Farm Ireland

Thursday 27 October 2016

Greasing is key to diet feeder maintenance

Derek Casey

Published 28/10/2015 | 02:30

The PTO cover needs to include an anti-rotation chain - a rotation cover is as potentially dangerous as an exposed rotating shaft.
The PTO cover needs to include an anti-rotation chain - a rotation cover is as potentially dangerous as an exposed rotating shaft.

Diet feeders, like any other machine, require regular maintenance to keep them operating as efficiently as possible.

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A word on safety from the outset; before carrying out any checks or work on your machine, ensure it is parked on a hard, level surface. Stop the tractor and keep the key in your own pocket.

The machine is now safe and cannot be started by anyone else without your prior knowledge and permission.

Never operate any PTO driven machine with a damaged PTO cover.

The cover needs to include an anti-rotation chain. A rotating cover is just as bad as an exposed rotating shaft.

Remember to grease the hardy spicers and the male and female sliding tubes of the shaft.

You should also grease the plastic nipple which will allow the shaft to rotate within the stationary cover.

Should this be overlooked, the plastic bushings inside will soon wear out rendering your cover useless and requiring replacement.

Inspect the crook of the tractor and the eye of the diet feeder for wear.

Should you find wear present in any of these components, replace them immediately.

These components are very cheap to replace compared to the cost of the accident they could cause. Lubricate liberally with oil or grease to prevent wear.

For such a large machine, diet feeders actually have quite a small number of points requiring grease.

Generally, it is only bearings, certain types of chain tensioners, sliding doors and moving parts on the axle that require the attention of a grease gun.


Due to the slow rotational speed of the main rotor shaft, the bearings at each end generally only require grease three to four times per season.

However, refer to the operator's manual of your individual machine to verify this as it may change from machine to machine depending on the manufacturer.

The bearings of the feed out auger will require more regular greasing as it runs at a higher RPM.

Other points requiring grease include, but are not limited to, sliding doors, chain tensioners and moving parts on the axle.

Most modern diet feeders feature automatic oiling of chains.

If this is the case, ensure the automatic oiler is fully operational and that the recommended oil is used - generally chain oil. All chains serviced by the oiler should be damp to the touch. A dry chain is very bad news.

If your machine doesn't feature an automatic oiler, apply chain oil manually every second day.

Indo Farming


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