Your Cart

+44 (0)191 265 5000

info@forest-master.com

troubleshooting wood chipper issues

Troubleshooting Petrol & Electric Wood Chipper Issues

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Last Updated on November 22, 2022 by Forest Master

If you have a wood chipper you may have experienced issues that may arise with usage. It is important to be able to identify and fix these problems as soon as they occur in order to use your equipment effectively and to keep it from incurring any extra damage. In this troubleshooting guide, we will cover everything you need to ensure your machine is able to work in proper condition. 

petrol 1

Petrol Wood Chipper

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.

Oil level sensor – There MUST be between 600ml and 650ml of oil in the engine. Any more or any less will cut the ignition of the engine and prevent start-up.

Dirty 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.

Hopper sensor – The bolt underneath the hopper must be securely screwed into the micro switch. This must be ensured or else the ignition will be cut and will not start.

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 event 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.

Engine hunting

Engine hunting is when your engine speed fluctuates up and down when it should be at a steady speed.

Hunting usually happens because there is a problem causing the carburettor to get blocked up with dirt. This is often due to fuel delivery problems, air leaks, or governor system problems.

To fix this problem you will need to ensure that the carburettor is clean and does not have any dirt particles in it. To prevent this from happening it is important that dirty fuel doesn’t enter the fuel tank as this is what causes the dirt to build up in the carburettor. This can also be caused by water entering the fuel tank so it is important to ensure that absolutely no outside water enters when filling with fuel.

If the problem still occurs then adjustment of the governor and/or changing the air filter may be required. It is recommended that this fault is fixed professionally.

Tight pull cord

If the pull cord is tight at all, do not keep pulling or you risk damaging the pull cord.

Remove the black cover cap from the motor and rotate the big outer nut on the end of the shaft using your finger and thumb. Check that the drum is rotating freely in both directions and ensure that there aren’t any blockages.

If the drum is not moving freely using your finger and thumb, then remove the hopper and clear any blockages from the drum, spinning it back and forth using the nut on the motor to ensure that the entire drum is clean of any possible blockage.

Position the hopper back into place and tightly secure the bolt. This is a crucial step as the bolt acts as a safety mechanism for the chipper. Also, ensure that the correct bolt is used when reassembling.

Chipper not feeding in wood / producing sawdust

The wood is too dried out

We recommend that the wood is chipped no longer than three days after cutting. After this date, the wood will begin to dry out, meaning the chipper blades then struggle to dig into the wood. This produces sawdust-like waste from the exit chute, and the chipper will struggle to self-feed.

If the chipper is producing sawdust – this is a clear sign that the wood is dry. When chipping slow-grown hardwood like fruit trees (such as cherry or apple trees) you must ensure that you chip the material the same day that it is cut to ensure the machine operates at full effectiveness.

electric

Electric Wood Chipper

Similar to the petrol chipper, it’s very rare that there will be a fault with the machine or motor itself. If there is an issue with the electric wood chipper there are a few straightforward steps you can check through to get it up and going again. 

First, remove the black plastic cap from the side of the machine and rotate the outer nut on the end of the shaft. You should be able to spin this using your finger and thumb. If the drum is not moving freely using a finger and thumb, remove the hopper and clear any blockages from the drum, spinning it back and forth to ensure all debris is removed.

Second, ensure that the hopper is secured tightly in place using the bolt. The bolt is a safety mechanism for the chipper so the machine will not start without the bolt being in place and tightened.

Last, check the fuses on the device and the main power supply, including any extension cables. You should also reset the trip switch which is a small clear button located beside the ON/OFF switch on the motor. If you’re able to press/click the button, this means that the machine has tripped.

The start button not clicking down

If you click the start button on the chipper and you don’t feel or hear the button click, then this typically means that the chipper isn’t receiving power.

Check the fuses on the device and the main power supply, including any extension cables.

Ensure that the bolt on the hopper is tightly secured. This is vital as the bolt acts as a safety feature for the wood chipper so it must be tightly nipped in order for the chipper to start.


Still experiencing issues?

If you’ve been through all of the steps in our troubleshooting guide and you’re still experiencing issues, you can call us on our technical line on 0191 276 6553 or email us at technical@forest-master.com.

You can also find further information and help on our Frequently Asked Questions Page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Free Next Day Delivery

Free Next Working Day Delivery (Mainland UK)

Forestry Specialists

#1 UK Based Forestry Company - Specialists in all things forestry.

Direct Technical Support

Lifetime Access to Expert Technical Support with Every Purchase.

100% Secure Checkout

PayPal / MasterCard / Visa