How to use a Log Splitter safely
- Read, understand, and follow all instructions on the machine, and in the operator's manual before attempting to assemble and operate a Log-Splitter.
- Be familiar with all controls and proper operation. Know how to stop the machine and disengage it quickly.
- Never allow children under 16 years old to operate this machine. Children, 16 years and over, should read and understand instructions and safety rules in the user manual, and should be trained and supervised by a parent or adult experienced operator.
- Many accidents occur when more than one person operates the machine. If a helper is assisting in loading logs, the loader/helper should immediately stand back and call, ‘GO’ or Ready’. The gate-valve operator should never activate the controls until the loader/helper is a minimum of 10 feet from the machine.
- Keep bystanders, pets and children at least 20 feet from the machine while it is in operation.
- Hydraulic log splitters develop high fluid pressures during operation. All fluid leaks should be professionally repaired prior to using the machine. Fluid escaping through a pin hole opening can penetrate your skin and cause blood poisoning, gangrene, or death.
- Keep the operator zone and adjacent area clear for safe, secure operation.
- This machine should only be used for splitting wood to the maximum recommended diameter. Do not use it for any other purpose.
- Always wear strong well-fitting clothing, safety shoes or heavy boots.
- Always wear ear muffs, safety glasses or safety goggles while operating this machine. A Safety Visor, hardhat combination headgear is advised.
- Never wear jewellery or loose clothing that might become entangled in the moving, or rotating, parts of the machine. Keep long hair tied back.
- Make sure the machine is on a level surface before operating.
- Always block or strap down machine to prevent unintended movement, and lock in either horizontal or vertical position depending on the machine type.
- Always operate this machine from the operator zone(s) as specified in your operator's manual.
- IMPORTANT: Logs should be trim/cut with square ends prior to splitting. Failure to do so could cause wood to fling from the machine in a dangerous and injurious manner and damage or bend the ram. NOTE: Damage due to excessive ram side pressure will be unlikely to be covered by warranty.
- Use the log splitter in daylight or under artificial flood light.
- To avoid personal injury, or property damage, use extreme care in handling gasoline with petrol powered machines. Read safety instructions on Gasoline handling.
- Always use an inline RCD device with mains power operated machines.
- Moisture proof all outside electric plug connections.
- Never leave the machine unattended with the engine running or switched on.
- Keep both your hands and your helper/feeders hands away from the operating action area at all times.
- Always keep fingers away from any cracks that open in the log while splitting. They can quickly close and pinch, or amputate, your fingers.
- Always use good common sense at all times.
Some petrol powered Log Splitters can be used in both horizontal and vertical positions. Specific safety tips for using a Log Splitter in the horizontal position:
- Read all relevant safety and operating instruction material. Respect the sheer power of the Hydraulic Log Splitter. Logs should be cut and prepared with square ends prior to splitting. This will stop logs pinging off at high speed with possible damage to people nearby. This will also eliminate side pressure on the ram causing possible damage or bending of the ram. NOTE: Damage due to excessive ram side pressure will be unlikely to be covered by warranty.
- When loading a log, always place your hands on the sides of the log, not the ends, and never use your foot to help stabilize a log. Failure to do so, may result in crushed or amputated fingers, toes, hand, or foot. The slow speed of this machine can be deceptive.
- Stand away from the ‘action area’ at all times to avoid injury from spontaneous fracture.
- Always use both hands to operate the controls.
- Never attempt to split more than one log at a time unless the ram has been fully extended and a second leverage log is needed to complete the separation of the first log.
- For logs which are not cut square, re-trim as square as possible. The least square end and the longest portion of the log should be placed toward the solid beam and wedge, and the square end of the log placed towards the hydraulic ram end plate, all as centrally positioned as possible.
For splitting shorter logs: Place a solid piece of wood behind the returning ram to stop it from fully retracting. This will help speed up the forward splitting operation.
For specific safety tips on using a Log Splitter in the vertical position, read the above horizontal operation guide, plus the following steps:
- Stabilize the log on the end baseplate directly under the ram wedge before moving the control.
- Once you have placed the log on the end baseplate, turn the log until it leans against the back beam and is stable.
- When splitting extra-large or uneven logs, the log must be stabilized with wooden chips or split wood wedges between the log and the base plate, or ground.
- Always stand behind the machine at the controls area before operating the hydraulic ram to avoid injury from spontaneous fracture.
- If a helper is assisting in loading logs, the loader/helper should immediately stand back and call, ‘go’ or ‘ready’. The gate-valve operator should never activate the controls until the loader/helper has signaled he/she is ready and is a minimum of 10 feet from the machine.
- Always keep fingers away from any cracks that open in the log while splitting. Cracks can quickly close and pinch, or amputate your fingers.
- Finally, good common sense is required at all times.