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How to Maintain Your Petrol Wood Chipper

This guide covers how to correctly maintain your petrol belt-driven wood chipper. We will also guide you through starting your wood chipper for the first time as well as any troubleshooting issues you may encounter over time.

Regular maintenance checks should be performed on your wood chipper in order to ensure optimal performance and long life of your machine.

Starting your Wood Chipper for the First Time

Check the tension of the belts

Ensure that you check the tension of the belts before first-time use. You should then run the chipper for no longer than 10 to 15 minutes before checking the tension of the belts again. This is because after the first fifteen minutes of use the belts will stretch.

The tension of the belts should be checked before each use. Click here to learn how to adjust the tension belts of your chipper.

15hp belt, wood chipper, pulley

You should also follow the below checklist before every use of your wood chipper.

– Check the oil level of the chipper

– Check the general equipment condition

– Check the tension of the blades

– Check the blades for sharpness

– Check emergency stop switch

How to start your Wood Chipper

The first step to starting up your chipper is to position the wood chipper on flat, dry ground and make sure that the machine cannot be moved.

You should then make sure that the Fuel Shut-Off Valve is in the ‘ON‘ position.

Move the Choke Control Lever to the ‘CHOKE‘ position (this is only required if the engine is cold).

Move the Throttle Control Lever to the ‘FAST‘ position.

Turn the Ignition Switch to the ‘ON‘ position. Grasp the Recoil Starter Handle and slowly pull until you feel resistance. Let the cord retract a little bit and then pull the cord rapidly to start the engine. One or two pulls usually starts the engine.

Move the Choke Control level (if used for a cold engine) slowly back to the ‘RUN‘ position when the engine is running well.

If the wood chipper has not been running (cold engine), warm up the engine by running the engine at half throttle for 3-4 minutes, then advance the engine throttle control o the maximum speed.

Stopping the engine

Simply move the throttle lever to ‘IDLE‘ and then turn the Ignition Switch to the ‘OFF‘ position.

Maintaining your Chipper over time

In order to keep your chipper at optimal performance, we recommend following the below rules. Checking these bullet points off after the recommended time will help to make sure that every part of your chipper is well looked after and ready to perform the task at hand. It will also greatly expand the life of the chipper, keeping it ready for action for years to come.

Every 25 Hours of Use

– Check the tire pressure

– Clean the engine exterior and cooling

– Change engine Oil

– Replace Air Filter

Every 100 Hours

– Replace Spark Plug

Troubleshooting your Machine

The engine of the chipper won’t start

In the event that your wood chipper won’t start, follow the checklist provided below.

– Is the Ignition Switch in the ‘ON‘ position?

– Is the fuel shut-off valve on?

Are you using fresh, clean fuel? If the fuel is old, change it. We strongly recommend using a fuel stabilizer if you keep fuel for longer than 30 days.

Is the spark plug clean? If the spark plug is dirty or cracked, change it. If it’s oily, leave it out, hold a rag over the plug hole and pull the recoil cord several times to blow out any oil in the cylinder, then wipe off the plug and reinsert it.

Is there sufficient oil? Check the engine oil level and if necessary top up the current level.

Is there dirt in the carburettor? Undo the bolt holding the float chamber to the carburettor, empty out any fuel and clean the inside using fresh clean petrol. Remove the jet in the bottom of the carburettor and clean it. You can then refit the jet and the float chamber.

The engine lacks power or is not running smoothly

In the event that your wood chipper isn’t running smoothly or is lacking power, follow the checklist provided below.

– Check that the Throttle Lever is in the ‘RUN‘ position.

Is the spark plug clean? If it’s fouled or cracked, change it. If it’s oily then leave it out, hold a rag over the plug hole and pull the recoil cord several times to blow out any of the oil in the cylinder. You then wipe off the plug and reinsert it.

Are you using fresh and clean unleaded gas? If it’s old then change it. We recommend using a fuel stabilizer if you keep gas for longer than 30 days.

Does your engine have the right amount of clean oil? If it’s dirty then change it following the instructions typically provided in the engine manufacturers owners manual.

The engine is producing smoke

In the even that your wood chipper engine is producing smoke, please follow the checklist provided below:

– Check the oil level and adjust as needed

– Check the air filter and clean or replace if needed.

It’s possible that you’re using the wrong oil – possibly an oil which is too light for the temperature. We recommend reading the engine owners manual for more detailed information regarding this subject.

– Clean the cooling fans if they’re dirty.


If you’ve been through each step of our checklists and you’re still experiencing issues, then please give us a call on our technical line on 0191 276 6553 or email us at technical@forest-master.com.

You can also find more tips and fixes on our Frequently Asked Questions Page.

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