Secret to Extended Undercarriage Life

by Diana Barnum
What can you do if your undercarriage shows signs of wear? Generally, companies opt to replace it, take it to a service center for repairs, or have someone repair it onsite. However, there is another option available. You can take the undercarriage off the machine and ship it to one of a few places in the United States that houses a huge 200- to 360-ton track press.
“Actually the secret is owning the equipment,” said Tom Truck, branch manager of Southeastern Equipment Company, Inc. in Dublin, Ohio. “The track press turns the pins and bushings. It pops pins out, turns them, and pops them back in. This extends life a season or two.”
Southeastern Equipment sells, rents and services new and used construction equipment in over a dozen locations throughout Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. They do not have one of the huge track presses, though. Therefore, service operators ship their undercarriages to Tractor Service and Supply, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio for repairs.
“Our Trackmaster is one of only three large track presses in town and of only about a half dozen in the entire state, “said Rex McDermitt, president of Tractor Service.
Tractor Service, established in 1967, has a Trackmaster 200-ton track press that was purchased used about two years ago. Their best advertising is word-of-mouth and some print ads that they track with keyed wording and 800-numbers. Lots of work comes in from neighboring states.
The top two concerns of their call-in customers are:
• Cost of transport.
• Turnaround time.
Staff assures them that all work is scheduled. Small tracks generally take a day; larger tracks take 2-3 days.
They also sell and ship new track replacement parts and track by D.C.F.; sprockets, sprocket rims and segment groups, chains, rollers, idlers, grousers and other hardware like track bolts, nuts, pin and bushing sets. Trek is a Division of Letts Industries, Inc. Tractor Service and Supply also performs other service work; running take out engines, transmissions, final drive parts and assemblies, cylinder heads, crankshafts, engine blocks, bearings and piston and sleeve assemblies.
Friend to the environment, Tractor Service and Supply, Inc. collects old pins and brushings for regular pick up by recycling company I.H. Schlezinger, Inc., formerly known as Columbus Scrap. Once there, the materials are either sheared, baled or cut with torches, then shipped off by truck or rail to be reused elsewhere.
Service Tip
Frequent client of Tractor Service, the service manager of Southeastern Equipment Company, Inc. in Dublin, Ohio shared this undercarriage tip:
Pay attention to the wear pattern. Most manufacturers have gauges to measure wear and specs to compare your measurements with to see when the pins and bushings need to be fine-tuned. If you turn them at a good time, you can extend your equipment life by up to 75%. -Dave Adams, service manager
The Trackmaster 200-ton track press is no longer available since the consolidation of Trackmaster into WTC Machinery Corporation. WTC Machinery Corporation now offers three new track press models: the WS200, WTC-250sf and WTC-360sf Track Presses. The WS200 is a 200-ton track press with retractable jaw recommended for D3-D9 tracks; the 250sf is a 250-ton with 12-inch piston diameter cylinders, recommended for D3-D10 tracks. The 360sf is a 360-ton with 14-inch piston diameter cylinders, recommended for D3-D12 tracks.
Here are some of the basic features and operations on the new larger press:
• A hydraulic hold down clamp locks track link in position.
• A large, low-pressure cylinder makes connection with cylinder rod and tooling ram block.
• An auto-retract and cylinder positioning system. This feature can increase your production speed by reducing the cylinders retract distance and eliminates the need for the operator to hold controls during the cylinder retracting process.
“Trackmaster is the “T” in WTC, “explained Rick Baas, VP of sales operations at WTC Machinery. “The Trackmaster Company was purchased in 1985 from Owatonna Tool Corporation by Centurion Industries. The Trackmaster track press was the preferred product of the John Deere Corporation for 20+ years.”
For more information about extending undercarriage life, contact Tractor Service & Supply, Inc., 2024 Refugee Road, Columbus, OH 43207. Call: (800) 848-9456; or fax inquiries to: (614) 443-0146. Visit them online at: or email . For more WTC history and product information, visit them online at .WTC Machinery Corporation is located at 45 Capitol Dr. Oconomowoc, WI 53066. Call: (800) 248-8405 or fax: (262) 569-4850.