Do you own a Mother Bucker or Double Bucker and want to ensure many years of reliable, breakdown-free service? This blog post is for you! Munch Machine has engineered equipment suitable for continuous use scenarios, which means they are built to handle 24/7 use, year-round. To maintain that legendary reliability, besides daily cleaning, you'll want to perform inspections and preventative maintenance on a regular basis. Let’s review what you need to do to keep your Munch Machine bucker in tip-top shape:
Safety First - Before performing ANY cleaning or maintenance on your machine:
- ALWAYS unplug the power cord from the outlet.
- Wear safety glasses, hearing protection (if needed), and rubber gloves.
- If working outdoors on uneven terrain, be sure to keep the machine level and stable.
Maintenance by category
There are four main categories to focus on when maintaining your Munch Machine bucker: 1) Lubrication 2) Rubber Rollers 3) Roller Tension 4) WrapFlex Coupler
NOTE: If you are unfamiliar with any machine components we mention, please reference the technical drawing at the bottom of this post.
Various parts of the machine require occasional greasing. Specifically, the Flange Bearings(#40) and Take-Up Bearings(#41) have Zerk grease-gun fittings for quick and easy lubrication with a standard grease gun.
Munch Machine buckers run slow and cool, so the bearings consume very little grease. Take care not to over grease your bearings, as this may blow out the bearings’ seals which will destroy the bearing. It sounds counterintuitive, but the #1 reason for bearing failure is over greasing.
Bearing Lubrication Intervals:
- Continuous Use Scenario - Example: 24/7, year-round, “perpetual harvest” use.
- Requires application of one grease pump per bearing every 3-4 months.
- Low to Moderate Use Scenario - Example: Seasonal harvest or sporadic use.
- Requires application of one grease pump per bearing1 time per year.
- To avoid damaging the bearing seals, pump slowly and stop as soon as grease comes out of the seals.
- Recommended Food-Safe Lubricant: Lubriplate FGL-2 - product number L0232.
Side Plate Lubrication:
- After a thorough internal cleaning, it may be necessary to lubricate the Side Plates(#23) where they interact with the Take-Up Bearings(#41).
- This will ensure smooth up/down movement of the Take-Up Bearings(#45) when loosening or tightening the Roller Tension System(#38, # 47).
- We recommend applying minimal grease with a small brush or gloved finger. Spray grease is not advised due to the risk of overspray onto non-greased components.
- Recommended Food-Safe Lubricant: Lubriplate FGL-2 - product number L0232.
Drive Shaft Lubrication:
- The Drive Shaft and Follow Shaft(#31, #32) can rust, so we recommend keeping a light coat of grease on both shafts. This will keep the drive system free from corrosion and easy to service.
- The frequency will depend on use: If used/stored outside and/or if you pressure-wash your bucker, you may need to grease the shafts more often than if used in a less humid, controlled indoor environment.
- We recommend applying minimal grease with a small brush or gloved finger. Spray grease is not advised due to the risk of overspray on to non-greased components.
Recommended Food-Safe Lubricant: Lubriplate FGL-2 - product number L0232.
To maintain the legendary stem grip of Munch Machine buckers, daily cleaning of the rollers is necessary. The Drive Roller(#27) and Follow Roller(#28) should be inspected during this process. While our rollers are very durable if cared for, they are a wear part and may need to be replaced if excessively worn or damaged.
- IMPORTANT: Use only 70% or lower ISO alcohol or a citrus-based cleaner. The use of unapproved solvents can damage the rubber and cause them to wear prematurely.
- Be sure to unplug the machine, remove the hood, and back off the allen key Tension Bolts(#47) before cleaning. Removing tension on the rollers allows for hand-turning, making cleaning easier.
- When inspecting rollers, look for wear grooves deeper than 1/8” (1.5mm) and for cracks or blistering.
- If excessively worn, Individual Rollers, as well as pre-built Full Roller Kits for the Mother Bucker & Double Bucker, are available on our Spare Parts Page.
3) Roller Tension
Proper roller tension is critical to your machine's performance. If too loose, stem grip can suffer. If too tight, roller damage can occur.
While roller tension is set at the factory and should not need to be changed, we still recommend a yearly check of the specification, and adjustment, if necessary. If you are experiencing clogging of the machine you can add more pressure to the system as outlined in the video and document to alleviate the problem.
To help make this inspection and adjustment easy, refer to this Factory Roller Tension Setting doc, as well as the above video that shows the process:
ATTENTION- All current Munch Machine buckers use the roller tension spec outlined in this document and video. However, there are a small number of 1st gen machines out there that have a slightly different tension specification.
Mother Bucker - Machine serial #’s lower than 180404
Double Bucker - Machine serial #’s lower than 180000
In the rare case that your bucker is older than the serial numbers above, and you think your bucker might be out of spec, please contact us for detailed info: Phone: (541) 371-2825 Email: info@MunchMachine.com
4) WrapFlex Coupler Element
The green plastic WrapFlex Coupler Element(#34) that sits within the black Nylon Retaining Ring(#35) is a safety component to reduce wear on the drive train. The green “teeth” of the Coupler Element are designed to break in the unlikely event of a severe jam, protecting the motor and gearbox from damage.
These parts should be removed, inspected, and reinstalled prior to high use scenarios – for example, before harvesting a large outdoor crop. In the case of an indoor perpetual harvest scenario, where the bucker is used daily, it’s best to perform the inspection every 6 months. If you see cracks or notice wear, replace the green WrapFlex Coupler Element. We recommend keeping a spare WrapFlex Coupler Element on hand at all times.
Note that one additional WrapFlex Element is included with each Mother Bucker (2 with each Double Bucker), and spare Coupler Elements can bepurchased directly from Munch Machine.
Spare Parts and More Resources
We keep all spare and replacement parts in stock at all times, so if you ever have an issue, Munch Machine has your back!
That said, some growers, specifically those who hope for the best but like to be prepared for the worst, keep certain critical spare parts around. If your indoor grow is a “perpetual harvest” scenario or you grow outdoors and have a narrow harvest window to get your entire crop in, consider having the following spare parts on hand:
- 2 spare WrapFlex Coupler Elements
- 1 comes with your machine but having another spare is effectively “cheap insurance” against the rare but most common reason for bucker stoppage.
- 1 spare REV-OFF-FOR Selector Switch and 1 spare Emergency Stop Switch
- While these parts rarely break, they are critical components. If a careless operator breaks a switch, it’s reassuring to have the parts needed to get back up and bucking ASAP.
- 1 spare Roller Kit - Mother Bucker or 1 spare Roller Kit - Double Bucker
- While individual replacement of rollers only is less costly, the full kit is preferred, as it includes all items needed to quickly replace all major wear parts.
By performing the checks and maintenance detailed above, you can get a lifetime of reliable service from your Munch Machine bucker. Take care of your machine, and your machine will take care of you!
Thanks for reading! - The Munch Machine Crew
Related Videos and Documents:
- WrapFlex Coupler Element Replacement- Shows basic replacement of coupler element..
- WrapFlex Coupler FULL KIT Installation - Shows disassembly and installation of full coupler kit.
- Roller Tension Adjustment Video - How to check and adjust roller tension on our buckers.
- Roller Tension Adjustment Instructions - One page on checking and adjusting roller tension.
- Electrical Components for Double Bucker- Installation instructions for electrical components.
- Electrical Components for Mother Bucker - Installation instructions for electrical components.
- Roller Kit Installation for Double Bucker - Shows all aspects of roller, bearing, and coupler installation.
- Roller Kit Installation for Mother Bucker - Shows all aspects of roller, bearing, and coupler installation.