Knife maintenance is one of the most overlooked areas on many operations. Making this small task a part of the operators daily maintenance is the best way to ensure that the knives are well maintained.
Poorly maintained knives can reduce production significantly and add to the hourly operating cost through increased fuel consumption and decreased component life from overheating the hydraulic system and higher than normal structural stress. Delimbing knives, as a result often fail or wear out prematurely on many harvesting machines. Also, poorly maintained knives can cause inaccurate log measurements which have a negative impact on the forwarder, log trucks and the end user, the mills, who manufacture the timber. Only about 10% of harvester heads maintain knives to an acceptable level.
The most common issue with knives is the lack of daily care which leads to a condition that often happens within the first 1000 hours or so of a new knife which can affect performance for the entire life of the harvesting unit. Knives that are not maintained daily gradually get damaged and worn from normal use to a point where it can be difficult to repair it to it’s original condition.