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Stump Cutter Maintenance and Safety Tips

Stump Cutter Maintenance and Safety Tips

Safety is no accident. Operating a stump cutter safely is not a one-time training exercise- it is a mindset and commitment to continuous adherence and improvement that requires a level of respect, education, and responsibility that should not be taken lightly. By following all safety and maintenance procedures, you can expect years of safe, reliable service from your Rayco stump cutter. Read on to educate yourself on just some of the necessary safety precautions you should be taking every time you operate your Rayco stump cutter. Remember, safety begins with you!

Personal Safety
This article is not intended to be a complete guide to safely operating your stump cutter and is not a substitute for the operator’s manual material. Therefore, it is essential to read and familiarize yourself with your Rayco stump cutter operator’s manual in its entirety. If you do not have one, contact Rayco, and we will be happy to provide you with one free of charge.
Before anything else, ensure that you and everyone on the job are wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Clothing should be close-fitting but not restrictive in movement. Avoid wearing any jewelry or long, dangling, and untucked clothing that could present a safety hazard. Long hair should also be pulled back. ANSI Z89.1 head protection, ANSI Z87.1 eye protection, and ear protection must be worn while operating the stump cutter, as well as steel-toed boots and work gloves. In addition, operators should wear reflective clothing for greater visibility if using the stump cutter in the roadway, evening, or after sundown.

Routine Inspection and Maintenance
Maintenance is the key to keeping your Rayco stump cutter performing at its best, and it is equally as essential to perform all maintenance safely. Completing a full walk-around inspection before running your stump cutter daily will ensure that it runs smoothly and safely. A few examples of your daily inspection should include checking the cutting boom cylinders and linkage for damage, removing any chip or residue buildup in or around the engine, inspecting the tires and rims, and more. In addition, other examples of daily maintenance include checking the engine oil level, performing a brake test, checking the cutter wheel teeth and hardware, and lubricating the jackshaft bearings, boom pivots, and cutting wheel, as well as the cutter wheel bearings. It is also important to check and adjust the tension of the Cutting Wheel PolyChain ® every ten hours of run time. Always make sure the machine is shut down before checking the tension. Then, using a belt gauge, check the PolyChain ® tension by depressing it at the center of the span. A weekly check of the emergency stop lanyard should also be performed to ensure that the clutch is properly engaged and adjusted.

For the complete checklist of walk-around inspection and maintenance tasks, refer to the Maintenance section of your operator’s manual to see daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly routine maintenance checks you should be performing on your stump cutter.

Stump Cutter Maintenance and Safety Tips

Before operating your stump cutter on the job, call 811 Before You Dig to get your utility lines marked and protect yourself from injury and expense. Ensure all bystanders or personnel are at least 25-feet away from the machine and area where you will be working. Clear all obstacles from the path of the stump cutter. Beware of hazards such as wires, ditches, etc. Make sure if using swing-out controls, the window is clean and secured in the open position. Before you begin to cut, you must let your machine warm up properly to ensure peak performance and longevity of life. Let your engine warm-up and idle for at least two minutes, as well as warming up the hydraulic oil and cycling all controls to warm up the cylinders and lines.

Stump Removal Procedure
Only after completing all proper routine safety and maintenance warm-up steps should you begin the stump removal procedure. Once you are ready to start cutting, prepare your machine at the stump and drive the machine into position with the cutting wheel near the edge of the stump. Begin by removing the roots and swinging the cutting wheel side to side. Lower the wheel into the nearside roots until sufficiently removed. Next, raise the cutting wheel to the top of the stump and advance the machine where the center of the shaft remains just above the top of the stump. Swing the cutting wheel just above the top of the stump, taking an approximately 2.75” bite at first, then lower the cutting wheel about 2” off to the side and then swing the wheel across for another bite. Continue this procedure until all of the stump in the downward swing path is gone. Repeat the beginning steps to remove the remaining roots until the entire stump is satisfactorily removed. Make sure to stop the cutting wheel rotation before moving on to the following location!

Machine Storage
After operating your Rayco Stump Cutter, you should allow the engine to continue to run with the throttle midway between slow and fast for at least 15 seconds. Before storage, your machine should be cleaned of all oil, dirt, grease, and other foreign matter. It is recommended to start and operate the machine after washing to help get rid of excess water. All exposed hydraulic cylinder rods should be coated with Valvoline Tectyl 506 oil or an equivalent to prevent damage to O-rings that could cause leakage. The battery should be stored indoors and where the temperature does not drop below 32 ° F. The battery should be stored on wood and should always be fully charged. As the Operator, YOU are responsible for the required maintenance of your machine. With the proper maintenance and care, your Rayco Stump Cutter will continue to operate safely at peak performance for years to come.