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Fisher Engineering / Poly-Caster Spreader Performance Issues

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Gary Dwinal, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. Gary Dwinal

    Gary Dwinal Senior Member
    Messages: 235

    Fisher Poly-Caster Customers

    In certain situations we have experienced performance problems with the initial production of Poly-Caster electric hopper spreaders. We would like to apologize for any inconvenience or customer issues that have arisen due to this situation. Fisher Engineering takes full responsibility and is committed to correcting this issue. These problems are unacceptable and uncharacteristic of Fisher Engineering.

    We have assembled upgrade kits that are available to install in all Poly-Caster units sold this season. The installation of this upgrade kit will bring the performance of your spreader up to the standards that are expected of all Fisher products.

    For those customers wishing to have the upgrade kit installed on thier Poly-Caster spreader, please call the Fisher outlet where you purchased your Poly-Caster spreader for an appointment to have this upgrade kit installed on your spreader at no charge.

    Thank You,
    Gary Dwinal
    Fisher Engineering
    Product Manager
  2. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,317

    I've only seen one one a dealers truck. So, what is the problem with them?
  3. Gary Dwinal

    Gary Dwinal Senior Member
    Messages: 235

    Hi oldmankent,
    We had a few issues but the most prominent is rock salt getting packed into the forward idler roller causing the roller OD to expand. The roller can expand to the point of causing structural failure of the roller assembly. The upgrade kit also makes a few other changes to the unit that will enhance performance as well. The kit consists of the following component changes:

    (A) Idler Roller Shaft Assembly – This will improve the structural integrity when compared to the original idler roller. The revised design is similar to the current drive roller with the crown removed to relieve stress on the conveyor belt and idler roller shaft. The new idler roller is specifically designed to avoid identification issues between the drive and idler rollers. The assembly includes bearings and plates to make reassembly easier and less time consuming.
    (B) Belt Guard Extensions – These are needed to keep salt or sand material from entering into areas where material buildup can cause performance issues and potential component damage.
    (C) Revised Conveyor Belt – The change to four cleats was made to address the difficult start up issues as well as potential freeze up.
    (D) Control Module Caution Label – Cab Control and Spreader Modules can be rendered inoperable by intentionally “jumping” across the positive terminal (BAT) and the motor “feed” terminal (MOT) of the module in an attempt to bypass the control and module, or by attaching the jumper cable directly to the motor positive (MOT) and negative (GRD) studs at the module, while trying to troubleshoot the spreader. If the terminals on the module are “jumped” the module and control will be immediately destroyed. The control is designed to “kick out” prior to developing enough motor torque to damage any of the drive train components. This can happen if the conveyor belt is frozen in place.
    (E) Grade 8 Drive Roller Bolts – The drive roller bolts were addressed in a previous bulletin but are included in the kit to assure any units that have not yet been upgraded to this standard, will be done so during the installation of this kit.

    Great question and thanks for asking.

    Gary Dwinal
  4. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    I have been looking at one and held off after reading some problems. Is there a certain manufacturers date that afterwards they were fine? My dealer says his are new and don't need any changes. Is there an easy way to tell?

    I commend you on addressing the problem and making a correction.
  5. Gary Dwinal

    Gary Dwinal Senior Member
    Messages: 235

    Hi Flipper,
    Thank you for the kind words. All Poly-Caster units currently in the field can benefit from the upgrade kits I have mentioned on here. We did make some other changes on production units a month or so back, but those units do not have the level of increased performance that will be achieved after installing the full compliments of upgrades included in these kits. The notice of the upgrade kits went to our dealers just last Friday, so all personnel at each location may not be aware of the upgrades just yet.

    Thanks Again,
  6. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    clap clap clap!

    Everyone give Fisher a hand for stepping up to the plate:salute:

    We need more companies like this around!
  7. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    are these same updates out for the western tornado as well?

    I agree with what grn mtn and flipper said, thank you fisher!!!
  8. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    yup i guess so!!!

