Repairing of heavy equipment can turn out to be an expensive affair as some parts of the machine may need to be replaced and they must be costing very high which can become unaffordable for many in the construction business. However, when it comes to the repair of equipment that are of utmost importance to the project and without which you will not be able to proceed any further then you are left with no other choice but to get it replaced or repaired.
One of the most critical parts of the heavy machinery is the undercarriage. It is primarily that part which carries the entire load of the machine and if that has any issues working, then there is a possibility that the machine might take a halt. So whenever you come across any problem that is related to the undercarriage of the machine, you got to ensure that you fixed it as soon as you can before things move out of your control.
The track of an excavator is considered to be one of the strongest parts of the machine. It has to go through unaccountable frictions on a daily basis. The excavator works in a muddy ditch as well as on snow. It has to work on rough terrain most of the times which is why the chances of its tracks getting ruined are much higher. Well, what one needs to do is pay good enough attention to the tracks whenever they seem to experience things are not good down on the tracks. Due to the horrendous friction that it goes through, there are chances that the rubber of the track will tear off.
How to Repair Excavator Track
The steps in repairing your excavator tracks are pretty simple, but you’ll need help and the proper tools to do it efficiently and safely. Replacing rubber tracks can be done by yourself (but extra hands wouldn’t hurt) and you’ll obviously need to find and buy replacement skid steer tracks first. Read on, and you should be back to work in no time!
Step 1. Make sure that you’re doing the repair somewhere spacious, free of debris, and safe. An area with a flat ground would be ideal.
Step 2. Suspend your tracks mid-air so you can start working on it. Revolve the house so that the dozer blade is on the opposite side of the boom. You can start picking the machine up by pushing the dozer blade down. Then you can use the boom to push the rest of the machine up.
The machine will then be standing on the boom and the blade with its wheels lifted, which is okay. For added security, especially if you’re doing the repairs on an unsure footing, you can place jacks underneath the carriage to support the weight of the machine and keep it in place.
Step 3. The next step would be to loosen the grease valve fitting with a wrench.
Note that different models could be designed in different ways, so always check your mini excavator’s repair manual first.
Loosening the grease valve fitting releases the pressure from the grease piston assembly that is keeping the tension on your idler wheel. It does this by letting the grease out which may surprise you if you’re doing this for the first time. As the grease is released, the piston assembly collapses and the idler wheel will retract. It’s still possible to do this without removing the grease fitting completely, especially if the idler is giving you a hard time retracting.
Pro tip: You can place a block of wood between the track and the sprocket and then move the track in reverse. Doing so will tighten the rubber track, which will pull the idler backward.
Step 4. At this point, you’ll find that the tracks sag from the rollers. You can now remove the rubber track from the machine. Start by pulling the track from the idler end. If you’re strong enough, you can do this with the use of pry bars. If possible though, you can tie a chain around the rubber track and use a forklift to carefully pull it.
Step 5. Once the track is completely removed from the idler end, you can now easily lift it to remove it from the sprocket and out of the working area.
Step 6. Now that the rubber track is removed, it’s time to inspect the idlers, rollers, and sprockets for damage or wear. The user’s manual from the machine’s manufacturer should tell you what to look for. If no damage is detected and no components need to be replaced, you can start cleaning the track frame from mud and other debris.
Step 7. After the frame is cleaned, you can put the rubber track back or install a new one if necessary. You can do this by lifting the rubber track over the sprocket first, making sure that the teeth are aligned. Then, rotate the sprocket slowly in reverse to help you slide the other end of the track to the idler.
It’s crucial that you use a pry bar to do this and not your hands to avoid accidents.
Step 8. Once everything is on track, you can put the tension back on the idler by tightening the grease valve fitting and filling it with grease. You need to do this until the rubber track hangs 1 to 2 inches from the lower middle roller. You may need to check your manual, though, for recommended specifications by the manufacturer.
Step 9. Run the tracks forward and in reverse to test that the new rubber track is adequately fitted.
Step 10. You can now remove all the jacks that you used and carefully lower the machine starting with the blade and then the boom.
Once everything is done, give the mini excavator a test drive and check if everything is working correctly. Your mini excavator is an investment, and just like any investment, you need to make sure that it is working properly according to your preference and need.
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