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catmastertech, Technician
Category: Construction and Road Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 2334
Experience:  Field service technician for CAT 19 years.
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Can the parking brake on a Cat 527 slip out or otherwise

Customer Question

Can the parking brake on a Cat 527 slip out or otherwise fail?
JA: What is the complete model and serial number of your machine?
Customer: cat 527 track-skidder 04ns00646
JA: Are you fixing this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: no. I'm a lawyer
JA: Anything else you want the equipment mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: I'm ready to talk. My telephone: **********
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Construction and Road Equipment
Expert:  catmastertech replied 10 months ago.

I am sorry no one could help you earlier. I don't do phone calls but, I will be glad to help you through this site if you still need help.

The brake design of this machine is such that the service brakes are the parking brake and are spring applied and must have oil pressure to release them. So, all of this type of machine (and most new machines today) will have the brakes locked when the engine is off.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
In my case, the operator insists that he lowered the parking brake lever before exiting to stand on the tread with the motor running in order to answer a question from a fellow worker. He exited on the left side. The brake lever is a barrier to exiting on the left side if it is in the up position.The track-skidder began to move backwards, trapping and effectively severing his leg. Afterwards, the lever was up. Can this lever slip out? What, if anything, keeps it from slipping out of the set (down) position? I have had the parking brake do so on cars with manual transmissions.
Expert:  catmastertech replied 10 months ago.

So I can be more accurate, can you post the full machine serial number of this tractor? (PIN)

Expert:  catmastertech replied 10 months ago.

Sorry for last post, I did not see the serial number was posted above.

The "safety" lever is designed with springs and an overcenter throw to hold the lever in the up or down position. This makes it difficult to place in in a partially release position. If the lever if maintain in a serviceable condition, it is more likely it will drop into the applied position (down). This will lock the transmission in neutral and the parking brakes will apply.

A properly maintained machine and a trained operator will never have trouble with the parking brake.

While the lever is long enough to be a barrier, it will not prevent the operator stepping around the lever. I have seen many "operators" leave machines without setting the safety lever to the down position.

The Safety section of the Operators manual includes this passage.

Machine Parking

Park on a level surface. If you must park on a grade, use blocks to prevent the machine from rolling.

Apply the service brake in order to stop the machine. Move the transmission control lever to NEUTRAL position and the speed control to LOW IDLE position. Engage the parking brake.

Lower all implements to the ground.

Stop the engine.

Turn the engine start switch key to OFF position and remove the key.

Always turn the battery disconnect switch to the OFF position before leaving the machine.

If the machine will not be operated for a month or more, remove the battery disconnect switch key.

Turning the battery disconnect switch to the OFF position will provide the following benefits:

  • Prevent battery discharge that is caused by a battery short circuit.


  • Prevent battery discharge that is caused by some of the components.


  • Prevent battery discharge that is caused by vandalism.

Trained operators also know to "ground" their implement before exiting a machine as well. All attachments should be placed on the ground to prevent implement movement that could injure others and would also prevent the machine moving.

If you need further help with this, please let me know.

Thanks, catmastertech

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