Baler Care: Handling and Maintenance Tips

If not correctly maintained, balers can affect your operations, resulting in profit loss. Baler operators need to learn how to properly maintain their machine for 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.

Observe proper cleaning and inspection

Machinery is at its peak performance level when they are cleaned regularly. Balers should be kept free from dust and debris at all times as these elements can affect their performance. Clean your baler daily and set weekly, monthly, and annual inspections to detect possible issues and prevent them as early as possible. Round up a list of inspection guidelines which your operators can follow.

Below are some tips on how to clean and inspect every part of the baler:

Bale chamber 

  1. Remove the slightest trace of material on drive sprockets or belt rollers.
  2. Ensure that the baler chamber is perfectly working by assessing the moisture monitoring and preservation application systems.
  3. Inspect the bearings, particularly those found on plunger components, belt rollers, and those found on drives.
  4. Clean the net wrap and twine wrap components to get rid of rust that can lead the net or twine to get stuck. After cleaning, make sure to lubricate them.
  5. Prepare the twine and wrap.

Clean your baler from dust and debris to keep it operating smoothly.

Chains and belts

  1. Inspect the drive chains and check for signs of wear and tension. Replace the sprockets if the chains are replaced (and vice versa).
  2. Make sure the drive belts don’t have cracks and the idlers turn smoothly.

Hoses and hydraulics

  1. Replace hydraulic system filters with new ones. Switch on the machine to eliminate air from the system.
  2. Check if the auto-lube system is in proper working order. When filling the reservoir with the right type of oil, refer to your owner’s manual (the wrong oil type will not cling to the components).
  3. Examine the tubes to make sure they haven’t been damaged.
  4. Ensure that the hydraulic hoses and electric cables are in good condition.

Exterior inspection

  1. Remove dust, dirt, and debris by using air pressure. If needed, wash the machinery with great care. Keep high pressure off the seals and bearings to avoid machine damage.
  2. After washing, run the baler for a few minutes. Afterwards, oil the chains and moving parts.
  3. Check tires for damage or excessive wear.
  4. Make sure the lug bolts are tightened according to the specifications indicated in the manual.


  1. Check the guards and ensure they are intact.
  2. Replace damaged tines in the pickup. Stripper plates must not be bent (or damaged).
  3. Examine pickup track bearings and cam tracks for wear or dents.

Schedule routine maintenance to prevent costly repairs.

Do preventive maintenance

Routine maintenance by the day, week, and month 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 costly repairs are avoided. Maintenance also increases the life expectancy of your machine. If you wait for your baler to break down before doing maintenance work, this procedure will cost you more.

Items that require daily inspection:

  • Hydraulic hoses
  • Hydraulic fluid levels
  • Hydraulic oil temperature
  • Cylinders
  • Filters
  • 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

Inspect the following parts 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

Items you need to evaluate every month:

  • Hydraulic system pressure
  • Shear knife clearance


Maintain cleanliness in your facility to prevent fire hazards.

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 properly. Pay attention to cleaning the sensors, rams, and oil cooler to avoid fire hazards, oil contamination, and to prevent your machine from overheating.

Clean oil aids the smooth operation of your baler.

Maintain your oil

Oil is the lifeblood of balers and keeping the oil from getting contaminated is essential in prolonging the life expectancy of your machine. The baler’s oil must be tested for contamination for every 1,200 operating hours. Have an oil analysis company test your oil.

Oil that contains fragments of metals could indicate a problem with a baler’s hydraulic cylinder. These metal fragments can be removed by filtering. In serious cases, the oil must be changed. Contaminants in the oil can reduce its viscosity, making it less suitable for lubrication. Inadequate lubrication can lead to poor baler performance.

Experts recommend a baler’s oil and air filters to be changed every 950 hours (depending on your environment).

Train your staff for operating new equipment.

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 on 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. Several baler suppliers provide training at their facilities. Others also offer product knowledge and installation training.

Keep spare parts at the ready

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. Ask what the lead times are for larger items.

When you need expert guidance in the proper maintenance of your baler equipment or somebody who can help you with a baler emergency in Toronto, Baleforce Recycling Equipment is here. We are a full-service distributor providing one place for all of your needs to include new and used baler equipment, In-House Inventory of parts, and 24-hour emergency service. With our quick response times, knowledgeable service technicians, and reasonable rates, BaleForce can save you time and money. Call us at (416) 235-1900 or 1-855-235-1900

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