Today we got a chance to use the wood chipper at college. After doing all the pre-start checks on the machine and making sure everyone had the correct PPE we discussed the important safety points when using the machine. It is very important to remove any watches or bracelets and NOT to wear gloves when feeding material into the machine as these items could easily get caught on branches and pull you into the hopper.
Once we got to site, signage was placed to warn members of the public about the work being carried out and everyone made sure they were wearing the correct safety gear.
I then went through the starting procedure, making sure the stop button was applied and the throttle was set to low and the choke was out we used the electric starter to fire up the engine. The machine has to reach maximum revs before the feed rollers (that pull the material into the machine) will start operating. Once these are running it is important to check they stop when the stop button and the stop bar are operated and that the reverse function operates correctly. Then material is fed into the hopper being very careful to stand well back and allow the machine to feed the material through into the cutting blades which are mounted on the flywheel.
As the machine starts cutting the feed rollers may stop, this is due to the anti-stress device kicking in when the flywheel drops below a certain RPM, this prevents the machine “choking” on material and allows the blades to clear before the feed rollers start drawing in more material for chipping.