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Rollers frozen!

Discussion in 'Excavators' started by watglen, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. Deeretime

    Deeretime Senior Member

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    One theyre clean coat them with calcium.Buy it from a tire shop its 2dollars a gallon and put it in a weed sprayer , coat your uc with it and the dirt will freeze but wont stick to steel . Thats not a deere 240, so what is it
     
  2. Deeretime

    Deeretime Senior Member

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    Lol I remember a job i did in a canal a couple years ago and we pushed through -45 and had the top rollers freezing while we were running.
    Calcium and shoveling works great!

    Not recomended, but if i am alone i used to pick a track off the ground and put sompthing small under the pedal and idle the hoe so the track would barely move so you can get out and check ur rollers. When you get in or out simply lift and lower the safety lever to engage tracks.

    So like i said its not sompthing i would recomend doing....;)
     
  3. watglen

    watglen Senior Member

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    Farmer, drainage and excavating contractor, Farm d
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    Calcium, good idea.

    The drive seals are weird on this unit. They don't blow, they just get out of shape and stop sealing when it's cold. There is another thread on here from last year, where we washed her to store it for the winter. So it was completely clean when i parked it in the yard. The next day it froze really hard overnight, and there was a big pool of oil under one of the drives. We tore it apart, and found nothing wrong. And then beyond belief, while we were putting the track back on (moving it back and forth a little, in the shed) the oil dumped out of the other drive. Mechanic was shocked. I learned from the first one, so i left it, topped up the oil in the spring, and its been fine till now. Crazy.
     
  4. redneckpete

    redneckpete Member

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    Electric frost blankets work great. Drape one over each track and then drape a tarp (preferably the frost blanket type) over top of that and down to the ground all the way around the machine. A couple hours and you'll be free. A couple more hours and the mud will be thawed enough to remove, which is what you really want.

    Otherwise give the operator a hot water pressure washer and a rain suit. Tell him he can't stop until the tracks are clean or the pressure washer will freeze up an then you have another problem. After three hours washing in the cold I guarantee you the tracks will get cleaned the next time.

    Pete
     
  5. Hotwheels81

    Hotwheels81 Active Member

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    Up north, eh!
    If your pads dont have large spec holes in them they will pack with ice and or mud putting excessive force on the track idler and drive sprocket assembly causeing the seal to wear or rip on one side, common problem road builders ran into here mid 90s with hitachi ex270s with triple grouser street pads that come factory on most excavators.

    Watch your track tension and spin clean at the start and end of every shift, more as needed.
     
  6. watglen

    watglen Senior Member

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    This morning i got a couple gallons of calcium and a sprayer. I thawed the rollers with the torch, topped up the oil in the problem drive. It was down just a little bit. Scraped out as much mud as would come out, and sprayed everything with calcium.

    At the end of the day a lot of the mud had gone soft, and really runny. I scooped out as much as possible, but i am sure the calcium help a lot. Yesterday there was no way that stuff was going to come out. Today i was able to pull it out as if it was above 0.

    Still watching the oil levels really close.
     
  7. Deeretime

    Deeretime Senior Member

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    I dont just come on here to blow hot Air !!! Glad i can save some greif for you
     
  8. watglen

    watglen Senior Member

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    I pity anyone who has to deal with this crap on a routine basis. Last year i parked the hoe when the weather got frosty, this year i just know i'm going to wish i did.
     
  9. Deeretime

    Deeretime Senior Member

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    Thats why i sit in my pickup in the winter so i dont have those big ugly tracks to shovel every nite. I used to hate running a 8r or a 450clc, there is just wayy to much mud in those tracks.
    I wish someone would invent a ejector so yo didnt have to shovel them
     
  10. gasfield315c

    gasfield315c Well-Known Member

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    suprised i havent seen it on here, but i just put a little diesel around the rollers and light it, and try to keep them shoveled out
     
  11. watglen

    watglen Senior Member

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    Its calling for a thaw this week, so i will get at cleaning her up for sure. Also, i will spray her down with calcium, maybe diesel too.

    But this thread begs the question, how many operations do curtail some or all work because of these problems.

    Call me crazy, but my idea would be to design the track frames so you could run coolant through them. Hook them up to a coolant heater of some sort and circulate hot coolant through them. The mud would be gone in no time.
     
  12. gasfield315c

    gasfield315c Well-Known Member

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    we never dont work if they are frozen, if we cant get them thawed out, break the tracks loose and get 'em turning and usually by the end of the day between the heat from the machine and sun, and the vibration they will start to turn
     
  13. bobcatmechanic

    bobcatmechanic Senior Member

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    we used a rubber exhaust hose over the exhaust pipe to warm up the engine compartment on machines in the winter on bobcats. You could use the exhaust of the machine to thaw them out and warm the machine up at the same time. what about buying one of the heater trailers with the two foot around hoses they stick in the larger machines to warm them up?
     
