Top Maintenance Tips for your Rotochopper Equipment
Inspecting Main Bearings: Main bearings are instrumental in the overall performance of your horizontal grinder. Regular inspections of the main bearings will ensure your equipment is running at its best performance and will also minimize additional issues that may arise from a failed main bearing down the road. During these inspections, you should be looking for any impact damage, banding or strings that may be wrapped around the bearing and general wear indicators.
Watch our Rotochopper University video on how to install main rotor bearings.
Checking and Replacing Wear Liners: Wear liners protect the inside of the grinding chamber and simplify maintenance. Be sure to regularly inspect the wear liners on your machine to minimize additional wear to your machine and mitigate downtime down the road. Repairing or replacing this wear part as needed can increase the longevity and performance of the machine.
Checking and Replacing Hardfacing: Hardfacing weld provides an additional level of protection to prevent wear on specific components, maximizing the integrity and longevity of your equipment. Your daily maintenance checks should include inspecting any areas that have hardfacing and replacing the hardfacing as needed (any new hardfacing should only be added to the base metal, never on top of old hardfacing). These areas could include the rotor, rakers, screen cradles, and side cases of the machine to name a few.
Screen Maintenance: Ensuring your screens are regularly checked, maintained, and replaced if needed should be on your daily maintenance checklist. Screens that are maintained properly will not only support positive production rates but will also mitigate additional service and maintenance needs.
Maintenance on Tracked Machines: If you own tracked equipment; checking and performing maintenance on the machine tracks is an important part of regular maintenance. Our top recommendations would include; inspecting the track rollers, confirming the track tension is adequate, and cleaning out any material build up on the carriage.
Cleaning Screen Stops: Each time you remove or replace screens in your grinder, be sure to inspect and clean any material or debris from both the screens and the screen stop. This will ensure that the screens sit tight against the screen stop, decreasing the risk of additional maintenance needs and potentially increasing your production.
Maintenance on the Color Skid: Remember to check every component on your color skid. Things like inspecting and ensuring connections are clean and dry, making sure the suction hose is clear and tight, and making sure your colorant is fully mixed before you start coloring are all things to keep in mind.
Check the Lube in Your Color Pump: Ensuring your color pump is working properly is a key to successful mulch coloring. One wear part on the color pump that should be inspected regularly and replaced as needed is the color pump hose. Look for any cracks, leaks, wear and be sure any debris is not causing issues. If you do need to replace the hose watch the Rotochopper University video here for step by step instruction on how to do it.
Check and Replacing Teeth: Checking and replacing teeth should be part of the daily maintenance checklist for your grinder. When inspecting, you should be looking to ensure teeth are not damaged, broke, or loose. Any debris should be cleaned out from around the tooth when inspecting. Replacing teeth when needed will optimize production, minimize additional maintenance needs and costs, and will help prevent your rotor from becoming unbalanced.
Watch our Rotochopper University video on how to install your single bolt teeth.
Changing Your Clutch Oil: If you own an FP-66 or B-66 model Rotochopper grinder changing your clutch oil should be on your maintenance checklist and should be changed every 500 hours. When changing the clutch oil be sure to change the filter and replace the oil with a vendor recommended option. The two that we typically use are Mobilfluid 424, or for cold weather climates Mobilfluid LT.
Replacing Main Bearing Grease: Main rotor bearings are imperative to the effective operation of your grinder. Ensuring you are changing the main bearing grease at regular intervals to remove dirt and contamination is necessary to keep the bearings running cool and remaining efficient. A few things to consider – rotor bearing grease should be changed every 300-750 hours (although every use case will vary), inspect grease at your 300 hour maintenance check and replace if needed and if the grease is contaminated repeat this inspection every 100 hours until grease requires replacement. Walk through the process of changing the rotor bearing grease with our customer service team on our Rotochopper University video.
Conveyor Belt Tracking: Checking your conveyor belts should be a regular maintenance check on your Rotochopper equipment. Things to look for – make sure the belts are running off the wall, check for any wear on the sides of the belt, look over all lacing and belt seams, confirm all rollers under the belt are free spinning and intact, and make sure flashing is in good condition. Catching any belt issues early can save you time and money.
Changing Your Oil & Hydraulic Fluid: Changing and sampling the oil and/or hydraulic fluid on your Rotochopper equipment is an essential part of machine maintenance. Following the hourly run intervals outlined in your owner’s manual as a guide for timing is a great place to start, but the end of the year or end of the season is also a great time to check and change the oil and fluid regardless of run hours to ensure you are ready for the your next start up.
Drive Belt Tension: Every time you change the oil on your diesel grinder or every 250 hours for electric grinders, tighten the drive belt as part of your routine maintenance. You should also tighten the drive belt every 20 hours after installing a new belt.
Winterizing your Colorizer: Winterizing your colorizer will ensure it does not get damaged during the winter months and will be ready for setup when spring mulch season arrives. Learn more about winterizing your colorizer here.
Always refer to your owner’s manual or contact customer service if you have questions!