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A Winter Maintenance Checklist for Wood Chippers

As the winter months approach and the temperature drops, it is important to consider the effects the weather can have on your equipment. Wood chippers are used to reduce pieces of wood and tress into smaller chips and, like all tree care machinery, can be more susceptible to damage and failure in the colder months. Here’s our handy maintenance checklist for wood chippers for this winter.


1.Adjust your wood chipper’s tyre pressure

Temperature has a significant effect on tyre pressure. When the temperature falls, so does the tyre pressure because the air condenses (known as the ideal gas law). During colder months, tyre pressure may need to be higher than in warmer months, so it is important to regularly check the tyre pressure and make sure it is at the correct level.

If you’re keeping your wood chipper in storage, you can increase the tyre pressure (check your vehicle’s guide first to find out the maximum pressure you should inflate your tyres to), and then ensure that this is returned to the normal pressure level once you begin using your machine again.


2.Keep your wood chipper clean

Keeping your wood chipper clean is important all year, however during the winter months, your chipper may be more vulnerable to damage because of the presence of de-icing salts which can cause rusting, as well as the wear and tear caused by the harsher weather. Leaves, grass and wood may contain moisture, and if left ignored the moisture and salts can cause significant rusting. Hose down your wood chipper after use or before putting it into storage.


3.Change your wood chipper’s hydraulic oil

We suggest changing your wood chipper’s hydraulic oil, then filtering it to ensure any water is removed. After changing the oil, you should operate the machine for 5 minutes to cycle the oil through the system to check it is working properly.


4.Use a winter engine oil for your wood chipper

If you are using a wood chipper in winter, it may be worth considering a lower weight engine oil as they are better suited to colder temperatures. Check it has been approved by the engine manufacturer before doing so.


5.Store your wood chipper indoors

A great way to protect your wood chipper from the colder temperatures is to keep it sheltered, helping it to stay dry and warmer. Keeping your wood chipper inside a garage, warehouse or storage unit would be ideal. However, if this is not possible we recommend purchasing a waterproof cover to provide protection from the cold.


6.Protect your wood chipper’s battery

Battery power is weakened in colder temperatures, which may affect its durability. Colder weather also drains batteries. Leaving the battery in your wood chipper may cause it to leak, leading to serious damage to your equipment. We recommend removing the battery, cleaning it and then storing it somewhere safe and dry.

You could also consider using a trickle charger for your battery. These prevent batteries from losing too much charge and also prevents them from overcharging.


7.Grease your wood chipper

Grease bearings and other moving parts well, ensuring these points have a good build up of grease over the winter. This will make starting the machine much smoother when needed.


8.Check your wood chipper’s radiator coolant

Check the radiator coolant to ensure it has not frozen.  You must ensure that radiator coolant is the correct grade for your machine and it is filled to the correct level. Under-filling increases the likelihood of freezing.

Following this maintenance checklist will help prolong the lifespan of your wood chipper across the colder months. Your wood chipper may be “hibernating” for the winter, taking a well-earned break after the busy summer months, or perhaps it may be required for Christmas trees…  nevertheless, it is important to ensure your chipper is well maintained so it is ready to use whenever it is needed and in optimal working order.


To find out more about the range of wood chippers offered by Vermeer, you can contact our team of experts on 01933 274400 or email us at Alternatively, fill out an enquiry form with details of your request and we’ll get back to you.


Vermeer Corporation delivers a real impact on the way important work gets done through the design, manufacture and support of high-quality industrial and agricultural equipment that helps connect people to the necessities of life, manage natural resources and feed and fuel communities. With a reputation for being built tough and built a better way, that equipment is backed by localized customer service and support provided by independent dealers around the world. To learn about Vermeer Corporation, products, the dealer network, financing options and careers, visit



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