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Compact Track Loader Final Drives: 5 Signs They Need Service


There is never a convenient time to get the final drive on your CTL serviced, but servicing becomes necessary as time passes. In this Shop Talk Blog post, we are going to discuss the signs that indicate the need for you to get your final drive serviced ASAP. Some of them are common sense, of course -- but others might not be so obvious.

The Final Drive Won’t Turn

Obviously, there’s a problem if your final drive refuses to turn; however, the problem might not have anything to do with the final drive itself. If this happens on your CTL / MTL, check that the brake is releasing as it should and that the hydraulic fluid is reaching the final drive. You should also check the sprocket and the tracks for signs of a potential problem. If all of that checks out, it’s time to send in your final drive for service.

Compact Track Loader Seems Weak


Sometimes, you'll find that a compact track loader or multi-terrain loader just doesn’t seem to have any power; however, this doesn't necessarily mean that the final drive is to blame. Keep in mind that a lack of power can manifest itself in different ways: your CTL may not be able to carry the same load it did a few days ago, or it may be that it just can’t make it up that incline, for example. In any case, you should start by check the hydraulic pressure on your hydraulic motor. If the motor is a variable speed motor, make sure that it isn’t stuck at high speed (higher speed means less torque and less turning power, mimicking a weak motor). Another potential cause is high friction caused by track tension or rollers and idlers in poor condition. If you hear a screeching sound along with the drive being weak, then it could be an issue with the charge pump. If none of these are the problem, then you need to get your hydraulic motors serviced.



Keeps Steering to One Side

The same information applies to a CTL / MTL that keeps steering to one side, except in this scenario, it means that just one of the final drives is lacking power. The final drive with the problem will be on the same side that the machine is veering -- that would be the weaker hydraulic motor.



There’s Evidence of a Leak

Leaks are bad, period. If you see a leak around the sprocket or fluid dripping on the tracks, then it is likely that the main seal has failed. Leaks need to be addressed as soon as possible. As we always point out, if fluid can get out, then damaging contaminants can also get in. An unattended leak can quickly lead to a totaled final drive motor.

Vibration or Unusual Noises

If you final drive is making more noise than usual or is vibrating excessively, it may mean that your bearings are worn out. Failure to get those bearings replaced can lead to a great deal of damage to your final drive. If you notice new vibrations or sounds, then it is time to get your final drive serviced.  The image below is an example of a bearing that went out and totaled the final drive.



Watch out for things like refusal to turn, weak behavior, a machine that keeps turning to one side, leaks, vibration, and unusual noises. They mean that there is something wrong with your final drive.  If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to either determine the cause or send in your final drive for service before things get worse. 


Texas Final Drive is your partner in providing new or remanufactured final drive hydraulic motors from a single mini-excavator to a fleet of heavy equipment. Call today so we can find the right final drive or hydraulic component for you, or check out our online store to find your O.E.M. manufacturer brand motor now.

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Topics: Final Drive, Heavy Equipment, Final Drive Maintenance, Compact Track Loader

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