Ok, I am going to anticipate this by saying that I am new to excavators, specifically minis. I am just looking for some knowledge from experienced users. I picked up a Bobcat E42 earlier this summer and recently experienced my first falling off incident. I wondered when it was going to happen and was afraid of it. Fortunately, it was not a big problem and I was able to get back to work easily. This is a brand new machine … less than 50 hours on it. I’ve been keeping an eye on the track tension, making sure it was within Bobcat spec, so that shouldn’t have been the problem. Apart from this incident, it has been a great machine … I am very satisfied.
My questions are:
What really caused it? I was in a fairly open grass / sand field, in dry conditions, doing some clearing work. In the middle of repositioning, I heard a little popping sound from the RH track, and boom, it went off. The landing gear was pretty clean, there were no sticks or stones or other debris in the way. I always imagined that when it did happen, it would be from stepping over rocks, logs, stumps at a strange angle, or trying to turn in muddy or loose conditions, or picking up something on the landing gear … none of which happened. .
Are there techniques that I should follow when moving, turning, repositioning that will put less stress on the tracks and minimize the possibility of slippage?
It’s a bit late, but are there brands, models, design features that are more prone to this condition than others?
Since I’m still under warranty, could there be a problem with the machine that I should have my dealer checked?
Hoping for some good responses … thank you!
Turning on the tracks is tough on the tracks and rollers, the whole subrail, but sometimes you have to do it depending on the space you are in, but in an open field I would practice grabbing one end of the unit with the bucket and rotate on the end of the tracks while rotating the cab. It is difficult to describe this in words, but there are many videos on U-tube that show what I am talking about. Just Google “spin the excavator with the bucket”.
You said you monitored the tension on the tracks, did they often loosen and tighten them or did you just check them? How did you check them? I had an E50 last year the tracks loosen every 10 hours since new. I found that the Bobcat greasers that you put grease on to tighten the tracks had a bad check valve. I had to replace both (under warranty) and the problem went away.
If you operate the equipment long enough, you will drop the tracks from time to time, there are those who have and those who will … I check the tracks daily during warm-up and have still pulled a track or two along the tracks. years. My dad’s rule was, if you did, you fixed it, there’s nothing better to teach than 98F in August in the woods of AL putting caterpillars back on a D6 dozer because you were too lazy to keep them tight.
Caterpillars tend to stretch (and loosen) the most in the first 100-200 hours. most of our service calls for an off track is on a very low hour machine, (including CTL)