Reverse tip wear and reverse drive wear are two of the fastest ways to grind down a crawler tractor's undercarriage. They look very similar, but tip wear happens when the machine is moving forward and reverse drive wear happens when it's backing up. Here's how to identify them and apply the proper corrective action.
Tip wear on the reverse side of sprocket teeth happens while the machine is driving forward. Sprockets packed with mud force the bushing to seat high on the tooth, and a single bushing carries nearly all of the drive power. Following bushings strike the back side of the teeth, rounding off the tips. Loosen track tension to reduce reverse tip wear. Special sprocket segments, called relieved sprockets, can reduce the packing of mud.
Driving the machine in reverse twists bushings against the sprocket teeth and the front idler, accelerating bushing wear. It will eventually grind a pocket into the base of each sprocket tooth, while reverse tip wear rounds off the tips. Limit backing, especially when making repetitive passes, and slow down to control reverse drive wear.
Reverse wear erodes the lower front of the bushing. Reverse tip wear tends to create a flat spot on the bushing, but most tracks get enough reverse drive wear to round the edges.