  9. Plowfast9957

    Plowfast9957 Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Dont get me wrong I love fisher (check the signature). But people have been having problems since December and they are just getting around to fixing it now. I guess the did better than most companies but usually fisher pretty much prefects something before they sell it. I just think about all the guys who I know around here and who I have read about on here that had to shovel out the sand of there spreader.
  10. mtfd774

    mtfd774 Member
    from conn
    Messages: 39

    Hey Gary

    I purchased a Polycaster out of state in Mass. Will I be able to go to the local dealer in Conn vs going back to Mass for the upgrade ?
  11. Gary Dwinal

    Gary Dwinal Senior Member
    Messages: 235

    The same upgrade kits are available for the Western Tornado units as well.
  12. Gary Dwinal

    Gary Dwinal Senior Member
    Messages: 235

    To All,
    The comments made by Plowfast here, are what I would consider fair criticism. As Product Manager for the entire DD Ice Control line, I will be the first to admit, it did take us too long to first identify the issues and then come to resolution for them. The entire situation will become a highlight reel for our lessons learned archives, and I mean that in all sincerity. We know the issues caused hardships for some of our customers and for that we deeply apologize and hopefully can move on and prove the Fisher POLY-CASTER spreaders to be the best poly electric spreaders on the market.

    Thank You
  13. Gary Dwinal

    Gary Dwinal Senior Member
    Messages: 235

    Hi mtfd774,
    If you call your local dealer and make an appointment with them and give them the opportunity to get the upgrade kit, I am sure they will be more than happy to install the kit for you. If you have problems with that, please don't hestitate to PM me on the issue.


    X-LOWBALLER Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 102

    Unfortunately, I have lost 2 great customers since switching to this unit. I have spent over $900.00 in repairs. The local dealer here would have taken atleast a week to resolve the issues I have had with my Poly-Caster unit(s) (I have five) therefore forcing me to another "non dealer" for repair.

    The down time I have encountered as well as the lost customers have led me to lose faith in this product and any subsequent "new" product in the future.

    I live in Canada and do not want to deal with the dealer that I purchased the unit from, is there a way to have an authorized dealer install the upgrades even though the units were not purchased from them?

    Thank you
  15. Gary Dwinal

    Gary Dwinal Senior Member
    Messages: 235

    Please feel free to PM me and I will assist you with your local dealer in getting upgrade kits installed in each of your POLY-CASTERs. We certainly appreciate your business and will do everything we can to restore your faith in our spreader products.

  16. wirenut

    wirenut Senior Member
    from nh
    Messages: 507

    how about some cash for the guys that lost money with your product gary....

    X-LOWBALLER Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 102

    Thank you, I will definetly do that. I will contact my local dealer first though for a resolution. If that fails, I will follow your advice. Thanks again.

    X-LOWBALLER Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 102

    Very interesting day today. Toronto was hit with a huge dump of snow followed by freezing rain. I drive my truck in advance to the local salting hole and whadda ya know? The belt doesn't move. I adjust it, it is fine (thank god right?) wrong! I get an "emergency" call for salt and whilst there, I hear an odd sound. I remove the cover to the motor because the spinner was no longer spinning. THE CHAIN IS BROKEN!!!! :realmad: . For the record, this now makes 3 storms and 3 failed saltings. I am seriously at a loss for words. The chain breaking is certainly not the end of the world but every time there is a storm, I have to come up with yet another excuse as to why I cannot perform my duties. The area manager, who, as fate would have it, happened to be on site for the past 2 of 3 failed attempts had "that look" on his face.

    My profession, career, passion, etc. is on the line each and every time I perform my duties. I realize that Fisher is going to attempt to make good on their "fix it kits" but it won't be too soon. Although it is not my fault, I still felt like the lowest scum, plow for beer, didn't graduate high school and any other cliche I can think of. I am sure everyone here has seen that look. It was like; "Suuurrrre it's not your fault" type of look.