Causes of Excavator Track Damage

The track of an crawler excavator is composed of track segments, track bushings, track pins, track plates, and track plate bolts. The market price for a set of tracks ranges from tens of thousands to over a hundred thousand yuan. The service life of the tracks is mainly determined by the quality of manufacturing and the operator's usage. Correct operation can extend the life of the tracks and reduce construction costs.

Reasons for Track Damage: Failure to timely remove stones from the track: During construction, soil or gravel may enter the tracks and get squeezed between the guide wheels, drive wheels, and tracks as they rotate, causing the tracks to stretch. When the squeezing force inside the track exceeds the bearing capacity of the track, it may break. If soil or gravel enters the track, the guide wheels and support wheels may lose control, leading to track misalignment. If the operator forces the tracks off track without loosening the tension cylinder, the tracks are prone to breakage and accelerated wear on the wheels.

Improper choice of travel routes: Construction roads and sites for earthworks are uneven. If the operator does not choose a suitable travel route when moving the crawler excavator, the weight of the machine may be concentrated on a single point of the track when it presses against the uneven surface. This violates safety regulations. If the machine frequently travels on roads with slopes exceeding 30 degrees (the regulations stipulate 30 degrees), and when the machine cannot climb the slope, the operator may use the force from the bucket arm cylinder to help climb the slope. These practices can easily damage the tracks.

Improper manipulation during turning: During a turn, one side of the track moves while the other side remains stationary, rotating only on the ground. If a protruding part on the road surface obstructs the movement and the engine forcefully rotates the track, it may cause track damage.

Uneven stop surface: When the excavator is on an uneven surface, it violates safety regulations, especially when excavating on rocks after blasting. The size of the rock particles varies, making it difficult to level the stop surface. As a result, the tracks may experience uneven force distribution, leading to track rupture or breakage due to concentrated stress.

Failure to check track tension promptly: Loose tracks can lead to wear. When traveling, if the track does not align with the guide wheels and support wheels, it may cause track nibbling and derailment, damaging the tracks.

Proper Operation is Key to Prolonging Track Life
When there is soil and gravel inside the track, change the angle between the excavator's boom and arm to keep it within 90° to 110°. Then place the bottom of the bucket on the ground and rotate one side of the track several times while the other side remains stationary, to completely remove the soil or gravel from inside the track. Repeat the process for the other side of the track.

When traveling, choose flat terrain or soil surfaces whenever possible, and avoid frequent machine movements. For longer distances, consider transporting the excavator by trailer to minimize unnecessary movement. When climbing slopes, avoid excessively steep ones. If necessary, extend the route to reduce the slope gradient and prevent track elongation and damage.

When making turns, manipulate the excavator's boom and arm to maintain a 90° to 110° angle, and place the bucket bottom on the ground to raise the front sides of the tracks about 10cm to 20cm off the ground. Then operate one side of the track while turning the machine. If turning left, manipulate the right-side track and turn the machine right using the swing control lever. Repeat the process if necessary until the desired direction is achieved. This approach reduces friction between the tracks and the ground and minimizes resistance, thus preventing track damage.

When conducting construction work, ensure that the stop surface is flat. When excavating on rocks of varying sizes, use smaller gravel or stone powder to fill the stop surface. If these materials are not available locally, transport them by car from elsewhere. A level stop surface ensures even force distribution on the excavator's tracks, reducing the risk of damage.

During machine maintenance, check the tension of the tracks regularly, maintaining the appropriate tension, and lubricate the track tension cylinders with grease as needed. To check, drive the machine forward a certain distance (about 4 meters) before stopping. Measure the maximum distance between the surface of the track and the ground using a long rod. If the distance exceeds the specified size (usually 10~30mm for Sany excavators), grease needs to be added.
 

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