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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shaft will burn since it is no longer properly lubricated. Be careful in choosing the right grease for the drill, and don't over lubricate. Excessive grease can gum up in the flex shaft and burn, which causes excessive heat and reduces the shaft's life. Not enough grease can dry out the cable, which will break easily or generate enough heat to burn through the outer housing. Clutch, throttle cable, and throttle bracket assembly Check the clutch for wear every 30 days or when the flexible shaft is lubricated (if applicable to your drill). When the clutch requires maintenance, operators can't always detect audible or visual signs, because the clutch continues to run even if no more clutch padding exists. A worn clutch causes a weaker performance when engaging the auger and when accelerating the engine from idle to full speed. If a clutch starts slipping, check the shoes and drum, clean and replace if the padding is missing. Drills with a centrifugal clutch drive the auger as the engine speeds up, increasing to full throttle. Not only does the clutch en- sure positive power transfer, it also protects the unit from shock while drilling. If the auger turns while the engine idles, first check the engine for proper idle speed and throttle linkage. The throttle regulates the power and speed of the engine, and in some earth drills, the throttle lever is under the handlebar next to the transmission box. The throttle lever should pull smoothly without binding the throttle wire. Some manufacturers include a special throttle bracket as- sembly. Operators should check that the throttle bracket is fully engaged before the lever bottoms out against the handlebar. In the idle position, the throttle bracket pulls the rivet clip tightly against the sliding clip, forcing the governor arm to idle. When fully engaged, the bracket clip slides over the rivet as the governor arm moves. If binding occurs, remove the clip and twist it slightly, then reinstall and check again. Some models do not use the sliding clip; with these, check that the moving arm on the bracket pulls away from the governor arm in the full throttle position. In the idle position it should push against the governor arm. Inspect the throttle cable and bracket assembly before each use, or if the drill isn't running smoothly. If the problem persists, check for stretched, discolored or broken clutch springs or bro- ken clutch shoes and replace if needed. Handling the hydraulic Hydraulic drills run off of a hydraulic power source, or power pack, that operators connect to the drill through the hydraulic hoses. Built to handle extra-tough conditions, hydraulic drills have few moving parts; and the hydraulic drill's highest cause of damage re- sults from misuse. However, operators still need to conduct regular maintenance and check the hydraulic fluid and oil, filters, and the hoses' quick disconnects for optimum performance. Hydraulic fluid and motor oil Before starting the engine, ensure the power pack's hydraulic oil reservoir is filled to the top of the sight gauge. Remember to keep the hydraulic oil and return line filter clean at all times, and change both after the first 15 hours of operation. From then on, the filter and oil should be changed every 3 months or after 100 hours of operation, whichever comes first. Along with the hydraulic fluid, check the engine crankcase oil levels prior to each day's use. Always ensure that all nuts, fasteners and fittings are tight. Loose engine or tank mounting bolts can cause premature coupling and pump wear. Filters, quick disconnects, hoses and throttle valve Drills and dirt go hand in hand, and that's why hydraulic earth TOOLS & EQUIPMENT 24 January/February 2016 Landscape and Irrigation Operators need to remember to regularly clean the quick disconnects on the hoses before or after using the drill. While fully engaged, a gap should appear between the throttle lever and the handle mount on each side. Ensure the button stays securely snapped into place before operation, and replace the spring-button attachment if bent or broken.

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