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Handymen are people too
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm doing more electrical work installing 160 feet of fence:laughing:

So anyway I had to rent a mini excavator to dig out for the fence posts. The soil is incredibly rocky so an auger wouldn't work.

So today about 2 hours in I'm moving to the next hole and one of the tracks came off the machine:censored: It's a John Deer D70.

So I tried every which way for hours with some help to try to get it back on and nothing worked. I'm not pro with excavator repair.

So the rental place wasn't open today but they had an emergency number so i called that.

The guy answered and the first thing he said "how can you do something stupid like that" I'm almost lost it right there. Not what I want to hear when i'm losing time and money. So I said "man if you are gonna start like that here is the owner speak to him" I handed the phone to the customer who rented the machine.

So I took a breather and walked around and though f it I said here let me talk. So I get back on the phone and say "look man don't be sayin **** like I'm stupid I did nothing wrong and he replies "yes you did!" in a loud voice so I cursed his ass out while explaing what happened.

The track got caught on a large stone just below the surface of the grass as i was turning. Then I hung up.

Then after closer inspection the inside guides on the rubber track all the rubber is worn away down to the metal. Also noticed the front track wheel had quite a bit of play side to side in my opinion about 1/4"

So is this really that unusual for a track to come off? geez.

So back to the job tomorrow and they are going to have to come out to fix it.
 

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i do not know about them coming off put take pic and have someone eles look at it before you take it back or let them fix it:clap:
 

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Butcher of wood and metal
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6,864 Posts
Have used bigger old crawlers that would jump faster then you could put them on . Those where due to wornen out under carriages. If in good shape and adjusted right they should not just come off.
 

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Contractor
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A track will come of a machine if the tension is not maintained correctly. Even a new excavator will throw a track if the tensioner is too loose.

In order for you to re-install the track you have to relieve the tensioner, that is why you could not get the track back on.

I am not familiar with that machine, but there should be an access plate on the track frame, it will have a couple of bolts holding it on. Remove that plate, locate a grease fitting that will be inside the compartment, loosen the fitting, (or a bled screw), and the ram that pushes the front roller out should retract, but you may have to push it in.

Once the front roller has moved back to the "shortest" position, you should be able to easily refit the track into place. Once in place, tighten the grease fitting you loosened earlier, and pump the track adjuster back out. With the track off the ground you should tighten the track until there is only a small gap between the track and the center rollers under the machine, 1/2-3/4".

It's really not all that difficult, but like many things, if you don't know....you don't know.

I will say that I have never lost a track off of a machine that was properly adjusted. So I lay this problem on the rental co.

I did have an episode were a track fell of a rental machine and they came out and repaired it twice, the third time I fixed myself and made sure it was adjusted correctly.

Which reminds me, that particular machine had a large threaded rod and a big jam nut to adjust it properly, so the grease fitting system may not be on the one your working with.

Best of luck with it.
 

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Love me some Concrete
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1,834 Posts
Yep rental! I have found a decent shop that does an ok job of keeping their items in fair shape but alot of them just gas it and send it back out. Could be alot of things, improper tension as stated above but turning while over a rock should still not throw the track.

Most of the problems are from lack of care, bet the tensioner is loose or even damaged along with guides or idler pulley (depending on brand) etc. Good luck, I would say that it is not you're fault.

BTW, call the owner or top manager about the guy you talked to on the phone...FVCK him! No way to treat people and we. just like him are trying to make a living, but when things break, it is there job to come and fix it.
 

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Handymen are people too
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403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Machine is back now and the job is done. Never will I ever go back to that place. They came out at 8am and put the track on it took about 25 mins. All while they were explaining how it easy it is to put it back on. I was just getting ready to try it again and put it on. It is easy after you look at how things work but I'm not being paid to do excavator repairs no time to figure things out.

The funny thing is the owner says "how could you do a stupid thing like that" then explains over the phone how to put it back on. So let me get this straight so you think I'm stupid yet you want me to try to fix your 20k+ machine?:laughing:

I'm 99% sure the track got hooked on a large stone just beneath the grass that i didn't see while i was turning. I'm sure it can pull a track off with the size of these stones and the tracks are rubber they stretch. When i say stones i mean mini bolders. That is the whole reason i needed a miniex because of the size of these things.