  14. Deeretime

    Deeretime Senior Member

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    We shovel tracks every nite and spray with calcium every morning and i rarely have a frozen roller, Make sure you take your finger and run it around the back side of the roller where it joins to the track frame (where it spins) and it will take nothing to break them free in the morning
    The diesel fuel is a no no from a enviromental aspect, if i did it i definately wouldnt tell anyone
     
  15. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member

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    Calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and almost any de-icer have environmental concerns attached too. But I do like the suggestion. I have never had to stop work because of the effects of weather on my machines (unless they just won't start). I also have never had the mud freeze to the UC during the work day. If it's that cold I doubt there would be any mud anywhere. Obviously, you have seen first hand how important it is to clean the UC at the end of each work day, when you are getting freezing temps at night. What's the saying..."An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". Be sure to keep the track tension on the loose side when the working in mud. Better too loose than too tight, but you probably already know this. That drive seal is a weak spot in the planetary design, IMO. I had one leak on my 315 once. It cost over $3k to have the dealer fix it. Knowing what little I do about the system I doubt it makes any difference what travel pedal, or combination there of, that you use. They send oil to the track motor, and that should have no effect on the planetary seal, or the oil pressure (which should only be the same as atmospheric, with slight variation do to temperature changes) in it. As far as cleaning the UC, this will have a minimal impact, on the seal, because you can't really clean that area as it's a pretty tight fit behind the sprocket/planetary housing and the car body. Even removing the back cover will only expose the track motor, and the track frame still blocks access to the seal area. Some have said pressure wash this area but I'm not sure how well this will work either since the pressure would get lost trying to get around corners, and into the area that needs cleaning, again, IMO. I have been told that it's the freezing and thawing action of the mud that gets past the rubber o-ring (that actually does not seal anything-it simply applies pressure to keep the two steel sealing rings together, which is what keeps the oil inside). When the mud freezes it puts un-even pressure on the sealing rings which allows oil to escape. To my knowledge it's the same for all planetaries. Isn't that one of the reasons that Cat made the "high drive" undercarriage on most of it's dozers? This leak has only happened to me once (thank God) and no problems since (knock on wood). I do think about it every time in work in the winter mud. I was doing an early winter, wetlands restoration project (just before the seal leaked) so I was cramming a lot of mud in the undercarriage. It had to be done in the winter because the ground had to be frozen just to be able to work without sinking in the mud. You had to plan things around the temps as things would get a pretty soft by the end of the day.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  16. Bobcat190

    Bobcat190 Active Member

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    Never failed me...
     

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  17. watglen

    watglen Senior Member

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    Stupid me, using a shovel!

    It sure was a nice respite to get those warm warm temps the other day. Got a chance to get most of the mud out.

    Today it froze up again and i'm back at spraying the calcium chloride. It does work, cuz i was able to bust off big chunks of frozen mud tonight. Seems like if you get the calcium onto the steel under the mud, the ice doesn't stick. Rather, it sticks, just not so bad you can't bust it off.

    I spray the chloride before working in the morning, and after cleaning at night.

    I still have to heat the rollers in the morning. It only takes a bit of frozen mud to prevent them from turning. It is pretty straight forward to just heat them in the morning with the big burner. It only takes a few minutes per roller(provided all the mud is cleaned out the night before)

    I have been keeping track, and ever since the weather has dropped below freezing, my efficiency has dropped to 70%. That is to say, chargable clock hours (moving dirt) is only 70% of total clock hours on the excavator. The rest is spent dickin around with propane, shovels, prybars, and chloride. Also, since i have to get the pickup(with all the tools in it) to the excavator, i have to drive it to where the truck can reach. I spend a few minutes warming up, a few minutes cycling the hydraulics all around, then running each track, morning and night. Checking final drive real close for leaks.

    Add to that all the cleaning each day, and it adds up to about and hour 40 minutes each day.

    Winter is proving to be a whole lot of dickin around.



    IMG00066-20110102-1721.jpg

    A pic of the rig i use to help with the cleaning. Works great, and i got the idea on HEF!

    Thanks everyone :drinkup
     
  18. Deeretime

    Deeretime Senior Member

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    DGODGR
    In a canal with water you always have mud on the bottom once you break through the ice ontop and when you get Up out of the watter it freezes instantly at -45 or so , but that is one of those exceptionaly miserable jobs that was a pain in the butt, and like i said before i will swear by calcium in buckets, truck boxes and u/c
     
  19. MattR

    MattR Well-Known Member

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    No doubt never leaving them like that is the best medicine, but stuff happens and school costs money. Like everyone said heat will surley help. By the pic though, Iv'e seen way worse. A good long solid bar with a tip, and someone you can trust to run the sledge hammer and you'll have that moving shortly. Once you get through in one spot and that bar hits the metal of the track guards, it will send shocks throught the metal and the other frozen junk will start to loosen and come out in big chunks. Between logging with Cat 227's and road building with D7's & D8's in Upper MI we have had to alot of it. As far as the finams in the morning, lifting one track at a time and slowly running it in the air with no load on it will help to warm them up. Just not full throttle or pedal, or you'll have blown lines and seals.
     
  20. bobcatmechanic

    bobcatmechanic Senior Member

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    we had a water truck rust through the steel tank in no time running calcium chloride in it. how much does it increase the rust on something being sprayed on it? not trying to argue just wondering because it may out way its self in the future due to a rusted out undercarriage. ;beatsme