A hydraulic log splitter can save you a lot of time and effort. If you don't want to do the back breaking work of splitting your own logs, this piece of hydraulic equipment is essential. To safeguard your investment and help it last as long as possible, check out these ideas.
1. Sharpen the Blades
Ideally, you should sharpen your blades as often as possible. If the blades are dull, they won't go through the wood as easily as they should. That forces the rest of your equipment to work harder than it needs to, and your log splitter may wear down more quickly.
To sharpen the blades, remove them from the log splitter. Then, use a steel or a buffing wheel to sharpen the blades. If you use the steel, just gently run it up and down the blade. With a buffing wheel, rest the blade against the wheel while it turns. If your blade isn't that dull, you only need to use the polishing side of the buffing wheel.
2. Don't Cut Wet Wood
Whether your blades are sharp or dull, you shouldn't use them to cut wet wood. When logs have been freshly cut, they tend to have a lot of sap or resin in them. That can build up on your blades. It's hard to clean off, and it makes the blades less effective. If the wood is particularly green and wet, the moisture can even get on the rest of your hydraulic log splitter, leading to other potential damage or repairs.
3. Clean the Log Splitter Regularly
Ideally, you should clean your log splitter on a regular basis. Make sure that all the moving parts are still and that the machine is off. Then, dust and scrub the equipment as needed. While cleaning it, look for issues such as leaking hydraulic fluid.
4. Lubricate Moving Parts
When you are done cleaning, lubricate all the moving parts. To make things easier, you may want to look for a self-cleaning log splitter. In spite of the name, these log splitters don't actually clean themselves, but they do self lubricate, and that helps to keep them clean.
5. Top Up Hydraulic Fluid
If your hydraulic fluid levels get too low, your log splitter won't have the pressure it needs to work correctly. To protect your machine, make sure to top up the hydraulic fluid levels on a regular basis. Also, if you find any leaks whilst you are cleaning the equipment, take your log splitter in for a repair.
Topping up a leaky reservoir can work as a short term fix, but ultimately, you don't want to lose all that fluid. Also, if it comes out while it's pressurised, it can hurt your hands. Finally, remember that a small leak can get bigger over time, so it's always best to address these issues as soon as possible.
6. Bleed the Air
On a regular basis, bleed out the air that is stuck in your system. Excess air can reduce the pressure levels in your hydraulic equipment. To bleed the equipment, extend the piston rod, take off the oil plug and loosen the release screw. Let it stay open until the air stops hissing out. Then, tighten everything back up.
7. Store Carefully
In addition to the above tips, make sure that you store your log splitter carefully. Keep it out of the rain so that it doesn't get wet and rusty. If you store it under a tarp, keep the tarp slightly loose. The ventilation prevents condensation from forming on the log splitter.
To get more tips, contact a hydraulic equipment expert. They can give you advice on your log splitter or any other hydraulic equipment you have.