In the Know

For Maximum Productivity, Try These Compact Track Loader Maintenance Tips

Cat® Compact Track Loaders are incredibly versatile machines, capable of completing hundreds of tasks on time and on budget. Failure to perform daily machine inspections and recommended maintenance can result in decreased performance and faster component wear. To keep your loader working at peak performance, add these compact track loader maintenance tips to your daily routine and keep your machine working at maximum efficiency.

First and Foremost, The Undercarriage

Track loaders come with many benefits, but they also come with a special set of guidelines to keep your undercarriage in tip-top shape. All it takes is a few minutes every day to help ensure longer track and component life.

  • Track Inspection — Prior to operating your loader, you should inspect the tracks for any signs of wear or damage like deep cuts or embedded objects.
  • Inspect the Sprockets for Wear — It is important to measure the sprockets periodically for signs of wear. To extend the life of your sprockets, some original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) offer drive sprockets that can be rotated from one side of the machine to the other.
  • Inspect the Track Tension — Tracks that are too tight cause loss of power and bearing failures, while loose tracks can cause lug damage and derailment. To avoid damage and maximize service life, adjust the track tension periodically. Follow these five easy steps to check and/or adjust the track tension:
    • Step 1: Drive the machine in reverse to release any tension in the track.
    • Step 2: Using the bucket attachment, lift the front of the machine off the ground until the track is a minimum of two inches high.
    • Step 3: Raise the arm bars — engaging the parking brake — and disable the hydraulic functions.
    • Step 4: With another person, measure the track sag at the middle of the track roller. Then, measure the distance from the bottom surface of the flange on the roller to the inside top surface of the track. Refer to your machine On-Machine-Metrology (OMM) to see if this measurement matches the tension specifications for your loader.
    • Step 5: If you need to adjust your track tension, remove the undercarriage access panel and using a grease gun, apply pressurized grease to the fitting on the cylinder. Finally, re-check the tension and replace the access panel when it reaches your OMM specifications.

Machine Walk-Arounds

After completing your regular undercarriage inspection, it is just as important to check the rest of the machine to help avoid downtime. Fortunately, morning walk-arounds should be quick and painless, especially when using a loader with serviceability in mind. Warning: some manufacturers require you to remove panels and use tools to complete daily checks. Look for a loader that makes it easy. This is our quick checklist of items to look for during your daily checks:

  • Fluid Checks — Check your oil, coolant, hydraulic oil, and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) levels, if your machine requires them. Refer to your OMM for appropriate levels and add fluid when needed.
  • Greasing Points — To help prevent bearing and axel wear, you should grease your loader in the appropriate points at regular intervals. Greasing points will vary based on the machine model, so it’s important to refer to your OMM to make sure you inspect them all.
  • Fuel Water Separator Inspection — Check your fuel water separator daily for any signs of water in your fuel. If any is detected, refer to your OMM and drain the water before operating.

With your checklist complete, you are ready to get to work and have a productive day with your Cat Compact Track Loader.

San Diego
Ross Farmer
Corporate Machinery Sales Manager
858.674.7048 office
760.815.4094 mobile

Shane Oliveira
Sales Manager
808.676.0269 office
808.489.4681 mobile