There are plenty of rules that need to be followed when operating your wood splitter, whether you are using it for the first time or the hundredth time. If these rules are not followed, you could be endangering your personal safety, property and passersby. We have compiled some of the more impertinent rules in this article and have arranged them in easy-to-understand categories.
Before operating a splitter, make sure that you have read and understood the manual. Do not allow anyone who has not read the manual to operate the machine and make sure it is kept in an easy to remember and access location for future reference.
Never use a wood splitter for any other purpose than cutting timber. It is designed for this use only and any other application could potentially cause serious injury.
Ensure that only the operator is close by to the machine during use. Keep everyone else (especially children and pets) a minimum of 20 feet away, as flying wood can be hazardous. If you have a helper, do not operate the machine until they are well clear.
Never wear loose clothing or jewellery that could be caught by the machine’s moving parts and pull you into it. Keep all clothing away from the moving parts at all times.
Check the fuel before starting the engine, as petrol is highly flammable. Do not fill the fuel tank indoors, when the engine is running or whilst the engine is still hot. After filling up the splitter, securely replace the fuel cap and wipe away and spills.
Only operate the splitter on level ground and never on the side of a hill, as it could tip over or you could lose your footing. Muddy, icy, slippery and wet surfaces should also be avoided.
Never place your hands or feet between the wood and the splitting wedge or between the log and the end plate. Doing so may result in crushed or amputated fingers or toes. The worst case scenario is the loss of a hand or foot as a result of this.
Keep the work area clean. Split wood should be immediately removed to avoid tripping over it, and the platform should be cleaned of chips and dirt whenever necessary.
Never leave your splitter unattended with the engine running. Someone might accidentally engage the splitting wedge and cause an accident. Turn the machine off, even if you are only planning to leave it unattended for a few minutes at most.
Periodically check that all nuts, bolts, screws, hose clamps and hydraulic fittings are tight. You should also check that safety guards and shields are in the proper positions now.
Fluid escaping from your wood splitter can be almost invisible, so don’t check for them using your hand. It can also cause injury, as the fluid escapes at force. Instead, run a piece of cardboard or wood over the suspected leak and look for discolouration.
Do not alter your splitter in any way (such as attaching an extension to the control lever or adding to the width of the wedge). These alterations can cause it to become unsafe.
Whilst there are plenty more rules associated with the use of log/wood splitters, we have covered some of the more important or commonly overlooked ones in the above article. The other rules will be covered in your manual, so make sure you read it cover to cover be operation. And remember that these rules are designed to keep you and those around you safe.