exploring equipment

exploring equipment
EXPLORING EQUIPMENT
,..,.
Aerator Maintenance Tips
P
reventive maintenance is extremely important for today's self-propelled, walk-behind aerators. A
rolling-type aerator can punch almost
200,000 holes per hour. A reciprocating
aerator can punch nearly 300,000 holes
per hour. That's a lot of work - and a lot
stress on the machine.
The overall wear and tear on a walkbehind aerator operated eight hours a day,
five days a week for 20 weeks is roughly equivalent to that sustained by a car
pulling a trailer at 55 mph for the same
periods of time, covering 44,000 miles.
In situations where the ground is relatively hard, the process of making each
holes is comparable to pushing the coring tine against a grinding wheel thousands of times per hour.
A quality aerator is built to handle this
type of workload. But to keep your
machine in good working order, proper
maintenance is essential. The following daily maintenance procedures, recommended
by Ransomes
America
Corporation, help keep aerators in top
operating condition:
- Pressure wash the entire machine
with water. For best results, wash after
the day's work is finished and the engine
has cooled. Ifleft overnight, dirt and grit
can start eating away at vital parts,
especially aeration tines. Rust is the
worst enemy of core aeration tines. Rust
in tines can cause cores to stick, plugging
the tines and causing a variety of related problems. (Steam cleaning is not recommended. If the aerator has sealed
bearings, steam may get past the seal and
cause the bearing to rust. A rusty bearing can put an aerator out of work and
into the shop.)
-Closely inspect all chains and sprockets for wear. Replace or adjust as needed. Do not overtighten roller chains, as
this will shorten life. To ensure reliable performance, use only manufacturer-specified parts.
- Closely inspect all sealed bearings.
Make sure the bearings are straight
and the seals in place.
-Closely inspect all tines for wear,
30 sports TURF
cracks, bending and other damage. Don't
forget to inspect the tine mounting (nuts
and bolts). Tighten all hardware according to the torque specifications in the operator's manual.
- Make an overall inspection of moving parts and fasteners. Replace or tighten as necessary. Because of the extreme
vibration generated by walk-behind aerators, this is a very important part of the
preventive maintenance program. Again,
manufacturer-specified hardware is recommended - it can withstand the vibration and other stresses common to hardworking aerators.
els. Improper inflation can considerably shorten tire life, as well as change
the performance of the machine in some
cases.
All of these maintenance procedures
apply to both reciprocating
and rolltype aerators. Refer to your operator's
manual for specific recommendations.
With roll-type aerators, also be sure
to check the rolling tine wheels for sideto-side movement. If a tine wheel can be
easily moved back and forth by hand, it
is likely that the bushings are badly
worn. Replace them.
Proper aerator
maintenance
takes time,
but it's time
well spent.
The following procedures are recommended for aerator storage of more than
30 days:
- Remove fuel from the system, according to the engine manufacturer's
recommendations.
- While the engine is still warm, drain
the crankcase oil and replace with the
grade and weight of oil best suited to the
season in which the aerator will be next
used.
- Remove the spark plug from the
engine and squirt a small amount of
oil into the cylinder. Turn the engine over
a few times to distribute the oil, then
replace the spark plug.
-As necessary, touch up all hardware with spray paint.
- Refer to the operator's manual for
other specific recommendations.
Here's a useful tip that can help save
inspection time: After installing a new
bolt, give it a coat of paint. (Paint from
a spray can works fine.) If the bolt starts
to work loose, the paint on the thread will
crack, providing an easy-to-see sign that
tightening is needed.
- Lubricate all moving parts including tines and chains. A lubricant such as
WD-40 does an effective job in most
cases. However, O-ring sealed chains
should only be lubricated with a lubricant specifically designed for them.
- Lubricate all fittings. Wipe fittings
before and after greasing.
- Inspect all belts for wear and proper adjustment.
- Check for proper oil levels. Follow the
manufacturer's
recommendations
for
the type and grade of oil required.
- Check the engine air filter system and
clean, if necessary, following the manufacturer's recommendations.
- With a pressure gauge, check the air
pressure of the tires. Keep tire pressure at manufacturer-recommended
lev-
Preparing for Storage
Tine Tips
As part of a good preventive maintenance program for aerators, tines should
be cleaned and inspected for wear after
the day's work has been completed.
Cores left in tines for extended periods of time can cause pitting on the
inside of the tines. These pits may keep
a tine from ejecting the core properly. As
a result, the tine must be replaced.
Pitting also cuts down on the service life
of tines.
If a core becomes stuck in a tine, use
an electric drill with a half-inch bit to bore
it out. To polish the inside surface of a
tine, try using a shotgun bore brush in
1) Tines
used
B
c
o
o
o
2) Folded-type
New
aerators
A
New
A
on roiling-type
Badly worn
but still useable
Needs replaced
Will leave cores in ground
Tip gone
tines
3) Solid
B
tube
A
B
New
Worn
but useable
C
tines
C
tr 11
Badly worn
Replace
%" worn off
Easy to bend
or break
Badly worn
%" to 'h" gone
Poor penetration
the electric drill.
Different types have different wear patterns. It's important
to recognize and understand these patterns.
A tube-type tine generally wears in an erratic fashion, often
making the tine appear to have serrated tip. The tine should
be replaced when 3/8-inch of the tip is worn away.
Tines that are "folded" in the manufacturing process have
a split or seam. This often results in a different wear pattern.
These tines wear on the cutting tip, as do the tube-type
tines, but they also wear faster near the split or seam. Again,
replace them when 3/8-inch of the tip is worn off.
Tines on roll-type aerators have a different wear pattern.
The leading edge of these tines is angled so it will cut through
the thatch and soil surface first, opening the way for the tine
to enter. This cutting edge will show signs of wear first.
When the cutting edge is worn so the end of the tine is nearly even on all sides, the tine should be replaced.
Measuring tines prior to first use is a good idea. This
eliminates guesswork and allows tine replacement at just the
right time to maintain maximum aeration performance.
Remember, the length of the tine determines the depth of the
aeration hole. Short tines leave shallow holes, which result
in poor aeration.
Proper aerator maintenance takes time, but it's time well
spent. A regular preventive maintenance program can reduce
wear, which extends the life of the machine. It cuts downtime
and helps control the cost of repairs and operation. Preventive
maintenance is good insurance for your aerator equipment investment. 0
Technical credit: Ransomes America Corporation
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