Skid steers are replacing the dog as man’s best friend. While they’re certainly not as cute as those four-legged companions, they are versatile, hard-working, and can tackle challenging tasks you would never be able to manage on your own. If you own a skid steer, then you will know what we’re talking about.
Skid steers are a helpful machine on their own, but when you pair them with attachments such as mulchers, they become even more so. Skid steer mulcher attachments are designed to mulch grass, trees, brush, and basically anything else that gets in their way. Given the daily wear and tear you put them under, it shouldn’t be of any surprise that you need to look after them. Maintenance is crucial.
If you’re ready to buy new mulchers for your skid steer, or you’re trying to tackle maintenance before the busy season begins, then read on. We’ve got a few helpful tips for you.
Check Your Rotor
The rotor is responsible for the rotation of your mulcher attachment, but it has a hard job. It has to power through the brush, trees, and more, often finding itself hitting rocks and debris. If any debris gets caught in the mulcher’s rotor, it can stall the attachment and stop turning.
Always check your rotor for debris and anything that can stop it from performing at its best. To do so safely, turn off the hydraulics and move your skid steer to open space. Put the mulcher on the ground then drive in reverse. The force without hydraulic power will (in theory) get rid of the problem. You should be ready to tackle the challenging shrubbery once more.
Inspect All Hardware
Vibrations and everyday use can cause bolts and nuts to wriggle their way loose. Every time you go to use your mulcher attachment, check all hardware to make sure it’s tight. In your manual, you may even find specifications for the torque.
If you don’t maintain your hardware, you can experience oil leakages which can cause significantly more problems than you may have bargained for.
Get a Handle on Hydraulics
Both your hydraulic oil levels and hydraulic system are critical components to maintain on your skid steer. They will make sure you can operate mulchers at their best. If your hydraulic fluid levels are too low, oil temperatures can go through the roof.
You then have to remove the mulcher from the area you are clearing and wait until it cools down. Productivity is everything, so this is something you want to avoid where possible.
When you refill your fluids, make sure you refer to your manufacturer’s manual. Every machine is different. While you’re checking the fluids, inspect your overall hydraulic system. Any damage can cause significant problems, resulting in the improper performance of mulchers that normally do such a great job!
Inspect the Teeth
When was the last time you checked your mulcher’s teeth? A common cause of lost productivity, with mulchers not working at their best, is worn, missing, or broken teeth. They cause a lot of vibration and don’t tend to make clean work of the task at hand.
Always check the bolt holes to make sure they don’t have any debris in them, as well as the mounting surface. If you have reversible teeth, you can rotate them to use the better side. Otherwise, replace them without delay.
Nearly 14 percent of employees in New Zealand work over 50 hours a week, which means crucial tasks can fall by the wayside. The last thing you feel like doing after working a lot of hours is working even more of them!
However, if you want to save money on repairs and keep your mulchers in tip-top shape, along with your skid steer, then you need to put in the hard yards.
Every now and again, clean out your mulcher compartments and lubricate the rotor bearing pumps. You will also need to check the tension of the drive belt and keep your service manual up to date. When in doubt, check with the operating manual to make sure you’re doing everything you possibly can.
Check the Case Drain Coupler
Last, but not least, be on top of your case drain coupler. Pinched hoses, damaged couplers, and obstructions can all lead to an over-pressurisation of your motor. You can avoid this by being on top of hoses, checking for pinches and chafing, and rerouting hoses if you spot a problem.
The dog is going to be pretty upset when it realises it’s no longer the family favourite, but there’s a new top dog in town. It’s a machine that will offer you many years of faithful service – but only if you look after it. Pay attention to these maintenance tips above so that your mulchers and other attachments can stay in the best condition possible. Doing so will work in your favour for both performance and resale value.