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Fisher Polycaster??????

Discussion in 'Fisher Engineering Discussion' started by korelandscaping, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. korelandscaping

    korelandscaping Member
    from CT
    Messages: 66

    We had a chance of snow coming through CT last night so like always, I waited until the last minute to prepare. I bought a new truck about a month ago and I didn't get a chance to mount the plow and sander. (tomorrow)
    I spent the time last night to get the other two trucks ready. I just bought a new fisher poly caster for my pickup last week. I had to HAND shovel a yard plus of sand into the back because my machine is at a job. I figured I give it a try since I wanted to see how far the material would spread. Pressed start and nothing! Everything was moving except the main drive belt. I can see if the sand was mud but this stuff was perfectly dry. Needless to say, I was not happy. After unbolting the top screen and taking out a few wheel barrow loads of sand it began to work. I'm hoping that this only happened to me and not to others. I tried to adjust the main belt but that didn't work either. Has anyone else had this problem??? I would highly recommend that those with the new sanders test them out with a full load to make sure this doesn't happen to them. I'm just glad I didn't have to sand anything this morning... Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. smitty3903

    smitty3903 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    as a matter of fact it has happen to others. I plow with fireman Q who is on this site and he got the western ploy which is the same thing. He shoveled out a spreader full of magic salt yesterday due to the same problem. The way he was explaining ro me is that the material gets between the belt and the housing and jams it up. He had it back to the dealer last night. We even when and spread a 3/4 load of sand before he got the salt. Had to tight the belt twice.
     
  3. Gary Dwinal

    Gary Dwinal Senior Member
    Messages: 235

    These conveyor belts are tensioned at the factory when they are assembled. However, the belts may relax or stretch a fair amount between the time of assembly and the first use. In the instructional manual we make note; the conveyor belt may have to be re-tightened after the first use. In some cases it appears the belts are stetching too much to operate properly even for the first load of material. This did not show up in a all of the testing that was done prior to launching these units for sale. When tightening the conveyor, it is absolutely necessary to also loosen the bearing hold down bolts to allow the bearings along with the idler shaft to slide forwards. If these bearings are not loosened, turning in the take up bolts will have little to no affect.
     
  4. Gary Dwinal

    Gary Dwinal Senior Member
    Messages: 235

    Fisher Polycaster Controls

    This question is for the guys that have purchased and used one of our new Polycaster spreaders. When operating the machines do you simply run it wide open all the time to get the widest possible spread pattern or do you use the variable speed to adjust the spread pattern for different conditions? Looking for feedback on controls.
    Thank You
     
  5. korelandscaping

    korelandscaping Member
    from CT
    Messages: 66

    I didn't think I had to adjust the belt for the first load? I've had many different style of sanders and I have never had this problem. Obviously, once this did occur after it was loaded I assumed that I would have to monitor the belt frequently. Unfortunately, the only way to see if the belt needs to be tighten is until it has a full load. I have tested the unit numerous times empty but only once filled!!
    I had a Harder electric sander a few years back and I have to bring up the speed on the drive belt before I can go full speed. When I first tried the Fisher I did the same thing but the belt didn't even move. I tried different speeds however I didn't want to wear the belt down in one specific spot. Over the weekend I will be doing some trial and error with this unit and I'm hoping for better results. The thing that really bothers me is the unit was hand loaded with material not by a loader. A loader has a tendency to pack down the material alot more. I'm hoping for better results or this will be sitting back at the shop I purchased it from. Thanks
     
  6. Gary Dwinal

    Gary Dwinal Senior Member
    Messages: 235

    The conveyor belt tends to stretch a fair amount very early on in use. I don't think you will have to re-tension it more than a couple of times to get the proper tension on it. It seems to take a set after running a half dozen loads thru it. The belt does have to be very tight for it to operate properly.
     
