Whilst most chipper shredders are designed to be hassle free and to deliver many years of operation, they will still require some maintenance in order to keep them in tiptop condition. One of the few areas that will require occasional attention is the drive belt mechanism – the good news is that you should be able to adjust your belt in under 5 minutes.
Step 1: Let the engine cool for at least 15 minutes after use. Then, use a ¼ inch socket to remove the two belt guard bolts and washers that secure the guard to the shredder. It should be located in front of the engine.
Step 2: Use a rag to wipe away any accumulated dirt and debris from around the drive sprocket. The presence of dirt can actually lessen the life expectancy of the belt if it is left to fester.
Step 3: Place your thumb halfway between the two ends of the belt (the drive sprocket will be on one end and the chipper shredder mechanism on the other) and deflect it slightly by pushing down.
Step 4: Judge the amount of deflection in the belt when you apply moderate pressure. If you can deflect it more than ¾ of an inch, the belt is too loose. Loosen the engine mounting bolts using a 3/8 inch socket.
Step 5: Slide the engine towards the handle of the chipper. Tighten the mounting bolts after you have moved the engine as far as it will go. Make sure that you move the engine the same amount on both sides.
Step 6: Reinstall the belt guard using the bolts and washers you removed in the first step. You will need to test the shredder for normal operation and make any necessary adjustments to the engine.
Even though you should add adjusting the belt to your list of chipper shredder maintenance tasks, it is important to note that there are times when you will have to check the belt’s tightness regardless. If you notice any slippage from the blades, for example, it is important that you stop the chipper as soon as possible and check that the belt is in order.