Baler Maintenance Tips

Baler Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Machine Running Top Notch

Today, balers are one of the most frequently used machines for commercial recycling. These machines are found everywhere from retail businesses to industrial waste management facilities.  When compacting various forms of waste, the baler allows for much easier recycling efforts which help simplify the processing and transportation of a company’s waste.

Of course, like all industrial equipment, balers are prone to wear and tear along the way, especially if you are not operating them properly. In fact, there are various bad equipment habits that may cause your baler to need repairs more often than normal. Let’s talk about some baler maintenance tips that can help prolong the life and efficiency of your baler.

Baler Maintenance Tips:

Regularly Clean the Baler

Ensure that when operating your baler is has been cleaned. A lot of debris, dust, and grime accumulate in the baler that can cause damage to the internal parts if left uncleaned. It is also important to keep the area around the baler free of waste to help prevent rodents and other buildup around the equipment that could cause further damage.

Dirt around the control console can lead to some issues, a build-up of dust can cause overheating of the motors and cooler, which can be an expensive repair or replace. With that being said, take time to clean away any dust each day while conducting deeper cleans weekly, monthly, and quarterly.

Baler Maintenance Tips

Keep Up on Preventative Maintenance

Another baler maintenance tip is to routinely check for preventative maintenance needs. Instead of waiting for parts to break down. Take the time to do minor maintenance over the weeks and months which will save you thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs or replacements.

We recommend completing weekly, monthly, and yearly maintenance checks and repairs on your baler. Weekly maintenance should be top of mind in this regard, some examples of this are cleaning parts, avoiding dust build-ups, inspecting the oil and testing condition of the power unit.

Always Check Your Oil

Baler operators should always be checking oil levels when cleaning the equipment. Oil is critical for a stable and safe operation making it extremely important to check this regularly to ensure no issues.

Changing your machinery’s oil only needs to be done every few years, although certain conditions, such as dust build-up, often mean the oil needs to be changed more frequently. Also, make sure to note the oil temperature as this plays an important role in keeping your baler efficient and not slow.

Keep Up with Hydraulic Maintenance

The hydraulics are the driving force behind your baler, yet they tend to be overlooked and break down sooner than they should. Issues with baler hydraulics are a common issue due to the pressure and very high temperature they operate under, so make sure to check these regularly to ensure optimal performance.

For example, the baler’s hydraulic fluid levels should always be in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations, while also inspecting the oil around the hydraulics is also an important task. Lastly, having a lot of dust build-up may cause your machine to overheat sooner than necessary, so make sure to check around the hydraulics and clean when needed.

Baler Maintenance Tips: Conclusion

Balers are one of the most frequently used machines for commercial recycling. Like all industrial equipment, balers are prone to wear and tear along the way, especially if you are not operating them properly. Proper baler maintenance will help prolong the life and efficiency of your baler.

Speed-Tech Equipment is a provider of recycling equipment, based in Hudsonville, MI. We sell and service a variety of waste equipment including balers, compactors, loading docks, doors and seals, and MORE!  We may be located in Hudsonville, Michigan but can ship equipment nationwide!

Contact Us Today With Any Questions! We Are Happy To Help!

Baler Safety Tips

Baler Safety Tips- How to Avoid Injuries When Using a Baler

By following these baler safety tips for operating a baler, you will decrease the risk of baler-related injuries in your company.

Compacting and baling equipment reduce large amounts of solid waste to smaller, more manageable units by utilizing powered rams. These machines are typically used by manufacturing companies to compact and bale large amounts of scrap and waste materials such as paper, cotton, and metals. On the other hand, retail and service industries are using these machines for paper and cardboard boxes.

Compactors compress the waste material into containers for transport. While baling equipment is designed to compress material and produce a bale that can be handled and transported as a unit.

It is extremely important to understand that when powerful metal equipment such as balers are used incorrectly, series injuries can occur. However, the majority of the injuries are preventable if these safety tips are followed.

Training is Crucial!

