Landscape & Irrigation

January/February 2016

Landscape and Irrigation is read by decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water mgmt companies and reaches the entire spetrum.

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faster, meaning an operator can drill holes twice as fast, which make mechanical drills popular for fencing applications, sign in- stallation and landscaping. Mechanical earth drills, like any mechanical machine, need special attention due to their many moving parts and gears. On mechanical drills some important wear parts to check include the transmission or gear box, flexible drive shaft, and clutch, as well as the throttle cable and its bracket. Transmission or gearbox Check the transmission oil level every 30 days or after 40 hours of operation. Inspect the transmission or gearbox immediately if the motor begins making unusual sounds and locks up when in use. This is a symptom for low oil in the gearbox. Look for seepage or oil leaks along the top of the transmission especially around the bottom seal and the output shaft at the bottom. If you experience these issues, check the fluid in the gearbox, and change if necessary. Change the transmission oil after every 40 to 50 hours of use to maintain the correct fluid levels. When adding oil, hold the transmission top level and remove the pipe plug. Squeeze oil into the transmission until oil just comes out of the hole. Then replace the pipe plug and tighten to 10 foot-pounds of torque. Always use high-quality gear oil, or go by the recommended oil in the operator's manual to ensure the drill operates to OEM specifications. Flexible drive shaft For models including a flexible drive shaft, examine every 50 hours of operation. Inspect the shaft housing and look for tears or breaks in the rubber casing. Covering with duct tape or shrink tubing can repair small tears. But replace the housing if there are deep cuts or torn wire braids. On the core, check for broken wires and kinks. Replace the core if there are broken wires or sharp kinks so the shaft will function properly. However small kinks or twists shouldn't cause any large concerns. Follow the manufacturer recommended proper shaft disas- sembly when cleaning and greasing the flexible drive shaft. Disas- sembly of the flexible drive shaft includes removing the kill switch and throttle wires, detaching the shaft from the transmission, disconnecting the complete shaft assembly and removing the flexible shaft core and housing. After removing the flexible shaft core, wipe off the old grease with a cloth. Clean the inside of the flexible shaft housing by pulling a clean rag through with a long piece of wire — this might require several passes for removal of all grease. Then apply a light coat of manufacturer-recommended grease to the core and reassemble. Some manufacturers recommend white lithium grease — a lightweight, high-temperature tool grease. Lithium grease can withstand excessive heat without damaging the shaft. For exam- ple, some lithium combination type greases can withstand 430 degrees Fahrenheit with frequent lube intervals. Operators should not use regular axle grease when lubricat- ing, because it can't handle high temperatures and will separate and melt, running to the lowest point in the flex shaft. The flex TOOLS & EQUIPMENT For models including a flexible drive shaft, examine every 50 hours of operation. Check the transmission oil level every day before operating the drill and during the day as needed. Change the transmission oil after every 40 to 50 hours of use to maintain the correct fluid levels. Check the clutch for wear every 30 days, or when the flexible shaft is lubricated, if applicable to the operator's drill. Landscape and Irrigation January/February 2016 23

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