Separate names with a comma.
Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .
Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Mini man, Oct 25, 2008.
I am looking for a Case dozer but how do I tell the % of undercarrige?
Dont want to get burned!
If you can put some pictures on here we could help more. If you aren't already familiar with what to look for:
Check the sprockets. You don't want them to be sharp. The more "round" the better on the teeth.
Check for even wear on the bushings inside of the rails. They should be round but they develope flat spots over time. If it's a newer machine it may have CELT tracks which are supposed to rotate and give you longer track life, but many times mud will keep that from happening.
Assuming it's a standard long track, the pads should have somewhere around 2" of cleat from the pad when new. You can usually get two sets of tracks out of the grousers when in average conditions.
Check for leaks on the rollers. If you see any grease coming out, they are shot or will be soon. If they are seized up or real noisy, they are bad and it will shorten the life of other parts by making them work harder.
Look for slop or uneven wear on the idlers. They also generally last 2 to 1 on an overhaul for the U/C.
Check the track adjusters and see if the tracks tighten up when you pump grease in. If they don't or you see grease seeping out, they're gonzo. The can be rebuit but I don't bother with it.
Also, just run the machine on smooth ground and see how rough it rides. When they are new, it's like riding on rails. As they get high hours on them, they will beat the shat out of you.
What model Case is it? How many hours?
You can't go wrong with Power Tan on cleats!
If the track has some slack, stand on top of the pads and try to wobble them, if they have some wobble, they are beyond 60%, SALT tracks should not have wobble.
Check for resistance when turning at low speeds, this will tell you if you have problems in the drive system, if possible, check the equalizer joints, have someone take the dozer at full speed and you watch the idlers for any side to side movement.
Run your fingers over the bushings where the sprockets contact, if you feel any gouges, they need to be turned.
Lift the machine off the ground with the balde, and check the rollers for wiggles, if they move freely, good, if they move very harshly with alot of slop, they are gone, look for oil stains on the inside of the rollers.
I am looking @ Case 450 and 550.....any years to avoid?
It seems as good a deal can be had on an 8 year old dozer as a 20 year old one so I am looking @ 2000 and newer.
Dozerman happens to be the resident 550 expert.
550...great little dozer for finish work...
good visibility...good response..overall pretty quality
make sure there is a lot of cutting edge on the blade, it makes all the difference with these little dozers, the power is lacking in these things, but then again its not meant for heavy pushing...like mentioned before look at the sprokets, you dont want sharp teeth, ours needs its sprockets replaced...we also just replaced a front idler a few hundred hours ago...make sure you take a look at the bearings in there nice and good
If you're going to be using it on a regular basis, go with the H Series. I believe the first year for those was 2000. Get a turbo charged engine if you go with an H. Most if not all of the H's have turbos. The main difference in an H series is the blade set up. The G's and previous models used the shim set up in the blade, which can be a PIA to keep tight. There are other cosmetic things but the blade and turbo engine are probably the biggest differences. The 4T-390 is a great engine. Good power and it doesn't burn much fuel.
If this machine is just a once in a while, there when you need it kind of thing, a G series would do just fine. Even an E or older for that matter. You can probably find an H series with 3K hours or less in the mid 30's if you do your homework. The 550's are a little bare bones, but they're great grading machines and have proven to be very reliable. I recently traded my 3rd 550 in for a 650K.
that 550G we have is a 1999 with something like 4500 hours on her...shes running a turbo
You can tell if the undercarriage is well worn if the tracks sag like parts of a woman. Let your hand to the walking feel up the machine if you come out with bleeding hands the machine is worn out. Feel the chain, top roller,sproket, idlers and bottom rollers. If the track pads are worn down and the pads are starting to bend the undercarriage is going to need work.
The undercarriage is only part of the problem, how is the final drives, how is the brakes, steering clutches. What was the machine used for in its previous life, who owned it.