Here in Southeast Texas and pretty much anywhere in the southern states, Prairie Dog machines are typically used year round. In northern climates though our Prairie Dog machines may go into hibernation for the winter.
This post is more directed to any of our customers or followers in areas where cold weather tends to shut down normal operations and the machines will sit idle for more than a couple of months. You probably already know to either drain or stabilize your gasoline as you probably do with all your equipment. Nothing changes with the Prairie Dog. If you drain the gas be sure to drain the bowl on the carburetor as well. This is a typical problem area where corrosion can clog jets and cause additional repair expense. Ethanol free gas can eliminate a lot of problems. See my blog on on that subject: https://undergroundequip.com/ethanol-free-gas/
While you are winterizing your Prairie Dog this is a good time to check the machine over for any maintenance issues that might need to be addressed so your machine will be ready to work when it wakes up next year. Check the glides for wear, check the chain and sprockets for wear and check the rack and pinion advance gear. Check to make sure all bolts, shear keys and set screws are in place and tight and check the drill rod holder for excessive wear. Grease the bearings on the water swivel shaft and check for wear and any slop. To check for wear on the bearings just put a pry bar under the shaft and gently push up on the shaft at the front and back. Does the bearing give against the pressure? If so it might be time to replace it. Has the water swivel been leaking water? It might be time to replace the seals.
Prairie Dog Boring Equipment has all the parts in stock you need to service your machines. If you don’t have an owner’s manual with parts drawings it’s not a problem. Not a lot has changed over the years so we generally know the parts you will need based on a simple description.
Lastly and specifically to Prairie Dog machines with F/N/R transmissions it’s a good idea to add oil to the transmission. The clutch bands are a fibrous material that can dry out if they set up too long. While actually very durable, if the bands start to dry out they can begin to chip away on the edges slightly after you put them back in service. This can lead to premature wear and fiber in the oil which may accelerate wear. There is a simple way to avoid this though.
The manufacturer of the transmissions recommends filling the transmission to within an inch or so from the top so the clutch bands stay submerged in oil. BE SURE TO USE 30 WEIGHT NON-DETERGENT MOTOR OIL. When you are ready to put the machines back in service simply pull one of the two plugs on the side and let the oil drain down to that level. Replace the plug and you should be ready to go. While the oil drains this would be a good time to check to see if the transmission needs adjustment and adjust according to the owners manual.
If you have any questions about service, repair, operation or questions in general about Prairie Dog Boring Machines we’d love to hear from you.
I can be reached at 281-448-8442/ toll free 866-631-3786
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