A gutter machine is a significant investment that can serve your company very well for many years. In order to get the absolute best from your machine for as long as possible, proper maintenance is key. Here are some tips you can count on to ensure your gutter machine works like new for years to come.
Like most types of machinery, regular cleaning is one of the most important maintenance tips available. It is important to keep the machine clear of dust, dirt, and debris. What’s more, keeping the area clean will prevent foreign objects from entering the machine, which is one of the top causes of significant damage. If you take the time to clean the machine and the area around it regularly, each component will last much longer, and your machine will continue to operate at peak efficiency.
Gutter machines are comprised of many moving parts, and each of these should be lubricated once a month with 30-weight motor oil or its equivalent. These include the sprockets, roller chains, set-screw pressure adjusters, guide cranks, hem adjusters, blades, guides, and any other moving parts associated with the cutting assembly. Gears, on the other hand, should be lubricated with axle grease, and the bearings inside the machines are self-lubricating, which means they do not require any additional maintenance.
Caring for the Forming Portion of the Machine
Dirty rollers can prevent the proper formation of gutters, so it is important to keep them clean at all times. Mineral spirits and similar solvents can help to remove grease, dirt, paint, and other substances from the rollers. It is also important to note that if you are moving from forming galvanized materials to painted materials, it is important to clean the rollers with a galvanization removal product. Otherwise, the residue can leave unwanted marks on painted material. It is also important to regularly check the surface of the rollers for cracks that can scratch painted material. Buff out any cracks with a very fine emery cloth to prevent this.
Caring for Electrical Components
The electrical components of your gutter machine will also require some care. Manufacturers recommend a monthly inspection of these components, and during this inspection, you should look for things like bare or frayed wires, loose connections, burned insulation, or other common problems. These should be repaired immediately, and you should not continue to operate the machine with any sort of visible damage to the electrical system. Doing so puts you at significant risk for an electrical shock that could cause serious injury or even death.
Storing the Gutter Machine
When not in operation, gutter machines should be stored in a dry, climate-controlled location to protect the electrical system and moving parts. It should not be exposed to precipitation, and exposure to extreme humidity should be limited. If you will not use the machine for a month or more, it is important to clean the rollers and apply a layer of wax to prevent corrosion and the buildup of debris. Then, before using the machine, carefully clean the rollers with a solvent like mineral spirits to remove the wax.
Gutter machines are big investments for contractors, and repair or replacement can be quite expensive, to say the least. Fortunately, these gutter machine maintenance and care tips will go a long way toward protecting that investment and giving your company numerous years of efficient use.