A Solution to Premature Excavator Bushing Failures

A Solution to Premature Excavator Bushing Failures

Precision and reliability are keystones for operational success in a demanding mining landscape. Every excavation project requires equipment that can withstand rigorous conditions and deliver consistent performance.

In Western Australia, two prominent mining companies faced a persistent challenge with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) design for excavator bushings. The bronze bushings of the Caterpillar 6020B excavator fleet, equipped with a small diameter flanged thrust face, proved insufficient for certain loading conditions. This led to accelerated wear, raising concerns about durability and longevity.

The OEM's attempted solution, adding a thrust ring to the bush flange's outer diameter, fell short of expectations. Mining operations were plagued by ongoing wear and maintenance issues. Moreover, the absence of seals in the standard arrangement exposed the bushings to contaminants and abrasive materials, exacerbating the wear rate and reducing component longevity.

In response to these challenges, we collaborated closely with the two Western Australian miners to solve their challenge with this part.


Geographe's Solution to Increase Asset Life of Excavators

In 2010, we partnered with a Tier 1 miner to solve the issues related to the thrust plate failures of Hitachi excavators. The outcome was the innovative Geographe Enhanced Performance™️ (EP) Top Hat Bush, a solution designed to eliminate premature thrust plate failures. Leveraging the success of the Geographe EP Top Hat Bush for Hitachi Excavators, we implemented crucial upgrades for Caterpillar 6020B Excavators.

Unlike conventional OEM parts, the Geographe EP Top Hat Bush is a single piece of material component manufactured sharing the same improved material and gas carburisation heat treatment process as the standalone bush, with a case depth of 2mm at 58-63HRC, ensuring the stick-to-bucket tolerance remains at OEM specifications for longer periods.

With advanced lubrication techniques such as figure 8 grease grooving and cross-hatching grease distribution methods, the Geographe EP Top Hat Bush provides superior lubrication to the pin. The best part? Fitting or removing this component does not necessitate any modifications to the excavator or its accompanying components, making it a hassle-free solution.

Deriving from our original EP Top Hat Bush design, the solution for the Caterpillar 6020B excavators involved replacing standard bronze bushes with case-hardened steel, incorporating a larger thrust face to enhance contact surface area.


Key Features of the Geographe EP Top Hat Bush

Our EP Top Hat Bush features various enhancements:

  • Retrofittable: Compatible with standard bore diameters, ensuring ease of fitment.
  • Case-hardened Steel: improved durability to withstand harsh operating conditions.
  • Cross-hatching: for superior lubrication and optimal performance.
  • Larger Flange Diameter: increased thrust surface area, addressing wear concerns.
  • Incorporated Split Seal: at the thrust face, changeable without disassembly, to retain grease in the work zone.

The Geographe EP Top Hat Bush for Caterpillar 6020B Excavators mitigates premature wear, significantly reducing downtime, and allowing mining operations to run smoothly and efficiently!

Ready to know how engineered solutions can help solve your site equipment challenges?


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