If you are planning to buy a hydraulic log splitter, be sure to do your homework. It is part of your job as the owner and operator to know how to maintain it properly. Choosing the best log splitter on the market is not an easy job since you have to consider a lot of things. Hence, you really have to take care of it once you found the right one for your needs. Log splitters are specially designed to handle the heavy duty work of handling the weight of logs.
Even though the size and weight capacity of log splitters differ, it can split logs into smaller pieces efficiently. Log splitters are handy for personal and commercial use but it also needs some extra time to be maintained. Specifically, hydraulic log splitters can give you headaches if you neglect it after use. The worst is that it can also harm you if the hydraulic hose wears out and starts to leak.
The contaminated hydraulic fluid that leaks can cause damage to the entire machine and actually strip off your skin. So, follow these tips if you don’t want any of these to happen to you or to your machine:
- Read the manual carefully
While it can be a little boring to read the entire manual, you need to take it seriously. In other words, it is better to be prepared than be sorry later. All brand new hydraulic splitters come with a manual so read the instructions carefully on how to use maintain your machine.
Giving your hydraulic log splitter the proper maintenance it needs won’t hurt you especially in the long run. The manual will guide you the Dos and Don’ts when it comes to taking care of your machine.
- Inspect the hydraulic pipes/hoses
These pressure hoses or pipes transfer the hydraulic fluid from the reservoir to the machine’s cylinder. This process creates pressure inside the machine so check it regularly for signs of leaking. However, never attempt to feel it yourself since its pressure is strong enough to rip through your flesh.
You can use a piece of cardboard and move it over the suspected area with the leak. The cardboard will automatically change its color or the leak will rip the cardboard in half if there is.
- Replace the hydraulic fluid
All hydraulic log splitters need fresh fluid to work properly. Hence, be sure to check it at least once a year for water. The water buildup inside may contaminate the machine’s hydraulic fluid. You can notice this with the slight discoloration in the fluid which becomes milky grey.
Moreover, the contamination of the hydraulic affects the overall performance of the machine over time. You may not notice it right away but the water damages the hydraulic log splitter slowly.
- Keep the ram well-greased
The ram is important in your manual hydraulic log splitter so keep it rust-free by covering it up with enough grease. If you leave it dry after using it or when it is not in use, rusts will become to form. In the end, the rust will damage the hydraulic seal which is a big NO. If you notice some rusts, remove it immediately with sandpaper then smear grease.
- Check the gas engine and cords
If a gas engine power up your hydraulic log splitter, keep it clean and filled with enough oil. Check if every part of its valve and crank are well-lubricated. You may want to get self-lubricating log splitter if you want to do maintenance with less hassle. Keep a keen eye in its carburetor to guarantee your machine’s efficiency.
Also, check the cords for possible wear and tear and replace it before using it again.
- Check the pump
Don’t forget to inspect the pump for some loose play in the coupling. Too much loose plays can stop the pump from working properly. In this case, you need to replace the bearings if it starts to create a mess. Loose plays in the central spindle and coupling are often due to broken bearings.
One of the worst things that you have to avoid about hydraulic log splitters is a leak. This is why you really need to do maintenance once in a while. Once you confirm that there’s indeed a leak, replace the pipe or hose immediately to avoid further problem and accidents. Be sure that the machine is switched off before you begin to change anything. In addition, remember to check it regularly and replace it with a fresh fluid.
Keep its hydraulic fluid within its required level for best performance. You can add the required amount by removing the oil filling plug first. Finally, keep your machine in good condition to make it last for years and perform efficiently!