Waste and recycling balers are very easy to use, and they make businesses more efficient by compressing waste into dense compact blocks. However, like any commercial or industrial machinery, balers should only be operated by trained staff and secure conditions.

Training your staff is key and it is vital that the vendor provides you with thorough instruction on using the machine safely, appropriate duty of care, how to bale out, how to ready the machine, how to change the banding and other simple maintenance and cleaning steps.

Safety training and supervision: Never operate a baler without proper safety training and supervision, especially for beginners. It is essential to receive comprehensive training on the operation, controls, and safety protocols associated with balers. Having experienced personnel oversee operations can provide guidance and ensure safe practices are followed.

Visible warning signs: Place clear and visible warning signs next to the waste baler to notify staff of its presence. These signs serve as a constant reminder to exercise caution and be aware of potential hazards associated with the baler.

Proper protective gear: Always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with balers. This includes safety glasses, gloves, goggles, earplugs, hard hats, and steel-toed shoes. Each piece of PPE serves a specific purpose in safeguarding against various risks, such as eye injuries from debris, hand injuries from sharp objects, and hearing damage from loud noise.

Power down during jam clearing: When clearing jams in the baler, it is crucial to power down the machine completely. Disconnecting the power supply ensures that the baler will not reactivate accidentally while clearing the jam, preventing potential entanglement or crushing hazards.


Remove key from switch: Operators should remove the key from the baler’s switch when the machine is not in use. This simple step helps prevent unauthorized use or accidental activation, reducing the risk of injuries caused by inadvertent operation.

Pre-use inspection: Before using the baler, conduct a thorough inspection to identify any potential safety issues. Check for loose or damaged parts, malfunctioning controls, or signs of wear and tear. Address any identified issues promptly to maintain the baler’s safe operation.

Clear warning signs and safety decals: Display clear warning signs and safety decals on the baler itself. These visual cues serve as reminders of the specific hazards associated with the machine and the necessary precautions to take while operating it.


Safety Tips for Baling Out

When it comes to baler safety, paying attention to important details can make a significant difference in preventing accidents and ensuring a safe working environment. Here are some additional details to consider when implementing baler safety tips:

Use the correct baler banding: Baler banding plays a crucial role in securing bales and maintaining the integrity of the baler. It is essential to use the appropriate banding that matches your baler’s specifications. Factors to consider include the length, width, breaking strength, material, and quality of the banding. Using the wrong type of banding can lead to band breakage, causing bales to become loose and increasing the risk of injury to workers.

Clear the bale-out area: Before baling out, it is vital to ensure that the area surrounding the baler is clear of any obstructions and personnel. Remove any debris, loose materials, or other objects that may interfere with the baling process. Also, make sure that no one is standing near the baler during operation to prevent accidents caused by entanglement or crushing hazards.

Ensure proper equipment availability: Along with clearing the bale-out area, it is essential to have the necessary equipment readily available nearby. This includes items like pallets or trolleys, which are used to transport and store bales safely. Having these tools within easy reach helps minimize the need for excessive manual lifting, reducing the risk of strain or musculoskeletal injuries for workers.

Baler Safety Tips Conclusion

Prioritizing baler safety is paramount for both workers and employers. It cannot be stressed enough that the improper use of these powerful machines can lead to severe injuries, ranging from crushing to amputation, and in tragic cases, even death. To mitigate these risks, it is crucial to adhere to the safety guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Additionally, investing in proper training for all personnel involved and conducting regular inspections of the equipment are essential steps in minimizing potential hazards associated with balers. By consistently practicing these safety measures, we can significantly decrease the likelihood of accidents and create a safer work environment for everyone involved. Remember, when it comes to baler safety, there is no room for compromise.

used equipment

Refurbished vs. New Equipment- What is Best for Your Business

Are you in the market for some new equipment? We know that making the investment for new equipment is not always feasible exactly when it is needed, not to mention it can also be very challenging to find the right piece of used machinery for your specific needs when the demand is there. Purchasing used machinery is the ideal alternative to buying brand new machinery or equipment, both of which typically come with a pretty hefty price tag. Although looking on the reverse end, purchasing used machinery can mean more maintenance as well as the risk of purchasing something that was not refurbished up to condition and safety standards.

