Adjusting Tension Improper tension Loose tracks can detrack. Over-tightening can cause power loss, excessive roller and idler wear, and could tear the tracks. Refer to your operator's manual for track inspection and tensioning procedures. How to adjust Track tension is controlled by a track adjuster located behind the front idler. Tension adjustments are made by pumping or draining grease through the track adjuster valve. Even small adjustments in track sag have a big impact on tension. A change in sag from 1'' to 0.5'' increases tension by about 3,000 pounds. Refer to your operator's manual for specific information on how to adjust the track tension of your machine. Inspect adjuster valve periodically Make sure your adjuster valve is working properly by visually inspecting it periodically. If the valve shows signs of leakage, bring your machine in for repair as soon as possible. Leakage can lead to a loss of track tension and increased wear. Match Tension to Operating conditions Adjust track tension on-site Make tension adjustments on the job site rather than in the shop. Track tension may increase if the sprocket and chain are packed with mud or other materials. A track that is properly tensioned in the shop may become too tight when packed with mud. Test packing conditions before adjusting To match track tension with the specific packing conditions of the job site, run your machine for a short while on the job site, then make the necessary adjustments. Make frequent adjustments Changes in weather can alter the packing conditions of the job site throughout the day. Making tension adjustments in response to these changes can help reduce track wear and costs. Do not operate your machine if the tracks are frozen Wait for the weather to improve if your tracks become frozen. If you try to use power to force the tracks to move you might destroy them. Operation Avoid abrupt turns and high speeds Do not make abrupt turns, because they place unnecessary stress on the track and undercarriage. Continuous turning to the same side can cause asymmetrical wear. Higher speeds cause more wear on the undercarriage. Use the slowest possible operating speed for the job. Avoid excessive reverse operation Do not operate in reverse unless necessary. Reverse operation wears tracks up to three times as quickly as forward operation. Highspeed reverse is particularly destructive to tracks and undercarriage components. Inspection Have your undercarriage inspected annually by a trained technician to catch problems early before they lead to unnecessary damage. For questions or additional information, please contact the branch nearest you.
Properly sanitizing heavy equipment is essential for maintaining the health, safety, and productivity of your team. Truck and machine cabs can be ideal environments for harboring and transmitting viruses and other illnesses. Despite the fact that operators are typically alone in the cab, all it takes is one mechanic, supervisor, or second shift operator to hop in there, touch a surface, and potentially be infected or leave traces of a virus. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have a heightened sense of awareness when it comes to maintaining cleanliness. Follow these heavy equipment sanitation tips to protect your team from corona-viruses, the flu, and any other pathogens that may strike. Find the right disinfectant Before you start actually sanitizing your construction machines, you have to find a disinfectant that is effective at eliminating the majority of viruses without damaging your equipment interior. To avoid harming or discoloring vinyl, plastics, leather, or other surface materials, we recommend using cleaners designed for automotive interiors, not general household. Isopropyl based cleaning products can be used to sanitize the majority of hard and interior surfaces. When using an alcohol based cleaning solution, the CDC recommends concentrations of 70% or above. Follow the instructions on the product for concentration, application method, and contact time. If you are trying to deactivate or kill a specific virus, check the EPA-approved disinfectant list for detailed descriptions of which types of cleaners to use for certain pathogens. You should consult your owner's manual for directions on how to clean monitors, touch screens and other sensitive surfaces without damaging them. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) Once you have the proper cleaning solution, it's time to move into the cab. The person handling the sanitation should always wear latex or synthetic rubber gloves and a mask or face covering. Wearing personal protective equipment will ensure the team member is shielded from the cleaning chemicals, as well as prevent them from leaving traces of a virus on the surfaces they just wiped down. Clean all interior surfaces likely to be touched The most important parts of the cab to sanitize are the ones that we touch a lot. Those areas should be cleaned before each new person enters the machine and typically include all handles, joysticks, steering wheels, knobs, buttons, seat belts, seat belt latches, windows, and even floor mats. Spray surfaces with the cleaner and use a highly absorbent microfiber cloth to scrub and wipe dry. For sensitive electronic or display areas, use an EPA approved contact-less product, which you can spray and let dry without needing to wipe off. Other surfaces to pay attention to Just as important as sanitizing interior hard surfaces are exterior surfaces. Spray, scrub, and wipe all machine touch-points, including the dipstick, gas cap, engine access points, handles, latches, and anywhere else likely to have contact. Although it typically does not have to be sanitized as often as hard surfaces, it's a good idea to clean your upholstery at least every week, if not more frequent. You will find a variety of upholstery products at any auto parts store. If applying your own solution, avoid using anything that contains bleach, as it will cause discoloring. Wash surfaces before sanitizing Before using your sanitizing solution to disinfect equipment, ensure all dirt and dust are washed off. Washing before disinfecting is especially important for your machine's exterior, but also for floor mats, handles, and anywhere else that is visibly dirty. Clearing dust and debris will make the sanitation process more effective. Contact the store nearest you for any questions.
Avoid back dragging Back dragging reduces cutting edge life by causing it to break before it wears down. Minimize excessive down pressure Buckets last longer if the operator minimizes the amount of pressure applied when the bucket is engaged with the ground. Avoid using blades in wet conditions Blades wear faster in wet conditions. Equipment Tips Use corner attachments Corner guards increase the bucket's strength. Not using corner guards can cause premature wear. Use a thicker edge More powerful machines can use thicker edges, and, in most cases, they should. For grader blades, consider using single bevel curved blades instead of double bevel curved The leading bevel on double bevel curved blades wears out quickly, turning it into a single bevel curved blade. Single bevel curved blades last longer and are more cost effective. Use proper bolts and nuts Loose bolts and nuts cause the cutting edge to be loose on the moldboard, which can lead to breakage. Use Grade 8 bolts or higher; lower quality may stretch and loosen. Rotate the cutting edge consistently Flipping the blade regularly can double the blade life. The flipping interval depends upon what type of material it's used for, and the application. Protect snowplow cutting edges with a standard flat blade The steel in carbide snow plow blades can erode, causing the carbide inserts to fall out. Inspection Tips Inspect loader edge position The base edge is the primary support for the bucket system, while the primary engagement edge should be the bolt-on cutting edge. If the base edge is worn out, the bucket is not as stable. Inspect loader wear plates and replace when needed Increase the life of the bucket and cutting edge by replacing wear plates regularly. Routinely inspect and secure bolts Loose cutting edges can easily be damaged and may fall off and damage surrounding equipment. Contact your local branch for more information