Vermeer Australia , providers of stump cutter cutting systems, have outlined rules for the maintenance of teeth in stump cutters.
Preventative maintenance means the maintenance required to keep the machine 'healthy' and limit or prevent major breakdowns. According to a recent survey of Vermeer Australia’s tree care customers, those who performed regular routine maintenance experienced fewer breakdowns than those who did not keep a maintenance schedule.
The following are the recommended four rules:
- Always refer to the manuals provided by manufacturers. Vermeer Australia provide operator's maintenance and parts manuals with each machine. These manuals contain important information about machine operation, safety, and maintenance. It is always best to follow manufacturers’ recommendations for daily and routine maintenance because each machine's maintenance requirment varies depending on the conditions and hours of operation. An indicative list of items to check and maintain daily includes fluid levels, cutter wheel, drive system and machine greasing.
- Be aware of surroundings. Contractors need to be aware of the grinding environment and know the local ground conditions. Some soils are more prone to rocks, while others have sandy soil conditions. Both can contribute to broken or accelerated wear on the teeth. Normal wear can be expected when grinding out a stump. Below-ground contaminants encountered when cutting below grade or objects that have grown into the tree trunk or stumps cause the most wear and reduce the overall life of stump cutter teeth. Fence posts, nails, bolts, hardware, children’s toys, rocks, bricks, concrete will reduce the long term life of stump cutter teeth.
- Know the general condition of the machine. Before and after every use, the teeth need to be checked for damaged, worn or missing carbide inserts, which will lead to wear of the main body of the tooth, possibly resulting in damage or wear to the pockets. A check for wear on the pockets, as well as one for damaged or missing teeth is also necessary.
- Never operate the machine if there are loose or missing parts on the cutter wheel. Failure to maintain cutter teeth, pockets, mounting bolts or the cutter wheel may lead to excessive cutter system vibration. This can shorten the life of gear boxes, bearings, frame and other stump cutter components.
Vermeer Australia advise that machines need to be treated well. Observing changes in the functioning of machines and performing regular check ups will pay off in the long run.