Wacker uses a three-stage air filtration system.
"The first stage consists of a built-in cyclonic pre-cleaner which removes the big particles and most of the dust before it gets to the second stage," Baudhuin says.
"By removing the big particles you will have a longer filter life. The big particles are collected in a catch with a rubber grommet on the bottom of the filter box which contractors can remove and empty. The second stage consists of a secondary foam pre-filter, and the final stage is a self-cleaning pleated main filter. The ramming action helps shake dust out of the main filter."
Cuppett says that's why filtration on rammers and plate compactors is so important.
"Because you're pounding the ground and all that dust gets thrown up into the air and you're sucking it in at the same time and it gets down into your cylinders, so filtration is one of the key issues. The majority of the failures I see out there are because people don't change out their filters or their fuel lines."
In addition, contractors should make regular, scheduled maintenance checks to keep rammers in optimum working condition. Check your owner's manual and follow the suggested maintenance and schedule for your particular piece of equipment.
Daily. Make routine visual checks to make sure everything is sound and in place. Check fuel levels, engine oil levels, and check fuel lines and fittings for any leaks or cracks.
"You'll want to pull off your air filters and fuel filters before you start your visual inspection," Cuppett says. "If you find something that needs to be fixed, you can fix it at that time."
Baudhuin says Wacker's rammers have a sight glass for checking ramming system oil level and an air filter indicator to indicate a dirty air filter. "On our 2-cycles we have an air filter indicator, so you want to make sure that's not tripped," Baudhuin says. "If it's tripped, it's telling the operator that their air cleaner is dirty and they need to put in a new air filter. The less often the air filter is open the better for the longevity of the engine. Opening up the air filter box and checking the condition of the filter increases the risk of dust particles getting into the engine."
Weekly. Baudhuin says these checks should be made every week or every 25 working hours:
- Tighten all hardware, including ramming shoe hardware, engine cylinder screws, and any external hardware.
- Clean air cleaner cover.
- Clean out engine cooling fins with an air compressor.
- Clean and check spark plug gap.
- Clean all filters.
Monthly (or 100 hours of use)
- Replace the spark plugs. As always it's important to follow each manufacturer's recommendations for scheduled maintenance as some equipment requires more than others. Baudhuin says, for example, that on Wacker's 4-cycle rammers engine oil needs to be changed every 100 hours.
"But on our 2-cycle rammer they don't need to do that because it's an oil-injected machine," he says. "So they don't have to change oil, but they do need to add oil in their separate tank for oil. On a 2-cycle they have a low-oil shutdown. That's one of the key benefits of the 2-cycle rammer from a maintenance standpoint."
3 months (200-300 hours).
- Clean the recoil starter
- Change ramming system oil
- Clean engine muffler, exhaust port
- Inspect lifting cable for wear, damage, or abuse.
- Inspect the fuel filter.
- Check fuel line and oil line for any damage and replace if necessary.
- Replace fuel and oil lines every two years regardless of visible wear.
Care of plate compactors
Baudhuin says the primary maintenance on plate compactors involves the engine, so any standard engine maintenance should be followed.
"For plate compactors, the maintenance will be pretty much the same — change your filters, make sure you put clean gas in the unit," Cuppett says. "But in addition, oil should be in your exciter, which is an eccentric weight that's rotating inside the unit, which causes it to vibrate."