Excavators, Hydraulic Shovels and Rope Shovels spend most of their time digging and loading. They are only required to move short distances to reposition themselves or to move to a new area of excavation.
In the mining environment, most undercarriage inspections will utilize the machine hours to forecast the residual life of the components. A large proportion of these hours will be spent digging, causing the calculation of the residual life to be substantially inaccurate. A far better method is to utilize the propel hours to forecast the residual life. Propel hours should be a low percentage of the machine hours, not normally greater than 7% of machine hours.
Warranty on components will typically be limited to a certain number of travel hours, and this can be monitored closely if propel hours are being recorded and managed as part of the undercarriage inspections.
Note: that carrying any extra weight over and above the OEM fitment for Mine Specific application will reduce undercarriage life and potentially void warranty.
Where the propel hour percentage is greater than 7% and rising and it is imperative to move the machine significant distances, there are a number of solutions available on the market which might require initial investment, but will create significant savings in undercarriage component costs down the track.