10 DOZER OPERATING TIPS FOR REDUCING MACHINE WEAR
Your first line of defense in protecting machine componentry is mindful machine operation. How a bulldozer is operated has a large impact on the length and performance capabilities of machine components.
First, hire operators who have demonstrated that they care about the equipment they operate. They perform checks each time before using the machine. They don’t idle the machine. They operate within specified manners. They clean the machine.
Then train your operator on all relevant aspects of the particular machine they are operating, as well as any relevant worksite and environmental conditions.
Here are 10 tips for operating a dozer in ways that decrease component wear.
- Limit high-speed travel
Operating at high-speed increases stress on undercarriage components and that accelerates wear; the tracks are especially affected by high speeds.
- Limit non-productive travel
Only travel if needed. Take the shortest route to your destination. Less travel translates into less wear.
- Limit idling
Idling a machine can have significant negative consequences to the engine. It is better to turn a machine off when you plan for it to be idle for more than 30 seconds.
- Limit reverse operation
When operating in reverse, most of the pins and bushings are under stress (are in contact with other components, are under a load, or are in motion), whereas there is significantly less stress when operating in forward.
- Don’t be one-sided
Turning puts greater stress on the inside track so, by constantly turning to one side, sprocket teeth, bushings, track links, idler, roller flanges, and tread surface on one track will exhibit greater wear than those same components on the other track. Plan your turns so you wear out both sides equally.
Pivot Provides Cost-Effective Quality Choice for Undercarriage Replacement
“Pivot Provides Cost-Effective Quality Choice for Undercarriage Replacement”
- Reduce slippage and spinning
When tracks slip or spin, it puts heavy contact between several pairs of components: the sprocket teeth and track bushings and the track links and rollers. Idler tread surfaces and track shoe grousers also demonstrated indications of accelerated wear.
- Operate with the terrain
The terrain can have negative consequences on component wear. Operate in such a way that reduces or mitigates those impacts.
- Working uphill. This shifts the weight of the machine to the rear. The increased load on the rear roller accelerates wear on the sprocket teeth and bushing.
- Working downhill. This shifts the weight to the front of the machine, placing an increased load on the front roller, idler tread surface, and track links. A greater load is also placed between the sprocket teeth and track links and the idler tread surface, thereby reducing the life of bushings, sprockets, track links, rollers, and idlers.
- Working on a slope. This shifts weight to one side of the machine; this accelerates wear on the roller flanges, the sides of the track links, and the grouser ends. Alternate directions so both sides of the machine experience the same amount of wear.
- Working on a crown. This puts additional weight on the inner ends of the track shoes, and that load is transferred to the inside track links, inside roller, idler tread surfaces, bushing ends, and sprocket contact areas.
- Working in a depression. This puts additional weight on the outer ends of the track shoes, and that load is transferred to the outside track links, outside roller, idler tread surfaces, bushing outside ends, and sprocket contact areas.
- Check the track tension regularly
Half of undercarriage wear can be reduced by maintaining proper track-chain tension, so check the tension regularly.
- Clean the undercarriage frequently
When soil or other debris builds up in the tracks, it can prevent components from working properly with other components, such as sprocket teeth and track-chain bushings, and this accelerates wear.
- Check fluid regularly
Before operating a machine, check fluid levels (gas, DEF (diesel exhaust fluid), hydraulic oil, etc.). Low fluid levels can impede performance and accelerate wear of related components.
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