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Which Factors Contribute the Most to Undercarriage Wear?

Feb 14th 2024

Which Factors Contribute the Most to Undercarriage Wear?

As a heavy equipment operator, business owner, or worksite manager, you know that the undercarriage is one of the most crucial components of any heavy equipment. Care and maintenance are essential to keep your equipment running smoothly and prevent breakdowns. However, undercarriage wear is inevitable, and understanding the factors that contribute the most to undercarriage wear can prevent it.

Track Type

The track your heavy equipment uses can significantly impact the wear and tear of the undercarriage. Rubber tracks may provide a smoother ride, but they tend to wear out faster than steel tracks, especially when moving over abrasive surfaces such as concrete or asphalt. On the other hand, steel tracks require more maintenance but typically last longer than other types. Worksite operators may use both types of tracks when using skid steers, compact track loaders, and other small equipment.

Operating Conditions

The environment in which your heavy equipment operates can also contribute to undercarriage wear. Dusty, dirty, and abrasive terrain will cause more wear and tear on the undercarriage components than a well-kept site. Similarly, operating in wet or muddy conditions can lead to faster wear on the tracks and rollers, as mud and dirt can get stuck in the undercarriage and add weight and stress to the equipment.

Operator Habits

The habits and skills of operators also determine the lifespan of the undercarriage. Poor driving habits, such as excessive use of the steering controls and sudden stops and turns, can accelerate wear and tear on the tracks and rollers. Furthermore, overloading your equipment beyond its recommended weight can damage the undercarriage components. Training and instruction can teach your operators how to use the equipment efficiently and reduce wear on the undercarriage.


Performing preventative maintenance can help you extend the lifespan of your undercarriage. A well-maintained undercarriage will wear out slowly and require infrequent part replacements. Monitoring undercarriage parts and components such as the track tension, lubrication, and track alignment ensures maximum efficiency. A proactive maintenance program can help you identify potential problems before they worsen.

Get More out of Your Equipment

Understanding the factors that contribute the most to undercarriage wear is critical to ensuring the longevity and reliability of your heavy equipment. You can minimize the effects of wear and tear on your undercarriage components and maximize your investment while increasing the efficiency of your equipment.