Refurbished Equipment

What is refurbished equipment exactly? It is equipment that has been previously owned, inspected, and restored to a sellable condition. When you find yourself purchasing used machinery you can pocket savings that average 30 percent to 50 percent of the selling price for the same equipment in new condition and saving on the initial depreciation cost right when you walk off the lot.

A big key to successfully purchasing refurbished equipment is double and triple check how the vendor your purchased from defines “refurbished”. Did they dismantle the equipment and replace and parts that might have been too worn out? Did the company go through a thorough testing process after the equipment was reassembled to make sure that everything was working in great condition? Be sure to ask the right questions to the seller before jumping into a new purchase. Another thing to look for is if the vendor you are purchasing from has some experience in serving in your local community. Do they have good reviews online or has someone you know and trust referred them to you? This will give you an idea of their track record and if their products they are selling are good condition and safe for users.

Pros of Purchasing Refurbished Equipment

  • Purchase equipment at a lower cost
  • Depreciation Avoided
  • Holds better value
  • Get your equipment right when you need it
  • Enjoy lower insurance costs
  • Increases flexibility for other avenues where revenue is needed
  • Availability of equipment- greater selection
  • Cons of Purchasing Refurbished Equipment

  • Possible poor condition
  • Possible subpar safety
  • High repair costs if something breaks
  • No warranty
  • New Equipment

    New equipment is just that! The latest and greatest model. The equipment will be more efficient, have all the bells and whistles including all the safety and comfort features. Also, you have a lower risk of breakdowns and repairs. With all of that comes a price, and the price tends to be a very pretty penny. But with that pretty penny comes a peace of mind about the equipment’s history, use, or current state. You won’t have to be worried about starting your machine in the morning, if it’s going to work all day or if it’s safe for your employees to use.

    Another key here is to check into the company you are purchasing from. Make sure they are reliable, have been in the industry for some time, and check their reviews! What people say about them will give you great insight on what they’re selling and their customer service.

    refurbished machinery

    Pros of Purchasing New Equipment

  • Purchase the exact model you want that is tailored to your business needs
  • Repair costs are very low for a longer amount of time
  • Warranties to cover unexpected costs
  • Shows company’s professionalism
  • Enjoy lower insurance costs
  • Greater technology
  • Tax advantages
  • Cons of Purchasing New Equipment

  • Upfront costs are costly
  • High depreciation cost upfront
  • Return on investment
  • Long wait times to receive equipment- could be damaging to business
  • All things considered, buying used machinery makes more financial sense, it offers a greater return on investment, and you have access to a greater selection with availability. When purchasing new equipment, you are putting more money into it but you don’t have to worry about repair costs or safety and you’re offered warranties to keep them up to date and reliable for your company. Not to mention the tax advantages that come with it!

    Speed-Tech Equipment sells new and refurbished equipment, so whatever you’re looking for- we can help! Before you make a decision on which process is best for your needs, contact us to see how we can help!

    Click here to see our current new and refurbished equipment

    upgrade your baler

    3 Ways To Know It’s Time To Upgrade Your Equipment

    The continued development of equipment over the years has helped many businesses and people perform their jobs and services with increased efficiency, productivity, all the while saving money and manpower. If you are an individual or business that has benefited from the use of various equipment, you know how important it is to keep said equipment and machinery up and running to the best of its ability. But as you know, equipment always endures wear and tear, and there comes a time where maintenance is needed, parts are to be replaced, and upgrades are necessary to continue business as usual. When is the time right for you to upgrade your equipment? How can you know when the line has been crossed and a piece of equipment is no longer worth putting money into repairs, but you will be better off upgrading your old equipment?

