Compact track loader
Compact tracked loaders are very handy and useful machines, they are the best tools for urban construction sites or in the construction industry. They are also called mini-chargers.
Mini-loaders: handy, modern and versatile
With the changing needs of site managers, manufacturers quickly realized that there was a strong demand in France and Europe for smaller and smaller machines. The challenge is being met by designers of construction machinery such as Caterpillar, Bobcat and Case. The manoeuvrability of these construction machines will depend on several things, the precision of the controls and manipulators, and of course the performance of the hydraulic system. As the first mini-loaders arrived quite late, compact tracked loaders are generally modern enough and designed to be easily usable (even used models). Indeed, the machine is easily usable, after a few minutes of use, the operator starts to control the machine well. Finally, after a few hours at the controls of the compact machine, the operator will be happy to use it to lift or tow.
The different applications of compact tracked loaders
The qualities of a mini-loader mean that it can be used for different tasks and applications in the field of public works. For example, it is found on construction sites because its size allows it to slip through even in narrow environments. It can also be useful in roads and various networks or even in sorting centres. Tracked mini loaders are also suitable for gardens and guarding because the rubber tracks leave little trace on the lawn.
Many brands of mini tracked loaders
Case : Large tank, good fuel efficiency, spacious cab, good all-round visibility, accurate and good hydraulic system.
Bobcat : This brand is well known for these compact machines, and this is no coincidence. Power in a confined environment. Good traction and lifting capacities. With the possibility of being equipped with many accessories from the same brand, this mini tracked loader is ideal to complete your fleet of larger tracked or wheel loaders.
Caterpillar : The American brand also makes mini-chain loaders such as the 247 or 216B. The stretcher is strong, the canopy wide enough for a compact machine. Finally the chain train is quite strong.
The main parts of used mini-chain loaders
The tracked mini-loaders will be composed of rubber chain drives. They are useful so as not to damage the ground but are obviously less resistant than steel. Most models do not have windows, we talk about canopy, it is not by chance, it is to save space, which means that the "cabin" can be placed in the lift arm that includes the entire machine (for example CAT 277). The operator therefore enters from the front of the machine as there are no real doors. For the other parts, we find the same thing as on used tracked loaders, but of smaller size: half sprocket, idle wheels, travel motors and the same equipment such as a standard bucket or loader bucket.
Some models have a cage around their drive wheel, (sometimes called a squirrel cage) it is in contact with the teeth of the chain and clogs less, for example some CAT 277 series.
How do I maintain my used mini charger ?
Like a larger tracked loader, a mini loader requires maintenance and inspection. Due to its size, this is simplified, everything is easily accessible from the ground. Our first advice is related to the use, the rubber chains of the mini-loaders wear out on tight bends, it is better for the operator to take wider bends if his environment allows it. The acceleration due to a descent wears out many undercarriage parts, so it is always better to work flat or, if necessary, work perpendicular to the slope.
The parts that will wear the fastest are of course on the rubber tracks and the support frame. If your rubber track is damaged, do not hesitate to replace it before it is your track frame that wears out in its place. Do not always use the same side ! Work on the less worn side to increase the life of your chains.