Compact track loaders are an expensive investment. Not only do you have to think of the upfront cost, but there’s also maintenance to consider. You can spend up to 50% of your maintenance fund on the undercarriage. So when outfitting your compact track loader with its undercarriage, careful attention must be given to what specifications you choose. In particular, you must choose carefully between a rigid mount and a suspended mount.
Rigid Mounts vs. Suspended Mounts
In a nutshell, a rigid mounting is one where the undercarriage and mainframe move together. On the other hand, a suspended undercarriage can move independently. There are pros and cons to both setups. Take into consideration what it is you need before choosing one over the other.
For example: if you’re trying to make something level, a rigid configuration could be better. The lack of variability allows you to better make something flat and uniform. If you’re looking to go long distances while carrying material, then suspended mounting is for you. This is because of the suspension system making the ride smoother, thus making the compact track loader less likely to drop things.
Pros: This undercarriage is the simpler option. Simpler isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as this also means cheaper. Rigid mounts are notably less expensive than their counterparts. Plus, you can save quite a bit on repair and maintenance costs. This is because there are fewer moving parts. In turn, this allows you to afford more equipment, such as various types of excavators.
Cons: The stiff suspension is not fun for operators of compact track loaders with this configuration. Each rock or bump on the road is readily felt by the operator as it jerks them upwards or downwards. Even moving the bucket can cause the operator to move uncomfortably. All this movement can also dislodge material from the bucket. Additionally, this sort of movement causes wear and tear.
Pros: With a softer suspension, one much like a passenger car, this compact track loader is a much better ride. You or your operators will no longer feel every single bump on the road and will have a much smoother ride on uneven terrain. It’s also easier to control at higher speeds. There are even compact track loaders that are more “all-terrain.”
Cons: All those moving parts will definitely get worn down quickly and need replacing. Moreover, it’s not cheap to afford a suspended mount. It’s more expensive than its counterpart.
For a complete picture of what you should get, you should also decide what kind of enclosure you want. There are two types: open and closed.
If you choose a closed enclosure, take note that it’s not perfectly sealed. Debris can get inside and because it’s closed, it’s very hard to get that debris out. Meanwhile, an open enclosure allows even more debris inside, but it also allows that debris to fall out. This can reduce maintenance needs by up to 50%.
Working with international machinery in Canada can be exciting. Choosing the undercarriage of your compact track loader, however, can be difficult. If you know what kind of work you have in mind for the machine, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Looking for different types of excavation equipment? Contact Heavy Duty Direct today! We’ve been serving buyers and sellers of heavy equipment, trucks, trailers, and attachments since 2004.