Chipper 101

lxskllr

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MD USA
I'm gonna use this thread as a dumping ground for questions. There's probably gonna be a lot of them, especially pertaining to the hydraulic system. I have zero experience in that regard.

I picked up the chipper today. Everything looks pretty good. It looks like it was well cared for. Grease oozing out of the fittings. Hydraulic filter was installed Oct 2022. Engine oil was dark amber. Knives looked decent. The sides not in use are ready to go. The in use side has a few nicks, but looks ok. I wouldn't be too upset taking a machete of that sharpness out on a boundary, but I'd touch it up if I had the time. I need to review the manual on checking knife clearance and anvil adjustment.

Questions:

This is what the hydro fluid looks like. See any issues?

IMG_20231208_133104627.jpg

What kind of fluid is good for these things, and when I change it, where does the old fluid go? I'd prefer not stockpiling old fluid around. Can it be recycled?

Is a hydro gauge something I should really be on top of? Is a ~$25 amazon gauge sufficient?

How do knives get sharpened? Machine shop? I figure I'll get a brand new set of knives, then cycle them in and out of service as they need sharpening.

Fuel... It has a 7G gasoline tank feeding a 27hp Kubota. What kind of consumption should I expect? I'm contemplating filling the tank with corn free gas since it likely won't be going out every day, but that requires a decent hike to get it(~15 miles from the office). Does that make sense, and is it sustainable? I'd be buying 10G-15G at a time.

Trailer security... It's currently behind the boss' house, but when it goes live, it'll be in an unsecured area. What can I do to sufficiently slow down thieves? Any security can be defeated with enough time and energy. What's a good system to make it not worth screwing with, and preferably isn't a huge hassle to use?

I think that's it for now, but I'm sure there'll be plenty more questions.
 
Try and track down an owners manual (and if possible a workshop manual).
Read them cover to cover. (not sure not you said you actually have one)

I take my knives to the mower shop for professional sharpening once they have significant nicks.
I have a little tungsten carbide sharpener for daily touchup
Buy a tourque wrench for final bolt tightness when you flip them to the good edge
Always have a spare set of bolts nuts and washers.
Until you know what consumption you'll get, take a jerry jug of extra fuel along.

If it were mine and I'd just bought it, I'd get it completely serviced, fluids, filters etc. before taking it out on the first job.
 
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  • #4
I have a digital owners manual. This didn't come with a hard copy. I'll also probably write to bandit with the serial#, and see what they can tell me about it. There's a 30 year anniversary decal on the chute(1978-2008), so it isn't any older than 08, but I don't know when it was made.
 
Print the digital copy, and yes followup with Bandit.
Isn't there a plate somewhere with info on it?
 
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  • #6
No years that I can see. It has a serial number plate, and presumably, there's a serial# on the engine, but it wasn't readily evident when it was built. The numbers might mean something to someone who knows how to decode them.

edit:
large-252930.jpg
 
I used one like this for a little sailboat trailer...similar design, different brand. Stout as hell.



Between this and the wheel lock, you'd be hard pressed to do better.
 
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  • #10
Without knowing what it looks like new, I might describe it as "milky". What oil do you guys like? It's shipped with "Petro-Canada Hydrex XV”, but it's expensive, doesn't appear to be locally available, and overkill for my temp range. We have cool winters(30°F as a high would be a cold day), and hot humid summers. 90°F would be a typical hot day, going up to 95° on occasion.
 
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  • #12
Petro-Canada Hydrex XV. It's not a 'must use' spec, but one they use to cover every area they sell chippers to. Otherwise, they provide a chart with temp ranges, and oil specs for those ranges. It looks like ISO 46 is the best match for this area. I'll probably get Traveler brand from TSC unless someone says it's complete shit or something.

Screenshot_2023-12-08_19-54-27.png

They mention flushing the tank when changing oil. How would one do that? Remove the hose, and rinse it out with clean oil?
 
Universal Tractor oil for like John Deere would probably be fine. I have the Chevron equivalent at the shop. See if I can get a picture of it..
 
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Harford county should have a collection site for used oils. I think it’s by the old landfill. Probably also Scarborough has drop off.

Found this:

I just don’t know if hydraulic oil is accepted

 
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  • #15
There's a spot in Jarettsville I take used oil to. They have a placard on the the tank saying what you can put in. I'll have to stop by and see if it mentions hydraulic fluid.
 
The hydraulic oil is usually cristal clear. They say that the armful contaminations are particles of the size which you can't see. With milky oil, even slightly, you can bet that there's some water in it. Harmful or not, it depends of the proportions and the stability of the emulsion. But at least, it's way better to drain it out of there. Don't forget the hidden volume in all the hoses, pump, motors, cylinders and valves.
 
Your hydraulic oil is definitely milky in the photo, change it for sure. I use the O'Reilly stuff in the green bucket, it's a Hyguard equivalent that works in most stuff.

As far as security, stash a tracker, there's some nice ones out nowadays. I say that because the best locks only keep honest folk honest. If someone decides they want that chipper more than you, they'll have it. May as well be able to track and recover equipment that won't need immediate repair.
 
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  • #20
The manual is a curious mix of excruciating detail, and hand wavy instructions...

Manual: Replace hydraulic oil & suction screen(s) at least
once yearly. This is also a very good time to flush and
clean the tank.

Me: Great! I'll get that done. What does a suction strainer look like, and where is it? Also, suggestions for cleaning the tank?

Manual: Crickets....

So... anyone out there have any ideas? Do you clean your tanks? If I find a strainer, can I just clean it with a solvent for now, and call it good enough til next time? I'll never get this thing running if I have to find surprise components, dig up a part number, and order them one at a time as I find them...
 
The manual is a curious mix of excruciating detail, and hand wavy instructions...

Manual: Replace hydraulic oil & suction screen(s) at least
once yearly. This is also a very good time to flush and
clean the tank.

Me: Great! I'll get that done. What does a suction strainer look like, and where is it? Also, suggestions for cleaning the tank?

Manual: Crickets....

So... anyone out there have any ideas? Do you clean your tanks? If I find a strainer, can I just clean it with a solvent for now, and call it good enough til next time? I'll never get this thing running if I have to find surprise components, dig up a part number, and order them one at a time as I find them...
No clue really but it sounds like a good "time suck" for you to figure out. :lol:
I'm wondering if you drain the tank there may be a screen at the bottom to clean?
 
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  • #22
That's what I'm wondering. I don't have the machine here to just go out and look, but I don't remember seeing anything other than a fill hole up top, and while I didn't particularly notice, I imagine it's got a send and return hose. If the screen gets replaced, that means it's gotta come out somehow. Is it like a saw fuel filter? Just a little thing on the end of the send hose? Dunno... Also, what goes in the tank to clean it? A bit of fresh fluid? Diesel? Some kind of special made cleaner? Put in the mystery substance, and...? So many details just aren't there, but I've got exploded diagrams of every valve in the machine :^D
 
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