There are some clear dos and don’ts of baler machines, but the number one piece of advice to protect the longevity of balers is to maintain them properly. All baler operators must know how to properly maintain their machines at their facility to be more productive and efficient.
These handling and maintenance tips can help improve the performance of your baler for years down the road.
5 Tips For Baler Maintenance
Keep your facility clean
Cleanliness outside your baler is as essential as the inside of the machine. Removing debris and other clutter around your baler helps in ensuring that your machine is working correctly. Pay attention to cleaning the sensors, rams, and oil cooler to avoid fire hazards, oil contamination and to prevent your machine from overheating.
Maintain baler oil
Oil is the lifeblood of balers, and keeping the oil from getting contaminated is essential in prolonging the life expectancy of your machine. Operators should test or have an oil analysis company test it.
If oil that contains fragments of metals could indicate a problem with a baler’s hydraulic cylinder. These metal fragments can be removed by filtering or being changed. Contaminants in the oil can reduce its viscosity, making it less suitable for lubrication leading to poor baler performance and repairs.
The baler’s oil and air filters should be changed at the manufacturer’s recommendation and depending on your environment.
Train your operations personnel
Before getting their hands on the machine, your staff should be trained and become well-equipped on usage, maintenance, and safety involving balers. Workers with prior knowledge of operating a loader or forklift don’t automatically become adept at handling a baler. Failure to thoroughly understand how a baler works can result in accidents, poorly maintained equipment, and poor performance.
At the very basic, baler operators should be responsible and accountable in conducting routine inspections, monitoring, and cleaning. Others also offer product knowledge and installation training.
Have spare baler parts available
Purchase an inventory of spare parts you can use at times of unexpected breakdowns. Avoid waiting on the day of the emergency to order critical parts and compromise your plant’s operating hours. Contact your baler distributor to know which spare parts you should have at the ready including baling wire. Ask what the lead times are for more oversized items.
Observe proper cleaning and inspection
Machinery is at its peak performance level when it is cleaned regularly. Balers should be kept free from dust and debris at all times as these elements can affect their performance. Create a list of inspection guidelines that your operators can follow and easily refer back to.
Preventive Maintenance Schedule For Balers
It’s crucial to properly inspect heavy machinery before usage. Daily, weekly, and monthly routine maintenance is vital in keeping your baler in top shape and avoid serious breakdowns. It is during scheduled maintenance and inspections that potential issues are detected and can prevent costly repairs.
Items that require daily inspection
- Hydraulic hoses
- Hydraulic fluid levels
- Hydraulic oil temperature
- Pumps, valves, pipes, and hoses
- Motors and conduit for damage
- Photo eyes and proximity switches
- Twister pinions and bushings;
- Safety guarding
- Radiator or cooling device
Baler parts to inspect weekly
- Bale chamber for debris buildup
- Cylinder housing areas (make sure to remove debris)
- E-stops for functionality
- Ensure warning stickers are in place
- Oil tank magnets
- Motor couplings
- Hydraulic oil temperature
- Hydraulic oil filter
- Bearings in drive unit
- Electrical components
- Bottom track cover
- Limit and proximity switches
- Clean and lubricate track assembly
- Clean and lubricate knotter
- Track springs for proper tension and wear
- Floor for integrity
Baler parts to check monthly
- Hydraulic system pressure
- Shear knife clearance