are the exhaust fumes normal? Are there any unusual sounds?
- Check for abnormal noise on the hydraulic components
- Check for water, fuel or oil leaks
- Check that the audible alarm devices, working lights and wipers are in working order
- Check that all hydraulic circuits are functioning correctly.
- Change the engine oil and filter
- Change the hydraulic oil filters
- Change the fuel filter
- Clean in-line DEF supply filter
- Engine oil and filter replacement
- Fuel filter replacement
- Check battery fluid level
- Change the oil in the final drive and the planetary drive
- Drain condensation from the fuel tank
- Clean the fuel tank cap
- Replace the hydraulic reservoir breather
- Clean in-line DEF supply filter
- Replace the drive belt
- Replace hydraulic oil filter
- Drain, flush and replace engine coolant
- Change the hydraulic/hydrostatic drive system oil and filters
- Clean the reservoir suction screen
- Replace the engine primary and secondary air filter
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