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Top 10 Tips for Maintaining Your Chipper!

Woodchipper malfunctions, particularly at job sites, pose a significant threat to your company’s reputation and leads to prolonged downtime.

At Cal-Line, we recognize the cost-effectiveness of regular maintenance for your woodchipper. Which is why we’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 Tips for Maintaining Your Chipper, so the minor problems don’t become major ones.

Knives & Anvil
The knives and Anvil are the heart of the machine; if they’re not in top condition, your chipper will suffer. Regularly sharpening your blades and ensuring they’re adjusted is essential for making sure they last longer and effectively break down plant debris.

Always check for correct knife angles, grinding procedures and make sure you’re using either OEM-approved and/or professionally sharpened knives.

Belt Maintenance
Did you know new belts tend to stretch very soon and require frequent adjustments? It’s important that after the initial break period you check and adjust the belt tension. Make sure your belts are well-aligned as slipping belts will affect the feeding performance.

Clutch Adjustment
It’s crucial you properly adjust the clutch and monitor it regularly, as any incorrect adjustment could result in the clutch slipping under a load, causing feeding problems!

It’s essential you lubricate bearings, pivot points, hinges and chains all according to the owner’s manual. Apply 10W/30 motor oil to lubricate the metal-to-metal surfaces and the slide-to-angle surfaces.

Engine Maintenance
All filters and fluids must be checked, serviced and changed regularly. Since chippers produce dust, special attention should be given to air filters to maintain peak engine performance and protection.

Engine Radiators & Screens
Be sure to consult with a professional technician for regular maintenance as cleaning the radiator can get a little tricky. For a crystal clean radiator, it’s best to use compressed air or pressurized water. If pressurized water is used, be careful not to harden any debris.

Safety Devices
The Engine Disable Plug disables the engine if the hood pin is not properly in place, holding the chipper hood in the closed position. Always make sure the plug is connected and the chipper hood is NEVER opened or closed if the chipper disc/drum is turning.

Hydraulic System Maintenance
Regular maintenance for your woodchipper’s hydraulic system is key to ensure proper and safe operation.

  • Dump cartridges or solenoids in the system.
  • Filters are regularly changed.
  • Hydraulic pressure levels meet model recommendations.
  • Need to add oil changes per manual.

Feed System Slide Box
Bottom Feed: to prevent binding in the machine, clean it on a regular basis and make sure to shut it down before cleaning.
Yoke Spring Adjustment: if there’s too much downward force, the wood won’t be properly fed. Make sure to watch out for this as too little pressure will allow the feedwheels to spin on the wood.

One of the first things to look at when checking the autofeed system is the engine RPM. Failure of the engine to return to its initial RPM will keep the feedwheels from operating under the autofeed system.
The functionality of the cartridges and valves are also important. Look for blockages as this can prevent the feedwheels from operating correctly even if the electrical autofeed mechanism is functioning properly.

At Cal-Line, we offer a wide range of equipment available in varied styles and models. Regardless of the chipper you choose, it’s important you prioritize maintenance for the safety of both you and your chipper!
Now that you’ve learned some ways to maintain your woodchipper, we encourage you to reach out to us if you need further assistance. Our team of skilled technicians provide the kind of service that runs as well as our machines! Feel free to give us a call at (916) 564-1015!