Maintaining your Chipper Shredder
- Keep it clean. Chipper/shredders accumulate a lot of debris that can interfere with the chipper/shredder's ability to cool off and could possibly catch fire. Use a brush or dry cloth to clean off grass, wood chips and any other combustible material, especially around the muffler.
- Empty it out. To help the chipper/shredder start readily, remove any sticks or other debris from the shredder hopper, chipper chute or cutting chamber.
- Take a close look. Check that the chute deflector is firmly in place and that the shredder hopper and chipper chute are in the right position. Do a quick check of all the bolts and other connecting hardware, and tighten or replace loose or missing parts.
- Fill the fluids. Check the engine oil level and add more if it is below the fill line on the dipstick. Fill the fuel tank with unleaded gas
When you need to shut down your chipper/shredder to clear the discharge area or empty the collection bag, check the fuel level and add more unleaded gasoline if needed. If you run out of fuel with un-chipped material in the chipper/shredder, you must remove it all by hand before restarting — refueling at a more opportune time saves time and headaches.
If material gets jammed in the shredder hopper or chipper chute, or if you accidentally drop an object into the machine, turn off the engine immediately. After all of the moving parts stop, disconnect the spark plug wire and secure it so it won't spring back in place. Remove any material left inside the chipper/shredder and then inspect the machine carefully. Repair or replace any damaged parts and tighten any loose parts before restarting.
When you're done for the day, make sure nothing is left in the shredder hopper or chipper chute and then shut off the engine. Allow the engine to cool for at least 5 minutes and then use a brush or dry cloth to sweep off any chips or dirt left on the exterior. Store the chipper/shredder in a clean, dry place.
Here are general guidelines for chipper/shredder care. Refer to the owners manual for specific advice for your particular make and model.
- Change the engine oil after the first 5 hours you use your chipper/shredder to get rid of the initial fill running in oil. After that, change the oil every 30 hours, or at least once a year.
- Inspect all screws and bolts frequently, and tighten or replace them as needed.
- Because ample air flow is critical for keeping the engine cool and getting the right mix of air and fuel for good engine performance, replace the air filter at least once a year, but clean out after EVERY use, especially given the nature of the type of work the machine does & the type of debris that will be in the area as filters will get very dirty very quickly.
- Change the spark plug once a year.
- Use a light oil to lubricate pivot points, such as where the chipper chute and chute deflector join the body of the machine, once a year.
- Wash the collection bag with water at least once a year and let it dry thoroughly before putting it away.
- Have blades professionally sharpened & balanced as required.
Keep a calendar or notebook (or have an hour meter fitted) and record how long you run the machine during each session. You can also take note of when you perform routine maintenance.
If you're not planning to use your chipper/shredder for a month or more, or if you're putting it away for the winter, take a few extra steps when putting it in the shed so it's in good shape when you need it again.
- Protect from moisture. Remove all dirt and debris clinging to the exterior of the machine. Treat the metals parts with light oil or silicone to prevent rust.
- Run off or treat the gas. If you store your chipper/shredder with gasoline in it, the fuel can collect moisture, making it hard to start. You have two options - run the engine until it uses up all remaining fuel in the tank or add a fuel stabilizer agent & start the engine and let it run for a few minutes to circulate the treated fuel, and then shut it off.