Ask the Experts: Adjusting the Parking Brake for a LS170 Skid Steer Loader

“I have an LS170 skid steer loader and my guys seem to always leave the parking brake on and the parking brake goes out of adjustment. Is it hard to adjust? Also, when I inspect the drive chains, what am I looking for? How tight should they be? Thank you.” – Don

Thanks for writing in, Don. The brakes going out of adjustment was a common issue on the LX- and early LS-Series skid loaders.

When the parking brake is set properly it should prevent the unit from moving, even if the drive levers are moved. What we often see, though, is that the parking brake isn’t being pulled far enough to lock in place. The operator is most likely pulling until they feel some spring pressure, but they need to pull beyond that to completely lock the brake. Driving while the brake is half-pulled will wear down the brake surface and will require a brake adjustment.

To test your brakes, lock the parking brake and try to drive forward and backward. Your skid steer should not move. If either side moves at all, it’s time to adjust the brake.

Most skid steer parking brakes are adjusted by removing the brake lever from the shaft at the final drive gearbox and then re-installing it one spline from the original position. You should then test the brakes and repeat the adjustment as needed. Over adjustment will cause performance issues ranging from noise to the brakes unexpectedly locking up.

As far as adjusting the drive chains goes, you will need to remove all four wheels and adjust each axle individually. Loosen the eight axle housing nuts and slide the axles away from the center (front axles forward, rear axles back). The chains are properly adjusted when there is 0″ – 1/4″ movement measured at the tire tread.

If you have anymore questions, please contact your nearest Martin Implement location. Best of luck, Don, and make sure your guys stop driving with the brake on! – Ed.

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