    When Your Company Outgrows It

    One of the best ways to know that it’s time to upgrade your equipment is when your company outgrows it. This is a little bit of a grey area, but when the equipment no longer is serving its purpose it might be time to make the upgrade. This might mean that you have too much work that your equipment cannot keep up, or it could simply be that whatever equipment you have is just too small to keep up with the applications you are using it for. For example, if you have a trash compactor for your business, as you continue to grow your trash compactor will get to a point where you are just producing too much trash to use your compactor efficiently. If that is the case, you will want to consider investing in a larger compactor!

    Wastequip 3yrd compactor

    When Your Mechanic Recommends It

    Another good way that you can know if the time is approaching to upgrade or replace your equipment is to check in continually with your trusted mechanic during their routine maintenance sessions. An experienced mechanic will many times be able to spot issues or problems before they become actual issues or problems for you. No business wants to experience down time with a machine or piece of equipment that is out of order. A mechanic should be able to help you understand when your equipment is in need of replacement or an upgrade in order to keep your business running properly.

    When The Cost of Repairs Outweighs the Increase in Productivity

    Our last tip when it comes to knowing when it’s time to upgrade your equipment is a pretty practical one…it’s time to upgrade your equipment when the cost of equipment repairs outweighs the benefits of the piece of equipment. For example, in a very basic sense, if you are a business that owns a cardboard baler in order to simplify your recycling process but your average yearly cost to continue making repairs to the cardboard baler are more than what you are saving in terms of manpower and recycling costs, it’s likely time to make the upgrade for your business.

    Unfortunately, everything is not always black and white when it comes to the time to upgrade your equipment – but as a business, it’s important to always be thinking about the ways in which you can continue to grow as well as keep track of the things that might be holding you back.

    If you are interested and looking for more information on updating your businesses compactors, balers, loading dock equipment and more, feel free to contact us today. Our experienced staff and team is more than happy to walk you through how an upgrade can help you.

    The Benefits Of Preventive Maintenance For Your Compactors & Balers

    Machinery provides great advantages to businesses today – increasing productivity and reducing operating costs are just some of the many positive effects that it can have for a business. Although it can produce great returns, owning and operating a business with regularly running machines needs to be strategically thought through. Much like people, engineered objects are not invincible, compactors and balers will break and of course undergo regular wear and tear of use! Have you ever heard the old saying, “if it’s not broke, then don’t fix it?” this phrase is still religiously lived by for some business and machine owners. Baler and compactor preventive maintenance might seem like more work and more costly up front but we are here to tell you that it will create countless benefits for your company in the long haul. What are some of the benefits?

    “Preventive maintenance: Maintenance that is regularly performed on a piece of equipment to lessen the likelihood of it failing. It is performed while the equipment is still working so that it does not break down unexpectedly."

    Operational Safety

    Operational safety should be at the top priority and goal of EVERY business. This means keeping your employees safe by creating a safe work environment, following safety rules, as well as keeping your equipment running safely. As you perform preventive maintenance on your compactors and balers you are taking the steps to regularly check and double check that they are running properly, and they do not have any alarming symptoms that might lead to a break down, or a dangerous situation for any of your employees. 

    baler preventive maintenance

    Reduced Maintenance Costs

    Any manager, owner, or business professional wants to keep costs down in order to make the most profit possible, right? By implementing baler and compactor preventive maintenance into your business model, it’s extremely likely that you will actually be reducing overall maintenance costs. The time and cost put into routinely checking through your compactors and balers will likely save you from needing to take the time and money to pay for a large broken-down machine. As you routinely check your balers and compactors, you will be replacing parts as they begin to wear, which will not only more than likely save you from a big breakdown where you need to replace multiple parts on top of losing production time!

