Proper track maintenance for crawler excavators is often overlooked. The tracks bear the weight of the machine, but too often we glance at the tracks and move on. Here are five easy steps for achieving proper track tension for your crawler excavator.
1. Turn the upper structure of the excavator so that the boom is perpendicular to the travel direction.
2. Position the arm perpendicular to the ground, with the bucket floor level to the ground. Use the boom to press down and elevate the track on one side so the entire track is suspended above ground level.
3. Operate the travel on the elevated side/track and let the track make several complete revolutions to remove debris and loosen binding links. Bring the tracks to a complete stop and engage the excavator’s hydraulic safety switch with the tracks still suspended.
4. Stay in the cab. Have an assistant kneel next to the hanging track at its lowest point and use a standard measuring tape to measure from the bottom of the track frame to the upper face of the track shoe. Compare this measurement with the proper tension specifications listed in your Operator’s Manual. For example, the allowable range for a Hyundai R210LC-9 is 11.8 to 13.0 inches.
5. If adjustment is required, instructions are listed in your Operator’s Manual. The grease within the adjuster cylinder maintains the track tension. Locate the adjustment grease fitting in a small hole on the track frame near the idler. Inject grease with a grease gun to tighten the track. Use a wrench to carefully loosen the fitting and release grease to loosen the track. The grease will be under pressure, so wear proper personal protection equipment, such as gloves and safety glasses. You can also call your local dealer and your equipment manufacturer’s service department for additional assistance.
Jason Goodson is regional service manager for Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas.