Various functions of Excavator Undercarriage Parts

While many people can readily envision an image of an excavator, knowing the functions of excavator undercarriage parts is unknown information.

The traditional form of excavators has not evolved since its first inception despite the many changes in its design. While big and mini excavators may not have the same capabilities and features, the excavator undercarriage parts remain basic for all of them.

Giving excavators the ability to move around the work area is the main function of their lowest section known as the undercarriage.

Excavators can move quickly around any work area with the help of their undercarriage. The various models of excavators may look different but they all share the same undercarriage parts which are:


The blade is an optional attachment that may not be available for all excavator models. However, an excavator undercarriage attached with a dozer blade quickly clears the ground by removing any loose material.

Many excavator owners have seen the importance of having dozer blades attached to the undercarriage. This is the reason for some excavator models showing the inclusion of dozer blades in their undercarriage.


The metal caterpillar tracks fashioned showing steel pins connecting a series of steel plates were the traditional equipment of excavators. Considered as the continuous track, track sprockets were used to drive the two-toothed wheels running on rollers. The extremely durable steel was the initial material used for excavator tracks.

However, paved surfaces of worksites become damaged when steel tracks rolled over them. This has made excavator manufacturers come up with another track design; the rubber tracks.

The creation of rubber tracks also placed excavator owners in a quandary. Are the rubber tracks a better option than steel tracks?

Rubber Tracks vs. Steel Tracks

Advantages of Rubber Tracks

While steel tracks remain the irreplaceable choice, the rubber tracks have become increasingly popular for the following benefits:

  • Manoeuvrability
  • Affordability
  • Lesser surface impact
  • Comfort
  • Speed

Advantages of Steel Tracks

  • Less repair and maintenance
  • Easy to clean and upkeep
  • Tough and durable
  • Provides balance and counterweight
  • Provides uniform load transfer and distribution

Final Drives

Connecting the engine above to the gearing system and the hydraulic motor is via the drive shaft. This connection provides tracks to be individually powered to allow them to turn to the left or the right. An excavator is allowed the power to turn on the spot by moving one track and stopping the other track.

Track Frame

The main body of an excavator’s undercarriage is known as the track frame. It is designed as a rectangular-shaped solid steel frame with sides featuring the track bodies. The swing bearing, slew ring, and swing gear are the parts that are found in the track frame. A centre pin connects the track frame to the house of the excavator. An excavator can perform a 360 rotation when a hydraulic swivel is installed at the apex of the track frame. A stationary excavator can still perform left to right movements with the help of the track frame.

Understanding the various excavator undercarriage parts allows an owner the right way to maintain its tip-top condition. A well-maintained machine holds the secret to its longer lifespan.


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