How To Tighten A Drag Chain Conveyor In a Hydraulic System

How To

A Feeder-Breaker chain operates most efficiently with a slight amount of slack on the return side. The tension can be checked at the discharge end of the machine where it returns off of the head shaft. The chain should not:

  • Be pulled too tight
  • Hang too loose

The chain should be slightly slack with constant tension. 

For Feeder-Breakers with a hydraulic system, hydraulic oil should be pumped into a take-up cylinder at the feed end tail shaft to adjust tension. Once the hydraulic oil has been pumped in, the chain is held in place with steel shims.

Watch the video and read the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to tighten a drag chain conveyor in a hydraulic system.


Before performing maintenance to a Feeder-Breaker:

  • Be sure to read and follow the Installation, Operation and Maintenance Manual
  • Follow the appropriate lockout/tagout/blockout procedures
  • Read and follow all safety tags

Failure to do so could result in injury or death.

You Will Need:

  • Steel shims


Step 1. 

Switch off the power to the Feeder-Breaker and lock the switch in the off position to ensure no power can reach the machine while loosening the chain.

Step 2. 

On one side of the tail shaft, position the hand pump valve handle to EXTEND. 

Step 3.

Pump hydraulic oil into the cylinder until pressure is off the shims.

Step 4.

Insert the number of shims required to lock the cylinder in place. 

Step 5.

Position the hand pump valve handle to NEUTRAL, releasing pressure from the cylinder.

Step 6.

Repeat Steps 2-5 for the cylinder on the opposite side of the tail shaft. Be sure to add the same number of shims to each side so that the chain is parallel from the head shaft through the tail shaft.

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