    Decreased Down Time

    Decreasing your down time when a machine breaks is crucial to lowering your overall operations cost in the long term picture. Maintaining your balers and compactors regularly will likely result in less unexpected repairs and replacements – and when those unexpected times do come, there’s a bigger chance that the repair will not be as drastic as it could have been if the machine had not been under routine surveillance. That decrease in down time adds up over time not only making your business more efficient, but also more cost effective.

    compactor preventive maintenance

    Operations Efficiency

    Operations efficiency can not only save you money, but it makes you MORE money. Machines obviously go through normal wear and tear, just like any other tangible object. The great thing about machines though, is that you can replace individual parts based on the wear and tear that they endure. As a compactor and baler gets older and has basic wear and tear, things won’t continue to work as fast and sometimes you will even see a noticeable change in the speed of operation. Replacing parts affecting the speed and productivity will keep up your efficiency while also preventing a breakdown that might leave you in a bad spot.

    Extend Machine Life

    Extending your machine life can sometimes be as easy as habitually checking your compactors and balers. If one piece of your machine fails or is failing; replacing the one part will likely prevent other parts from failing as a result of the first initial breaking piece. This in turn will begin to extend the life of the individual machine pieces, as well as raising the overall live expectancy of the machine.

    Running a compactor and baler in your everyday business operations requires a maintenance plan, in order to maximize your work. Not only do baler and compactor preventive maintenance plans help businesses save money and stay on top of operations, but it also contributes to a safe and secure work environment for your employees which goes a lot further than just making them feel valued – it will create a positive name and reputation for your company as well as the individuals who work there.
    So, if you do not practice preventive maintenance on your machines, you now know why it’s so important – but how do you begin to implement a plan after months, years, or decades of running your business the same way…with no routine maintenance? We suggest that you create a team of individuals to be responsible for overseeing the program. A good mix might be a to have a person from production, management, and maintenance. After your team has been formed we suggest that you make a plan of exactly which machines need to be checked when, how they need to be checked & what the best way is for that to happen. For example, you might want to make sure to check Baler A, B, & C’s electrical and hydraulics on the first of every other month because they are your oldest machines, then Compactor D & E every 6 months because they don’t get used quite as often and don’t have quite the same wear and tear as some other machines. If you do not have an experience mechanic on staff to do these checks for you, you can schedule these routine “check-ups” with Speed-Tech Equipment, or your local compactor and baler provider.

    Remember, baler and compactor preventive maintenance is a great way to keep your equipment in tip-top shape, and is part of a successful formula to keep your business running the way you want – but it’s not guaranteed to always be 100% successful. Machines are still machines and we cannot always predict when something will break or when/how some sort of external situation will affect equipment in an unforeseen way.

    To Learn More About Preventive Maintenance as well as Full Equipment Rebuilds, Installations, and Onsite Repair Services

    Contact Speed-Tech Equipment Today!

    Baler or Compactor | Which is right for your company?

    A business that handles waste is a business that needs either a baler or compactor.

    Using either a baler or compactor will help make your business run easier and reduce waste handling costs. Every company is striving to increase recycling, and having a baler or a compactor is the way to go.

    The difficult decision is choosing what one to get. What is the difference between baler or compactor? How do you decide what one to get? What is the best one for your business? Here are the differences to help you choose the best fit for your needs and business.

    Balers are machines that help pack large amounts of recyclable material into compact and smaller shape, allowing easier storage and shipment. In addition to this, they give companies another source of income. They are grouped into two categories: vertical baler (aka downstroke balers) and horizontal baler. See the difference between vertical and horizontal balers here

    A baler is used to pack mainly recyclable materials such as cardboard, paper, plastics, metal, etc. The materials are then condensed into bales for easy storage and transport. Eventually, these bales are brought to a recycling company for resale and reuse.


    are used to reduce and compress large volumes of trash into a contained area. It can handle different types of waste to reduce its size and make it easier to handle and transport. There are different kinds of compactors, including food waste compactors, self- cleaning compactors, and polystyrene compactors.

