Tips for Trencher Maintenance

Good soil knowledge and proper chain tension are among the factors that go into keeping a trencher working and productive

Tips for Trencher Maintenance

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Here are some tips from industry manufacturers regarding trencher maintenance, compiled from previous articles that have appeared in Dig Different magazine.

Know your soil

As it always is with digging, one of the most important factors is knowing what kind of soil you are dealing with from the start so that you can be sure you’re using the right tools. With a trencher, if you use an improper chain and teeth, you have the potential to vibrate the trencher enough that it speeds up the wear and tear on the machine. 

Watch your tension

Chain tension is an extremely important part of maximizing the life of chains on a trencher. Manufacturers say not having the chain tensioned properly is one of the top mistakes contractors make with trenchers.

Check chain tension at least twice a day — at the beginning of the day and at the end. Chain tension plays an important role in how the machine operates as a whole, and correct tension can ultimately prevent lost time and productivity on a job.

Replace parts together

For some types of machinery, parts can be replaced individually as needed, and this applies to trenchers as well. But replacing only one component and not others could potentially end up costing more in the long run.

So if you’re, say, replacing the chain, consider replacing the drive sprocket at the same time. If you have a new chain with an old sprocket, they will work against each other and really accelerate the wear on the rollers. Then you might have to deal with lost time as you replace things internally that will also be affected.

Save your manual

Most questions about use and maintenance can be answered in the owner’s manual for any trencher or chain, so don’t throw it away or lose track of it. You never know when you’ll need to refer to the specs that were originally intended for its use or maintenance, and things could end up being very costly if you don’t follow the directions in the manual.

Keep things clean

Along with keeping a watchful eye on worn-down teeth and chain tension, you should also maintain regular cleanings of trenchers and chains as another way to extend the life of the equipment. It can be particularly vital for certain soil types. Some moist soils, when not cleaned off right away at the end of the day, can dry similar to cement. One good cleaning method is to put the boom at a 90-degree angle and spin the chain for a few minutes. This will spin off a lot of that moist soil before it has a chance to dry, and then you can clean the rest of the chain much easier with less debris on it.



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