Top 10 Tips to Maintain Your Wood Chipper
Keep Your machine clean
Often overlooked, but essential if you want to keep a visual check on your wood chipper.
Keep your blades sharp
Not only will you reap the beneﬁts of better productivity, you will prolong the life of your machine. Blunt blades lead to bigger impact forces which places stress on your machine.
Keep your brakes adjusted
Many wood chippers have an over-run braking system which will need adjusting from time to time. A guide as to whether your brakes need attention is if your handbrake has a lot of travel. The other sign that adjustment is needed is when the wood chipper thumps into you as you brake. The brakes not only help keep the wood chipper in place when unhitched, but they also assist you in stopping while you’re on the road.
Use genuine parts
The manufacturer of your wood chipper has taken time to test the durability and performance of each component. Yes, you can probably cut corners here and there, but if you have a failure later and that is somehow linked to a non-genuine part you may have diﬃculty with a warranty claim.
I’ve changed my blades – that’s all I need to worry about, isn’t it?
Have you looked at the anvil? It is more durable than the blades but will still wear over time. When it does you can experience issues feeding material and a deterioration of your chip quality.
Learn how to change your blades properly
You’ve probably changed the blades already, without any issues – it should be ﬁne, right? Well, do you know the correct torque setting for the blade bolts? Did you thoroughly scrape the back of the blade and the surface of the rotor before attaching the blades? When did you last replace the securing nuts for the blade bolts? If your blades don’t have a wear indicator, have you checked their dimensions to be sure that they are still safe to use? One last thing: back that torque wrench oﬀ to zero when you’re done or the calibration will be out next time.
Use the lock on your tow hitch
This is an obvious one but worth remembering. You’ve worked hard to get your equipment; you wouldn’t leave your truck unlocked, so make sure you’ve used the hitch lock to stop opportunists from helping themselves.
If you keep your chainsaws sharp and the air filter clean….
The same applies to your wood chipper. Sharp is easier, right? Why do you clean the air ﬁlter on your saw so often? Because you work it in dusty conditions. Your wood chipper is no diﬀerent, just more costly if you have an issue. A daily air ﬁlter check will prolong its life and increase your fuel economy.
Keep a push stick handy
Your wood chipper chips wood! A good habit to get into is to cut a suitably shaped stick to act as a pusher for those times that you get something awkward stuck in the feed funnel. If it’s taken by the rollers you’ve just lost a push stick, no drama, but if you were using a rake or a shovel instead, the story would have a very diﬀerent outcome…
In cold weather…
Check the radiator coolant mixture to protect from frost; if the mixture is too weak, the engine block will be damaged if it freezes. Has the battery been checked for condition and power? You don’t want to be let down on starting. Check the lights are working correctly for the darker nights and check the condition and pressures of the tyres.