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Head Maintenance 101

Processing head in a forestry
For every eight hours a harvesting or processing head runs, you need to perform regular maintenance. Teach your operators the following tips, and they will enjoy more uptime and productivity. Class is in session!

Don't exceed RPM specs. Doing so causes extra wear on rivets and sets off (literally) a chain reaction: increased chain stretching, decreased chain tension, and accelerated rivet wear.

Rotate the cutting bar. Removing the cutting bar during chain replacement makes it easier to clean out the slash and other materials accumulated in the rail and lubrication holes. To maximize cutting-bar life, rotate the bar during each cleaning to even the amount of wear on both rails.

Know your soil. While hi-tack, no-sling bar and chain oil works fine in normal conditions, it can accelerate chain wear in sandy soils. In sandy soil conditions, use regular motor oil.

Tighten bolts and spacer washers. Regularly check the equipment for loose bolt and nylon bushing connections - also known as spacer washers - situated between delimb arms and the head frame.

Stock up on grease fittings. With an average of 40 to 45 grease points on harvesting and processing heads, it's imperative to always keep enough grease fittings on hand.

Determine leak origin point immediately. If not addressed, leaks can quickly spread and hydraulic oil can eventually seep into the electrical components.

Preheat arm and knife inserts. Preheat delimb arms and knife-replacement inserts before you install them to eliminate equipment breakage during the welding process.

Check measurement and recalibrate linkages. Check the accuracy of the diameter measurement device, length encoder, and length measurement monthly and recalibrate if necessary.