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Maintaining the correct track tension on a dozer's undercarriage is crucial for your equipment's performance and your productivity on the job. If the track is too loose, it could hamper your dozer's stability and slip off the sprocket while in operation. But if the track is too tight, you may be causing excessive wear to the equipment.
It's also important to adjust your dozer's track tension based on its working environment. For example, operations like dozing and push loading, and working on downhill terrain, cause faster wear rates on the front loaders and idlers. Ripping and using a drawbar put more weight on the equipment's rear rollers, idlers and sprockets, as does operating uphill.
For optimal performance, a qualified operator should perform dozer track adjustment in the field only on level ground.
How to Adjust Dozer Track Tension
Below is a quick guide to tightening and loosening the dozer track. Follow all safety procedures when completing maintenance.
- When it's time to check track tension, coast the equipment to a stop rather than braking.
- Park the unit and turn off the engine.
- Clear dirt, dust and debris from the track before measurements.
- Lay a rigid line over the grouser tips, spanning from the sprocket to the front idler.
- Measure the distance from the line to the grouser tip at the lowest point of sag.
- Refer to your unit's operating and maintenance manual to check the proper track sag for your model. For instance, the target for most dozers with carrier rollers is between 2-3 inches.
- If the dozer's track tension needs adjustment, open the maintenance panel and find the hydraulic fill and relief valve at the rear roller.
- To increase the tension, add grease using a manual grease gun. To loosen the track, open the relief valve slowly and let the grease escape. Avoid loosening the relief valve more than one turn, as the contents are under extreme pressure.
- Operate the unit forward and backward and re-measure tension as necessary.
Extending the Life of Your Dozer Undercarriage
Properly adjusting the dozer tracks for the project at hand will help you get more working hours out of your equipment. But all operators should know that every turn, reverse and high-speed operation will wear the rollers, sprockets, idlers, links and bushings eventually. Check these components for wear regularly, and prevent packing around these parts by equipping guards in muddy or debris-filled conditions.
When Is It Time to Repair or Replace the Dozer Undercarriage?
It's best to perform regular inspections for these signs that suggest your dozer undercarriage needs parts or repairs from an expert:
- Sharpened sprocket teeth
- Worn bushings
- Cracked track shoes, especially from prolonged use in rocky conditions
- Misalignment of the track links, flanges, sprockets and guards
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Partner with us to support your fleet of dozers and all makes and models of tracked heavy equipment. Rely on undercarriage services from our certified technicians to repair, tune up or overhaul any undercarriage component. Whether you need a leaking adjuster valve addressed, bushings turned or brand-new undercarriage parts for sale online, our team will help you limit downtime with the right solutions. Contact our representatives for more information about our undercarriage services and inventory.