Tips on Maintaining Your Hard-Drive Shredder

January 6, 2016 at 2:14 pm by SEM

Many of you have invested substantial dollar amounts in the purchase of hard drive (HDD) shredders in recent years. If you want that investment to last, you need a good program to maintain it. Hard drives are manufactured with different types of metal components and magnets (and sometimes glass) sandwiched between. Shredding them for long periods results in wear and tear. That means HDD shredders require daily maintenance by operators and periodic detailed maintenance by trained technicians if you want to keep that wear manageable. Let’s start with the daily maintenance.


Operators need to watch and clean their shredders daily. Most the of the Models offered by SEM have “debris trays” positioned underneath to catch the fragmented pieces that bounce around and don’t make it to take-away conveyors. These trays need to be emptied regularly depending on volume. If you don’t, you can get clogs that can jam the shredder or damage conveyor rollers or belts. You also need to clean the discharge areas in the backs of the shredders so don’t get build-ups of metal and magnet fragments. Vacuums and compressed air can be helpful. Cutting heads also need to be checked for excess magnet build-up and need to be oiled periodically with a light machine oil.


Since the daily volumes on these machines are being heavier than ever, we recommend that you have a technician to go over them thoroughly at least two or three times per year. What’s involved? Technicians need to take off the side panels of the shredder to expose the internal areas. Then they will look for debris build-ups and areas that need cleaning that have been missed by the daily program. Drive chains are checked for tension and adjusted. Once that is done, key components are lubricated. These include drive chains, bearings, wear plates, and gear boxes. Oil levels need to be checked in the reducer and the spur gear oil bath. The next step is to inspect the cutting head (front and back) and the discharge conveyor. The belt is checked for wear and sometimes repaired. Most times belts need tension and tracking adjustments. Once finished, our technicians provide a detailed Service Report listing potential issues that need correction. By the way, all of this is detailed carefully in the manuals we provide for each model if you have the technical staff to do this yourself. You can access these anytime on our website at:

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