Undercarriage by its very nature is a high wearing item with considerable cost associated with the components. By comparison, on a large dozer, the undercarriage will be changed out 3 to 4 times for the equivalent life of the engine. The cost of each undercarriage changeout almost equal in value to the cost of the engine rebuild. This means undercarriage will cost in the order of 3 to 4 times the cost of maintaining the engine. Therefore, the undercarriage should really be getting a lot more attention.
It is trickier to identify immediate signs of wear on Undercarriage and also requires a certain level of skill (easily trainable). Many technicians are familiar with engines, which radiate signs of distress quickly making it easy to identify potential wear; – smoke, loss of power, abnormal sounds etc. but many technicians have less experience with Undercarriage, hence less attention and greater potential wear and damage.
Most suppliers provide the inspection services on undercarriage free as part of their service offering, but equipment reliability management has very different drivers; – being equipment uptime, maintenance scheduling, and achieving maximum life from the components. This requires regular collection of inspection measurements and condition information focused on the reliability centred drivers. Collecting this data is always going to incur a cost whether in labour or measurement and recording systems.
Where undercarriage is not being measured or managed regularly, average life achieved across the components will not be more than 65% of the full potential life.
Undercarriage that is measured and managed enables 80 to 110% of component life to be achieved, a difference of between 15 and 45% from the un-managed case. The maths is easy from here, with savings that can be achieved varying between 15 and 45%. Managing the undercarriage across a fleet of machines on a single or multiple jobsites can then have a multiplier effect on the savings achieved.
The TrackTreads Undercarriage systems enables an undercarriage expert to manage the undercarriage across multiple mine-sites from a central location, provided technicians are trained and proficient in performing the inspections. This training and know how is available through the system.