How Does a Final Drive Motor Work

Whether you operate tractors, excavators, compact track loaders, skid steer loaders, or any other heavy equipment, a final drive motor is what keeps them running. Inside a final drive motor, there is a gearbox and a hydraulic motor. Sometimes, when people use the term final drive or “travel motor”, they are referring to the gearbox.

In this post, our experts are going to discuss the basics of how this motor works.

The Basics of a Final Drive Motor

The hydraulic travel motor component inside the final drive converts the hydraulic energy (provided by the main pump on your machinery) to spin a rotating group. This group utilizes an extremely sturdy shaft that runs through the other component of the drive – the gearbox.

The gearbox lowers the speed provided to that shaft using a planetary gear configuration and increases the available torque to spin the hub to which the track sprocket is secured to. This engages the tracks with incredible torque and moves the machine in the direction you want it to go.

It’s astonishing just how much torque and power a final drive motor can produce relative to its size. For example, a John Deere 35D final drive motor has a total weight of just 170 pounds, and it can swiftly move a mini excavator (7,600 pounds in weight) at speeds up to 2.8 mph. This seemingly little final drive can carry nearly 50 times its weight at those tremendous speeds, even at an incline).

With proper and timely maintenance, your final drive motor can perform at its full capacity for several years.

Integrated Final Drive Motor

While sometimes the terms “final drive” and “travel motor” are used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. The final drive motor is sometimes depicted as the combination of a speed-minimizing planetary gear hub with a hydraulic motor, which would mean the travel motor part can be considered a part of the final drive.

This is why many industry insiders refer to the final drive as a “planetary final drive” or a “planetary gear final drive unit”. To put it simply, the travel motor solely refers to the hydraulic motor while the final drive motor either refers to the planetary gear hub or to the combination of gear hub and hydraulic motor. The purpose of an integrated final drive motor is to supply enough power so that the excavator can turn its tracks on a construction site.

What You Get From a Precision Final Drives Motor

If you are looking for quality final drive parts and travel motors, Precision Final Drives is a great place to find what you need at wholesale prices, from internationally recognized brands like John Deere, Bobcat, Case Construction , Caterpillar, Hitachi, Nissan, and many more.

At Precision Final Drives, we provide a wide range of high-quality remanufactured as well as brand new final drive hydraulic motors. Our online store has a curated assortment of new travel motors and OEM final drives.

We understand that due to the workmanship and engineering that goes into final drive motors, they can be pretty expensive to fix or replace when they reach the end of their lifespan – this is where we can help you save a lot of money and resume your operations fast.

Call us at 888-511-6332 or send us a message online if you need a new final drive motor for your construction equipment.


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  2. What a nice article. It keeps me reading more and more!

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