Do I need to change both final drives on my excavator?

Do I need to change both final drives on my excavator?

In brief, the wear and tear of the current final drive can inevitably lead to a speed disparity. Additionally, a widely recognized factor is that if one final drive malfunctions, the other side is likely to follow suit; it's just a matter of time. Therefore, the most effective solution is to replace both sides to ensure the overall efficiency of the machine.

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Let's dig a bit deeper into the reasons behind this.
Ensuring Uniform Performance: The Necessity of Changing Both Final Drives on Your Excavator


Excavators are vital machines in construction and excavation projects, relying on intricate systems for optimal functionality. Among these critical components are the final drives, responsible for propelling the machine. When considering whether to replace the final drives on an excavator, the issue of speed consistency between the left and right sides often arises. In cases where maintaining the same speed on both sides is crucial, opting to change both final drives due to wear and tear becomes a prudent decision.

The Impact of Wear and Tear:

Over time, excavators undergo extensive use and are exposed to challenging working conditions, leading to wear and tear on various components. The final drives, comprised of hydraulic motors and planetary gear systems, are particularly susceptible to this wear. Uneven wear on these components can result in one final drive operating at a different speed than the other, compromising the excavator's overall performance.

Factors Contributing to Asymmetrical Wear:

  1. Operating Conditions: The nature of excavation tasks, especially in challenging terrains, can accelerate wear on the final drives. Uneven ground, abrasive materials, and heavy loads contribute to varying degrees of stress on each side of the machine.

  2. Maintenance Practices: Inconsistent or inadequate maintenance can lead to accelerated wear on one final drive compared to the other. Regular inspections and timely replacement of worn components are essential for balanced performance.

  3. Age of the Excavator: Older excavators may experience more significant wear on their components, including the final drives. As the machine ages, the likelihood of asymmetrical wear increases.

Why Change Both Final Drives?

  1. Symmetrical Performance: Replacing both final drives ensures that the excavator maintains symmetrical performance. This is crucial for tasks requiring precision and accurate control, preventing operational challenges.

  2. Balanced Wear Over Time: Changing both final drives provides an opportunity to reset the wear pattern, promoting balanced performance over the machine's extended lifespan.

  3. Preventive Maintenance: Even if one final drive is currently in good condition, opting to change both as a preventive measure can avoid future issues. It is a proactive approach to sustaining the health and longevity of the excavator.

  4. Efficient Operation: Consistent speed on both sides allows the excavator to navigate various terrains and execute tasks efficiently. This is particularly important for applications where precision is paramount.

Best Practices for Replacement:

  1. Comprehensive Inspection: Conduct a thorough inspection of both final drives to assess the extent of wear and identify any potential issues. This helps in making informed decisions about replacement.

  2. Quality Replacement Parts: Invest in high-quality replacement parts, preferably OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) to ensure reliability and performance consistency.

  3. Professional Guidance: Seek advice from qualified technicians or experts specializing in excavator maintenance. Their insights can help determine the optimal course of action based on the specific condition of your final drives.


In conclusion, when wear and tear have caused a speed discrepancy between the left and right final drives, choosing to replace both units is a wise decision. By prioritizing symmetrical performance, balanced wear, and preventive maintenance, excavator owners can guarantee efficient and reliable operation, ultimately extending the lifespan of their valuable machines.


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