The new Dual Bushing Track from Komatsu is an undercarriage concept for large dozers which eliminates the need for pin and bush turns and associated new sprockets, and has been shown to more than double track life in high-abrasion, low-impact applications.
Komatsu Australia undercarriage business development manager John Mortimer says the first application of Dual Bushing Track in Australia — on a D275A-5 dozer — achieved more than 3000 hours of operation with no issues.
This compares with track life of around 1000 hours, including a pin and bush turn at 500 hours, on conventional undercarriage, the company says.
“In this application, a large sand mining site, we actually effectively tripled the life of the undercarriage — and it would have gone longer if the dozer had not been redeployed elsewhere,” Mortimer says.
“By the time the dozer finished on the site, the track was approximately half worn, so we believe it had the potential to run to 4000 or even 5000 hours. Seal life would have ultimately determined the longevity of the track before the bushes went.”
Mortimer says there were no dry or hot pins, “and the system avoided three pin-and-bush turns, which would have required a week’s downtime to take off and put back on. Essentially, Dual Bushing Track can last the life of the undercarriage.”
On the downside, however, the Dual Bushing Track has a premium price compared with conventional undercarriage and can’t be used in high-impact applications, including ripping or hard rock work.
“Having said that, it is ideal for sand, bauxite and other high-abrasion applications where you have large stockpiles to be moved around, with no ripping,” Mortimer says. “In the right applications, the system performs very well.”
He also says the cost is offset by the fact that customers “get at least twice the life in the right application, plus you eliminate pin-and-bush turn downtime and the cost of the other components”.