Experts’ Tips: Avoid these track loader mistakes

March 22, 2019 -  By

CHALLENGE: What are some ways to avoid mistakes when using track loaders?

Buck Storlie, ASV

Buck Storlie

ASV

Buck Storlie
Product line manager

DO use three-point turns instead of counter-rotations whenever it’s possible. DO perform regular maintenance on the machine and clean the undercarriage of mud and debris. DO pay attention to track tensioning, which should match what’s in the equipment manual. DO stay aware of your surroundings and keep the bucket just above ground level when moving. DON’T spin the tracks, especially on coarse material. DON’T quickly move into piles of material.

Jason Boerger

Jason Boerger

Bobcat

Jason Boerger
Marketing manager

DO consider what attachments may be used and how large a load the machine will need to lift. This will help customers make a more informed decision about rated operating capacity, engine horsepower and hydraulic flow required to operate the compact track loader and attachments. DO operate or demo the machine to give you an idea of whether it will be able to perform the specific tasks you will demand from it. DON’T just rely on machine specs to decide on the type and size of machine you need. Make an informed decision prior to purchase.

Debbie Townsley, Case

Debbie Townsley

Case Construction Equipment

Debbie Townsley
Product marketing manager

DO closely monitor the health and performance of the tracks. DO travel straight up and down on slopes as much as possible to minimize excessive stress to one set of tracks. DO clean the tracks and undercarriage at the end of the day, as the constant presence of dirt and other materials is abrasive to the inner workings. DO avoid hard edges and curbs whenever possible. DON’T forget, excessive counter-rotation can lead to accelerated wear and a greater possibility of detracking.

Kevin Coleman, Caterpillar

Kevin Coleman

Caterpillar

Kevin Coleman
Product Manager

DO equip your machine with the best track tread design for your work. Due to narrowly spaced tread bars, a track with a bar-style tread delivers minimal ground disturbance, making it ideal for performing finish-grade work. It leaves behind a light footprint of narrow, parallel ridges that are easily knocked down with a rake. A bar-style track tread also offers extra traction in the snow. DON’T forget, a bar tread is also easier on existing surfaces, making it ideal for completing jobs without the need for a rework.

Chris Thompson, Ditch Witch

Chris Thompson

Ditch Witch

Chris Thompson
Compact equipment product manager

DO match the machine to the job requirements. Overloading a machine with heavy materials can increase ground pressure and potentially damage turf. DO consider using a wider or longer track when moving heavy materials to more evenly disperse weight. DON’T make sharp turns, as this can damage turf. Landscaping crews can reduce or eliminate the need to counter-rotate a machine on turf by planning a clear path for equipment before the project begins. In doing so, operators can use their machines to transport materials without risking ground damage.

Chris Trampush, JCB

Chris Trampush

JCB

Chris Trampush
Product manager for skid-steer and compact track loaders

DO check and maintain awareness of your surroundings. This can prevent damage to the machine or property and can help avoid injuries. Take a few extra minutes to check for obstructions, people or hazards within the vicinity of the machine. DO conduct daily maintenance checks. DON’T try to lift more weight than recommended. This can cause the machine to tip or cause hydraulic cylinder failure. Know the operating capacity of your machine, keep the weight of the load at or below the maximum lift weight and keep the load as low to the ground as possible.

Justin Steger, John Deere

Justin Steger

John Deere Construction & Forestry

Justin Steger
Inside district manager, compact construction equipment

DO keep tracks clean and ensure proper track tension to prevent downtime and extend track life. Some compact track loaders suggest checking track tension every 50 hours. DO stay within the rated operating capacity and tip loads to help avoid mistakes. DO turn at the correct angle to not damage tracks. DON’T maneuver compact track loaders across sloped terrain types. Work up and down a slope to uphold the machine’s quality and durability over time. When transitioning landscapes, turning at the correct angle is important to not damage the track.

Keith Kramlich, Takeuchi

Keith Kramlich

Takeuchi-US

Keith Kramlich
National service and warranty manager

DO perform regular cleanings of the belly pan. This will allow heat to escape and keep excessive hydraulic temperature from impacting engine temperature, as the oil cooler is right next to the radiator. DO replace dirty filters. Using compressed air to blow the filters out will damage them and allow dirt ingestion, resulting in engine damage. DON’T perform hot shutdowns, which cause the turboshaft to continue to spin in hot residual oil, damaging the turboshaft and bushing, which could eventually result in turbo failure.

Comments are currently closed.