Trenching is essential in the construction industry. It is the bread and butter for installers. Not only selecting the appropriate trencher, but maintaining it keeps operators comfortable and productive installing electrical lighting, drainage, fencing, fiber optics, etc. Although MiniTrencher’s portable handheld power trencher, GeoRipper®, is low maintenance it requires routine preventative maintenance checks.
Like any piece equipment, you’ve got to maintain and check your trencher if you want them to make you money. Equipment that is not properly maintained can decrease productivity and efficiency and increase the risk of injury and equipment malfunction causing lost jobs, wasted labor and out of pocket expenses. A planned routine and preventative maintenance are key to successfully operating any trencher.
Some key measures to look for when going through your check list are:
If a digging chain has the wrong tension or is not set correctly for the soil you are digging in, it will not operate efficiently and you will wear down your chain at a faster pace. It is recommended to check your digging chain before and after each project. Look for any signs of breaks in the chain.
Although the chain does not need to be lubricated while running, it is important to oil/lubricate the chain during storage. If storing for short periods of time, quickly spray chain with WD40 mist with a spray bottle filled with motor oil. For longer storage periods, remove the chain from the bar and store in a small container with oil. These measures will keep the chain from rusting and/or kinking. When digging in extremely dry conditions, lightly lubricating the chain periodically will help keep the chain from binding or kinking during trenching.
Each GeoRipper® engine has a slightly different filtration system, refer to your owner’s manual for proper filter maintenance.
Tighten Bolts and Washers
Before and after using your GeoRipper®, always check the nose sprocket bolts and digging bar clamp bolts to ensure they are tight. It’s also a good idea to check them throughout the day as you are trenching. If you have a PC6114 or EK6101, periodically check the tightness of the three muffler screws located directly behind the dirt guard as they will loosen over time from vibration.
General Wear and Tear
Wearable items on the GeoRipper® that will need replacement over time consist of the digging sprocket, nose sprocket, drive belt and digging bar. Don’t forget to the tool kit that comes with your trencher has a spare belt, nose bearing and a set of bar end screws.