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Signs That Your CTL Track Drive Needs Attention

You depend on your CTL for getting work done and meeting deadlines, and every hour of downtime can cut into your bottom line. That’s why it is critical that you know the warning signs that something major is about to go wrong with your final drive -- if you catch the problem early, you can minimize downtime and keep those repair costs down.

Signs That Your CTL Track Drive Needs Attention

Excessive Noise or Vibration

If your hydraulic track motor is making more noise than it used to, or if it has started vibrating, that can mean your bearings are worn out. If you’ve got worn out bearings and just try to ignore the symptoms, it will lead to serious damage inside your hydraulic motor. You can see in the picture below an example of the aftermath of just such a bearing failure.




This type of damage cannot be repaired but could have been avoided if the bearings had been replaced when they first started showing signs of wear. If you hear new noises or more vibration than usual, then it is time to get your track drive motor(s) checked out.


Leaks mean that something has gone wrong -- most likely a worn-out seal that is a fairly straightforward repair task. However, like we just talked about with worn out bearings, if that leak is ignored it can result in a totaled track drive motor. Here’s why: if fluid can get out, then debris like dirt, sand, mud, and concrete dust can get inside and wreak havoc. A leak is a definite indication that your CTL track drive needs attention.




Loss of Power or Veers to One Side

If your compact track loader just doesn’t seem to move like it used to, there is a good chance that there are one of four causes: a weak charge pump, braking issues, the track drives are stuck on high-speed mode, or there are problems inside your track drive. You should try to eliminate the external issues before you pull your final drive motor, though.

If your machine keeps veering to the side, then the track motor on that side of the machine isn’t producing as much power. There might be an external cause, such as those just discussed, but with just one motor affected it is more likely an issue with the track drive motor or its brake system.

So, if your compact track loader just can’t make it up a hill like it used to, slows down more than usual when it is loaded, or veers to the side, that’s a sign that there could be a problem that needs to be addressed.

Drive Won’t Turn

This is the most obvious sign that your track drives need attention: one or both of them simply will not turn. However, before sending those track drive motors in, make sure that the brake is releasing and that there is hydraulic fluid actually reaching the motors. If those both check out, then there is an issue with one or both final drive motors.



If the track drives on your CTL or MTL stop functioning, your work comes to a halt -- and you can’t afford the downtime. That’s why you should watch out for the signs discussed in this blog post: excessive noise or vibration, leaks, loss of power, veering to one side, or a track drive that just won’t turn. These are all symptoms of a problem that needs to be addressed, and the longer you put off taking care of it, the more serious (and more costly) the problem is going to get.

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: Compact Track Loader, Multi Terrain Loader, CTL

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