Keep road projects on track by ProQuest


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 Keep road projects
                                                                             on track

Bolt-on polyurethane track
pads that mount over the triple
grousers — such as these from
BLS Enterprises — can save a lot
of labor.

Cut undercarriage costs on pavers and milling machines
By Curt Bennink

              uch of the undercar-      ment manager for milling products          be more difficult to operate,” says
              riage-related owning      at Volvo. “That makes the track chain      Dennis Clausen, director of training,
              and operating costs       a little bit longer, so you have to take   GOMACO Corp.
              for pavers and milling    up the slack. If there are 30 pins            “Over-tightening is always
              machines are driven       and bushings and you take .5mm             wrong,” agrees Guido Bottin, vice
by your maintenance practices. As       wear on each pin, it would be 15mm,        president of operations, Berco. “It
with most tracked equipment, a little   which is over half an inch.”               leads to accelerated wear of the com-
attention goes a long way.                  While periodic adjustment of           ponents (pins, bushings and sprock-
   Track tension is perhaps the larg-   track tension is needed, improper          ets) and can cause breakages, espe-
est cost driver. Adjustment natu-       adjustment can do more harm than           cially in the steel chains. On the
rally gets looser with wear. “Most of   good. “Excessive track tension can         other side, running with a loose
your wear comes from internal pin       cause excessive wear not only on           undercarriage may lead to detrack-
and bushing wear, which you really      the track components, but also on          ing of the chains with possible dam-
can’t see,” says Rob Hannan, seg-       the drive system as the track will         age to the system.”

68   asphalt contractor • • December 2009

Advice for                                 hours for heavy-duty use, or after     machine is loaded — up to double
managing tension                           the first 100 hours for moderate to    compared to the unloaded condi-
   Every manufacturer recommends           light-duty use. “Additional checks     tion,” says Bottin. “If not properly
checking track tension more or less        should occur every other 200 to 250    tensioned, slippages of the under-
frequently according to the load           additional hours of usage,” he adds.   carriage are possible and have to be
conditions, Bottin notes. For new             More frequent track tension         avoided.”
machines with bolt-on shoes (steel         checks may be required for pav-           GOMACO Corp. recommends
only or rubberized), Berco recom-          ers due to the heavy loads they can    checking tension weekly on its larger
mends checking both tension and            carry. “The operating weight on pav-   pavers. (Smaller models have auto-
tightness of the bolt after the first 50   ers changes dramatically when the      matic tensioning.) “If the track is too

 Positives of Polyurethane                                    the poly pads over the rubber because the poly pads
                                                              tend to have lower friction factors,” says Kevin Klein,
     Polyurethane track pads are quickly becoming the       
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