    Benefits of a Baler

    • Provide a tidier, cleaner work space environment
    • Reduce cost of waste disposal
    • Create additional earnings, depending on the material and volume of waste
    • Increase amount recycled

    • Be an example to others, including customers, that it is necessary to recycle
    industrial trash compactors

    Benefits of a Compactor

    • Easier loading and transporting waste
    • Ideal for bulky waste that needs compacting
    • Bin tipping option available. This gives a potential reduction of manual handling.
    • Reduce costs for transport since the bales of the compactor take up less space
    • Self-cleaning compactors are available
    • Reduces overall number of trash pickups
    marathon-vertical trash compactor

    Should You Choose a Baler or Compactor for your Business?

    With an understanding of both balers and compactors, you can determine what would be best for you. Both compactors and balers are great for saving money, helping the environment, and the transportation and handling of materials.

    Speed-Tech Equipment offers a wide range of balers and compactors. Our balers include horizontal balers and vertical balers. Our compactors include stationary compactors, self-contained compactors, and vertical compactors. Need help choosing? Give Speed-Tech Equipment a call at 616-669-2142 or contact us! 

    At Speed-Tech Equipment, our goal is to help people and businesses recycle and reduce waste by providing the right equipment for the job

    Types of Balers: Vertical & Horizontal Balers

    There are two types of balers out there. Depending on your business recycled material, one of them might be a better choice over the other. Balers are necessary to a recycling program. They help pack large amounts of recyclable material into a compact and smaller shapes, allowing easier storage and shipment. In addition to this, they give companies another source of income. They are grouped into two categories: vertical balers (aka downstroke balers) and horizontal balers. Now, do you use a vertical or horizontal baler for your application? Let’s go over it! 

    Vertical Balers

    Vertical balers are those that compress materials with a vertical, downward force and pressure. They are smaller than horizontal balers. Materials that are recyclable, like corrugated cardboard, plastics, and foam, are inserted into the baler. Once the chamber is full at a specified level, the ram or arm of the baler moves downward, crushing the waste. The machine bundles and ejects the crushed waste after they have been compacted. Vertical balers can process most of the same materials processed by horizontal balers


    Advantages of Vertical Balers

    • Vertical balers tend to be cheaper than horizontal balers. They are usually one fifth or sometimes one tenth the price of horizontal balers. The reason for this is because they are smaller.
    • Vertical balers can handle a variety of recyclables, while horizontal balers can only handle a few specified materials. Some examples of waste vertical balers range from office paper to non-ferrous metals. You can purchase a specialized vertical baler, which can process things like aluminum to beverage containers.
    • Vertical balers take up less space than horizontal balers. They can be used where horizontal balers would be impractical.

    Disadvantages of Vertical Balers

    • Smaller models of vertical balers may not produce bales that are “mill standard”. This makes it hard to sell to buyers.
    • Even though vertical balers are smaller than horizontal, they are taller and can be hard to find a place for them.
    • Vertical balers may not work for recyclables that have less elasticity when baled, like office paper or newspaper.

    Horizontal Balers

    Horizontal balers process waste by having it thrown into a hopper on top of the machine. This hopper is connected to a conveyor system. When the hopper is full, a ram or arm compresses the material with horizontal force until the bale is made. The bale is then tied off with wires and ejected from the machine.

    horizontal baler

    Advantages of Horizontal Balers

    • Horizontal Balers can handle large amounts of recycling each day. The bales they produce then are larger and more consistent in dense and weight.
    • Horizontal Balers can process a wide variety of recyclable materials. From aluminum to office paper, they can do it all.
    • Horizontal Balers can be used to your convenience. You have options of in-ground or above ground conveyor belts, shredders, and air systems. A machine likes this provide help to the consumer and requires less manpower to operate.

    Disadvantages of Vertical Balers

    • Horizontal balers take up much more floor space. Some go up to 40 feet in length.
    • Horizontal balers are much more expensive than vertical balers, not including the conveyance, air, or shredding systems. Adding these accessories can increase the price even more

    Types of Balers Conclusion

    Given these two types of balers, how do you decide what baler you should buy? There are many variables that you must consider, but the main ones are as follows: The number of bales produced a day, how much money you can spend, and how much space available for the baler. Once you answer these questions, you will have a clear choice of what baler is right for you.

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