Final Drive Motors Buying Guide


The final drive is a key component of an excavator. The final drive is made up of the hydraulic motor and a planetary gear system. Sometimes also referred to as travel motors, final drive motors provide power to turn tracks. Just like any other heavy equipment component, final drive motors are prone to wear out after long periods of use. In fact, worn or damaged final drive motors are a common cause of final drive failure in an excavator.

Final Drive Motor Failure: Repair or Replace?

As you can see, the final drive motor plays an important role in the functioning of an excavator and need to operate at 100 percent capacity at all times. Final drive malfunction can bring your construction project to a grinding halt, causing massive downtime and other complications. Final drive failure affects your entire operation and bottom line. If the source of the malfunction is the final drive motor, you have two options: repair or replace.

Final Drive Repair Options

When an excavator fails, you need to find the quickest way to get it up and running as soon as possible. Get in touch with a manufacturer-approved technician to assess the unit and identify the source of the problem. If the damage to the motor is minimal, the technician may recommend a repair. Often, repairs have a shorter lead time and are more economical compared to installing a replacement unit.

plantary gears

When to Replace the Final Drive Motor

When operating in ideal conditions, a final drive motor can last a lifetime. Unfortunately, maintaining ideal conditions in heavy equipment such as excavators is not always possible. Even with proper maintenance, the internal components of heavy equipment of such an excavator will succumb to the effects of wear and tear. At some point, parts such as the final drive motor will have worked an excessive number of hours and will require replacement.

But how do you know that time has come to replace the final drive motor? Here are a few signs to look out for.

Damaged Cover Plate

final drive motors
final drive motors

In most cases, a blown cover plate means that the inside of the final drive motor is damaged totally. Usually, a cracked cover plate is a result of a clogged drain filter. Clogs in the drain filter increase hydraulic pressure inside the final drive motor. Too much pressure cracks or blows off the cover plate and in the process causes irreparable damage to most of the components in the final drive.


Contamination occurs when the final drive motor is left exposed in an environment filled with dust and debris, which also happens to be the environment where excavators are used. This means that contamination can be generated through regular use. Final drive motors contain a hydraulic filter which is designed to trap these contaminants, but some still manage to slip through the cracks and do irreparable damage.

Excessive Noise

Heavy equipment is often noisy. However, excessive noise can be a sign of a damaged final drive motor. It can be contamination, worn-out gears or bearings, etc. Either way, excavator operators can discern problematic noise and know that something very bad has happened.  A high-pitched squeaking sound is usually caused by a weak final drive motor accompanied by a weak charge pump and is never a good sign.


Overheating is another common sign of a failing final drive motor. An overheating gearbox on an excavator is something that operators should not ignore. It could also be some other mechanical issues such as worn out bearings, brake issues, hot hydraulic fluid, or insufficient gear oil. Either way, if the final drive is too hot to touch, you have an impending problem on your hands.

Shopping for Final Drive Motors

When it comes to buying a replacement final drive motor, you have two options: an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or an aftermarket replacement. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your situation, an OEM replacement final drive motor may be your ideal option and vice versa. So, how do you decide between the two?

OEM Replacements  

OEM final drive motors are made by the manufacturer of the excavator and are designed to be exactly like the original. When dealing with an OEM final drive motor, quality is guaranteed. These are also easy to choose as they come in one type. OEM final drive motors also come with a warranty from the manufacturer. However, OEM final drive motors tend to be pricier than their aftermarket counterparts.

Aftermarket Final Drive Motors

Aftermarket final drive motors, on the other hand, are not sourced from the original manufacturer. Aftermarket final drive motors are typically less expensive than OEM replacements and often equal — sometimes better — in terms of quality. Aftermarket final drive motor replacements are also easier to find which means that your excavator will be back up and running quickly, saving a lot of money and downtime.

Buy OEM and Aftermarket Final Drive Motors from Xugong

At Xugong Machinery Parts, we offer both OEM and aftermarket final drive motors. At the moment, we have large stocks of final drive motors from original brands like Rexroth, Kawasaki, Eaton, Nachi, Nabtesque, and Kayaba. We also have aftermarket final drive motors that correspond to the OEM specifications and your quality needs — made in China with 6 months quality warranty — as well as rebuilt final drive motors with a one-year quality warranty.

Why You Should Buy Final Drive Motors from Us

Xugong  KS offers OEM as well as high-quality aftermarket final drive motors that comply with OE specs. In terms of delivery, we offer fast shipping-by sea or by DHL or TNT thus guaranteeing fast turnaround times for receiving your motor. We have a large stock of parts and we’ll make sure that you get the right one for your excavator. If you have limited knowledge of how to fix it on the excavators, our engineering team can assist.

If you are looking for a company that can provide final drive motors and other excavator parts for your business, look no further than KS from Xugong. We offer best-in-class quality excavator parts for businesses all over the world. Contact us for more information.

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