How do I check the mechanical condition of the caterpillar belt assembly?

These recommendations refer to our caterpillar infeeders & pullers fitted with a drive train consisting of a vertical drive shaft powering the belts via boom gearboxes (worm or spiral bevel).

It is important to check the mechanical condition of the caterpillar belt assembly regularly. This will ensure that worn or damaged parts can be identified & replaced.

The machine performance & accuracy will suffer if worn or damaged parts are not replaced promptly.

Remember: regular planned preventative maintenance is far better than unexpected, unplanned, machine downtime due to a component failure!

Please ensure that the power is disconnected from the machine before removing any guard or access panel!

Machine base area:

This is normally accessed by removing the front or rear cover panel.

  1. Lower worm reduction gearbox: check for oil leaks (failed seals) & excessive gear backlash or movement when you turn the shaft by hand.
  2. Gearbox couplings (motor & vertical shaft): check for excessive backlash, worn keys & loose fasteners.

Caterpillar belt assembly area:

Access is from the front by opening the guard doors. Some machines have removable access panels at the rear & ends of the machine.

  1. Vertical drive shaft <> bevel gearbox connection: check for a worn shaft, worn drive keys & worn keyways.
  2. Upper & lower boom gearboxes: look for excessive gear backlash. This is a sign that the gear teeth are badly worn.
  3. Boom gearboxes to horizontal drive shafts: check for worn shafts, worn drive keys, worn keyways & loose fasteners.
  4. Upper & lower main drive rollers (gearbox end): check for excessive backlash or movement.
  5. Bearing: check all bearings are clean & in good condition. Dust or debris under the bearing may be a sign that the bearings have seized & are being worn down.
  6. Caterpillar belts: check that the poly-vee belts are clean & undamaged. Also that they are tensioned correctly & running straight in the poly-vee slots.

We strongly recommend replacing all parts which appear to show signs of wear or damage. Not doing this could result in an unplanned component failure with resultant downtime.

Excessive movement in the gears (backlash) is a strong sign that the gears are badly worn & that the gearbox/s need to be replaced.

For more information & assistance please contact our Tech Team via email: