Undercarriage on dozers, mining excavators and shovels is an expensive commodity, equivalent to, or more than tyres and rims if not properly managed. This is a significant cost and as demonstrated in a previous article, can be north of $40.00per hour of operation.
Such an expensive commodity as undercarriage which is present on every jobsite must be managed. However in order to manage effectively, it needs to be measurable.
Unlike Tyres, Undercarriage contains many moving parts, and typically the most critical parts, Bushes and Pins are hidden from view. Their true condition can only be seen through comprehensive inspection.
Regular inspection will highlight a number of points required for proper management.
- The current condition of the components
- Indications of accelerated wear
- Mismatching of component percentage worn
- Component faults or missing components
- Operator techniques causing accelerated wear
- Matching of undercarriage system wear to achieve its greatest potential life
All of the above points are required to manage the undercarriage life properly. Should the undercarriage expected life only be 2,500 hours, it probably needs to be inspected every 250 hours. If achieving 6,000hours, probably every 500 hours will suffice. If you are serious about managing the costs, you need to be serious about an inspection regime and tools to complete the job properly.