Scraper 101: Don’t get a Flat Wheel

Occasionally we receive phone calls from customers who own a ride-on scraper and have worn a flat spot onto their caster wheel. The primary reason this happens is due to operator error. Proper adjustment of the front end of your ride-on scraper lifts this wheel entirely off the ground during operation. Failing to do so wears a flat spot on the wheel as it is dragged across the ground during removal.

When to use a caster wheel

The caster wheel on the front of your Ride-on scraper is designed for very little use. Ride-on scrapers are designed to be used 90% of the time with full head pressure on the tooling. Swapping out the blade holder for the transport wheels is the intended way for a rider to be transported across a jobsite. Occasionally using the caster wheel for stability or a quick maneuver in the work is really all it’s intended for.

A flat spot on the caster wheel of your ride-on scraper means you aren’t lifting the front of your machine far enough off the ground. On a National scraper, use the manual or hydraulic slide plate on the front of the machine to lift the front end and avoid getting a flat sided caster wheel.

How to lift the wheel off the ground

Begin by moving your slide plate to the lowest position. Do this by either loosening the bolts on the manual slide plate, or by using the short handle on the left of a dual lift machine.  Next, using the short handle on the right side of the machine increase the tooling angle. This method of lifting the front end of your machine off the ground is the best way to ensure you don’t get a flat wheel.

When you lift the machine up you want the entire caster wheel off the ground before you start removing material. The full head pressure of the machine needs to be balanced on the front tooling. If the caster wheel is riding on the ground your scraper is less effective.


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