Anyway it's done and they dinged the customer for $50 service call that was normally $90 but he bitched so they lowered it to $50. The job site was 2 miles away from the rental joint. They never told him there will be a charge to come out either.

Very poor customer service. I hate renting machines or equipment from any rental place really because when things fail they automatically blame the operator.

I told the guy I wasn't doing 360s or anything crazy so tell me what exactly did i do to pop the track off? "I don't know we weren't there" Exactly but they are quick to blame the operator.

Oh well it's done...next job....
 

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Most operators would say it was lack of knowledge on behalf of the operator. It can happen to anyone, but it seldom happens to an experienced operator would knows how to turn the machine without stressing the track too much. chances are you were backing up at the time and the track came off the front idler. Has happened to every operator so chalk it up to experience. Did the same thing myself when I started running them. Got good at putting the track back on, and knowing when to adjust the tracks. Learning how to turn the machine while pivoting on the digger will eliminate most of the problems. Good luck and happy digging.
 

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Handymen are people too
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Most operators would say it was lack of knowledge on behalf of the operator. It can happen to anyone, but it seldom happens to an experienced operator would knows how to turn the machine without stressing the track too much. chances are you were backing up at the time and the track came off the front idler. Has happened to every operator so chalk it up to experience. Did the same thing myself when I started running them. Got good at putting the track back on, and knowing when to adjust the tracks. Learning how to turn the machine while pivoting on the digger will eliminate most of the problems. Good luck and happy digging.
Nope I have experience and used machines with tracks before I know how to steer them. Tracks come off with the pros that use them everyday from what I'm hearing and reading. Also if a stone pops up and gets caught in the drive sprocket it can derail the track. They are made out of rubber and rubber stretches.

I wouldn't rent equipment I have no knowledge of how to use I would sub it out. Renting equipment you never used before is poor business sense and I don't think the customer wants to pay for you to learn on his dime.
 

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Don't take it personal. First time it happened to me, I complained to a couple buddies who are operators, and both them said, that will teach you. Ive learned to be more careful in situations where there are small rocks that can get into the tracks, especially when backing up with the idlers in front. Turning in this situation can easily derail the tracks. Havent had one come off for quite a while now. Also learning to recognize when the track is getting loose. Stop every once and a while and lift yourself up and spin out the tracks and check them for tension. Easier than reinstalling the tracks.
 

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Handymen are people too
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Don't take it personal. First time it happened to me, I complained to a couple buddies who are operators, and both them said, that will teach you. Ive learned to be more careful in situations where there are small rocks that can get into the tracks, especially when backing up with the idlers in front. Turning in this situation can easily derail the tracks. Havent had one come off for quite a while now. Also learning to recognize when the track is getting loose. Stop every once and a while and lift yourself up and spin out the tracks and check them for tension. Easier than reinstalling the tracks.
Nothing to take personal I have experience operating these machines did you miss that?
 

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Head Grunt
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My mini had a worn out undercarriage and most of the time i could feel it was either coming off or had just come off. I had it down to about 5 minutes putting it back on. It doesnt take much for any wear or lack of adjustment to throw one either. My machine was wore with 6k hours but even with new tracks and being tight any kind of side incline it would walk the track off on the left side. Besides the idler housing being worn the only real problem was a bad idler on the bottom in the front. I moved it to the back and it still walked the track off. I just didnt travel it far on side inclines or i kept a close eye on it.
 

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Tracks rarely come off mini excavators if the tracks are in good condition, sprockets and rollers are not too worn, and the tension is properly set. Of course, it does happen sometimes if a rock or debris gets in the right place long enough and is even more common on a slope. It certainly isn't something that I would ever get angry at a customer for. I would actually be most concerned we hadn't set the tension right or the tracks had been run to long.

Josh
Nickell Rental
www.nickellrental.com
 

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I always use the same rental company. I rented a mini for a saturday. They dropped it off friday evening. By 7 pm I slipped the track off. Sat at 6:30 am I called the rental co. They were out in 1 hr, had the track on in 15 min and let me keep it until monday am n/c.
 
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