  7. Flipper

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

    Gary, I do not have this spreader although I looked at it this year. I may still buy one. I do have a suggestion that you may take back to research for any of your sanders. How about a clear insert of poly, acrylic or some other material in the front wall of the spreader? It would make it alot easier to see how much material is left. I realise after a while it would scratch up, but you could still get an idea without having to get out of the truck. Plus you could make it a replaceable insert. It could be done in all spreaders.

    I have been toying with doing this on my existing Stainless V-box. If I do I will send you pictures.
     
  8. Gary Dwinal

    Gary Dwinal Senior Member
    Messages: 235

    That is good feedback. I will document that for later discussion within our group. There is a light on the face of the new Fisher Polycaster that will flash when the hopper is empty. That feature was a result of getting similar feedback as yours.

    Thanks
     
  9. Gary Dwinal

    Gary Dwinal Senior Member
    Messages: 235

    To clarify. The light is on the face of the cab control
     
  10. 6_Feet_Under

    6_Feet_Under Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    We run our Tornado at full speed all the time.......:D The variable speed control is a nice feature but not sure we really need it with the sand but could come in handy for a lighter material like straight salt. Lost second cleat off the conveyer last night. Gary will these cleats be coverered under warranty? The glue used to hold them on may need an upgrade. Still having trouble with full loads.....the material is just too heavy. Still snowing here in tymusic
     
  11. Bruce'sEx

    Bruce'sEx Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    How are you sensing it's empty?
     
  12. korelandscaping

    korelandscaping Member
    from CT
    Messages: 66

    Something tells me that the capacity on this sander should have been 1 yard not 1.25 yards. If other people are saying the same thing as I am, it's not coincidence. I'm sure the dealers are going to have to do alot of explaining to do to irate customers. (after there shoveling sand out of the back of sanders to lighten the load...in the middle of a snowstorm...at 2:30 AM) Don't get me wrong, over-all I think it's a great design but the bottom line is the capacity is not 1.25. I'm hoping that this weekend I can prove myself wrong!
    Bruce- Good question on the hopper empty indicator....I was wondering the same thing
     
  13. FIREMAN Q

    FIREMAN Q Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    Gary,
    I have the tornado. Please stop by the Ice control threads to see the talk on that unit. I understand you are Fisher but I know that they are the same machine. It doesn't seem as though western is talking much.

    One of the problems I see is that the belt is just too wide. There is only a 1/4 inch total of room on the conveyer...1/8 on each side if you could keep it straight.

    there is more...check out the thread

    thanks
     
  14. SnoShark

    SnoShark Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Poly-Caster info.."Heads Up"

    After reading all the post regarding issues with the tornado and poly-caster, I called my dealer and inquired as to this so called recall. My dealer (Tucks Trucks) in Hudson, Mass, had no clue what I was talking about. So I called Fisher and spoke with a tech, how advised that a "service bulletin" was sent to all distributors. The bulletin was for adjustment to the conveyor belt with the hopper loaded. After advising the dealer of the conversation I brought the spreader to them today.

    With a full load of Sand/salt mix, slightly wet, the machine fired up and spread no problem. The dealer adjusted the tension on the belt per the service bulletin and I spun off the entire load. I did notice, just as others did, that the belt ribs come off easy. Only one this time, but I am sure the others will follow. I expect to replace the belt under warranty without any issues.

    A side note as to the dealer, great people to do business with, very helpful and appreciated the heads up on the service bulletin.
     
  15. korelandscaping

    korelandscaping Member
    from CT
    Messages: 66

    I haven't had the need to load the spreader again but I will definatley do so before next snow event. ( who knows when? ) Thanks for the update!
     
  16. SnoShark

    SnoShark Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Polycaster Update

    I had the unit service as required by the Fisher service bulletin. The dealer replaced the belt, shear pin and electrical module, as required. I have used the unit only twice, both time with a full load of sand/salt mix and the load was somewhat wet. The unit worked fine with no issues. Hopefully the bugs are gone.