ASV Undercarriage Durability

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Caribbean Breeze, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. Caribbean Breeze

    Caribbean Breeze LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60


    I am familiar with the Bobcat's and Takeuchi's; a good friend of mine in the UK is planning to buy a ASV RC60, what can you tell me about the realistic life span of the undercarriage when working in average conditions?. I know it will last as long as you use it properly (maintain) and on the right surfaces, how many hours can he expect on average?

    He will be mostly doing backfilling and trenches with the Backhoe attach. from ASV. Any input will be appreciated.

    Caribbean Breeze

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426

    It's going to depend very highly upon how well he maintains the product. Our Caterpillars use ASV undercarraiges, we clean them every night, they are adjusted to the 1/4" tolerance recommended, and we grease them every 10 hours as recommended. when we operate the machine we keep the whole track on the ground to push, and when they turn, iut is a 3 point turn, not a skid steer type dougnut.

    I have seen people run on transitions all day long ad ruin tracks in 400 hours, I've also seen an asphalt contractor near here run exclusivley on pavement and wear the grouser treads down to the belts in 1100 hours.

    The first machine we got last year is pushing 1500 hours and if everything goes as we have already gone, that one will be due by 2000 hours give or take. Our most run on operating surface is DG, and DG with rock, less time on expansible clays and even less time on sand. We do load trucks from the streets.

    We are running experimental retread tracks on it for a manufacturer, free of charge, and our OEM tracks are sitting in the shop with less than 100 hours on them.

    The other 257B has 678 hours on it, and holding out very well.

    Typically, here is the math. Factor 1500 hours for any sey of MTL tracks, even though I have yet to see a bobcat whose tracks have not imploded before 1000 hours. (A huge rental yard by us has 110 Bobcat machines, and 15 Caterpillars, 23 of the Bobcats are track drive.)

    Anyhow, the cost per track is $1,876.34, and the undercarraige usually can go another set of tracks before it needs to be replaced. The for parts to replace the entire set of bogies, drive rollers, and adjusters is $996.53, at least when I speced out the parts to factor my operating cost recovery.
  3. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 837

    I think Bill's post just about sums it up. Perhaps it should be framed/bookmarked for every time this question comes up. A very good response IMHO.
  4. Caribbean Breeze

    Caribbean Breeze LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60



    You have answered my question well, How long will those torsion suspension bars hold up for?
    I have heard that they start to make the machine bouncy when its worn out.

    Thanks Again,
    Caribbean Breeze
  5. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,307

    Why must you rag on Bobcats every chance you get?

    The truth: I have a set of bobcat tracks with 1600 hours on them and they will easily go another 500. Tracks on any machine will treat you good as long as you treat them good. As far as the torsion bars go...if you are worried about them look at a machine that doesn't have them.
  6. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Bill, you mentioned that you unload trucks from the street. What percentage of the time would you say your machines are run on pavement?


    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426

    "Why must you rag on Bobcats every chance you get?"
    I make observations based from what I see. Steel and heat do not mix, that is what causes the implosion of solid framed rubber tracked compact loaders. They use a track designed for a mini X, which travels at far slower speeds and builds less heat.
    Since the topic was pertainate to rubber tracked loaders, it is relavant. I simply state what I see in the field. If I was ragging, trust me you would know it.

    If I had my wish, I would lock the torsion bars when I wanted them made solid but I find little reason to lock them. This could be done by making them hydraulic torsion bars rather than rubber like a trailer axle.

    I will have to ask my Cat rep next time we talk about torsion bar life. There is very little written or said about them though i have heard a few who have high hour Cat machines who claim they bounce all over the place. If it should happen, I will be the first to post about it when the topic is raised.


    We off and on load from pavement I would have to say 20% of the time. But once again, making 3 point turns and keeping the entire track surface in contact with the surface we drive over, rather than boosting the front with the bucket like some skid steer operators do does nothing but improve track life....

    No matter whose machine you go with, is by design you have a self destructing drive mechanism. There will come a point where it will need certain parts replaced. Factor the cost of replacement, with labor, for those parts at a given point and bill that to recover for the wear that occurs by using your machine the way it was designed to be used. Since the whole rubber track loader thing is fairly new, and no one is making a parts wear recovery booklet for billing as of yet, you are going to need to tweek your system until you nail down what you need to CYA.
  8. Caribbean Breeze

    Caribbean Breeze LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60


    From what I understand, these tracks that are used on Bobcat and some other brands are made by Bridgestone, Bridgestone has this track rated for the speed of these machines. According to Bridgestone, heat is not an issue as the design is tested to work on track loaders of Bobcat, Takeuchi etc.
    Heat cause by friction, rust caused by moisture etc should not hamper the track performance neither life span.
    Everyone else (Case, NH, JD)use steel embedded tracks, are all of them using the wrong track? I don't think so.

    Anyway, it seems that the torsion suspension is nothing to worry about for the first 2,00 hours. It seems that ASV will not be bought out by Cat after all.
    All the talk about that was speculation.

    Caribbean Breeze
  9. StoneStacker

    StoneStacker LawnSite Member
    from OR
    Posts: 47

    I have seen some bobcat tracks at around 1,000 hours, but my buddies usually failed around 600-700 (consistently) My mini-ex always got around 1,500 hours before the cables failed, because of rust. I have to believe that there is heat build-up (even tires heat tires can cause failure) and that speeds up corrossion, thus shorter life.

    IMHO, Bobcat, John Deere, New Holland, Case and Takeuchi use the steel embeded tracks and mini-ex rollers because they offered the cheapest way to get into a growing market without expending large amounts of cash in the R&D departments. Other than Takeuchi, they are all just skid steers on a high-drive mini-ex undercarriage. Same engines as the same skid-steers (starting with the 864/863), same low ground clearance, and same 30/70 weight distribution with the added weight of an undercarriage. I really don't see any of them doing anything different. I'm also saying that they all have strengths and weakenesses too.

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