Just about all truck mount, commercial, or high production insulation blower machines in the insulation industry use belting and belt drives as either part or all of the integral mechanical means of operation. Insulation truck PTO’s (Power Take Off) systems also use drive belts to operate and function, even the on board or portable water pumps for spraying cellulose or fiberglass, that are integrated into the insulation machine manufactures system or are stand alone water pumps use a drive belt to operate.
The real fact of the matter is that they DO wear, and they DONT last forever, they need to be regularly inspected to ensure proper equipment function and optimum performance. Regular checking of your insulation machines belts gives you the opportunity to change and replace the belt at a time of choosing, rather than letting the belt decide for you, which almost always seems to be at the WRONG time, 99.9% of the time on a job site.
Checking your drive belts consistently only takes a few seconds of inspection and well worth the time for any professional insulation contractor. Time is money and if the machine isn’t running, your not making any money. Check your insulation equipments belts top smooth surfaces for oil or grease that will most likely be coming from your machines gas or diesel power plant. If your belts do show signs of oil or grease spotting, leakage or over spray, this glaze or soak of the belt will create unwanted slip that as an end result, changes the belts integrity and effects the belts rpm’s and intended speed, temperature and performance.
Also, look for any tears, large pits or abrasion to any of the belts surfaces. You may discover that the source is from a damage or off kilter pulley and can address both issues at the same time. Keep in mind the older the drive belt gets, the more likely it is to stretch and not only be looser, but run hotter and have the ability to grab or run against pulley flanges,bolts or other equipment parts that when the belt was new, could easily steer clear of these new found obstructions. You should start your insulation machine equipment and engage your remote and let your augers turn and your blower run to ensure you can view all areas of the belt more easily. Look for any pin holes or irregular bumps in your belts during inspection, if you see some, this means dirt and grease are present and getting between the belt and its pulley system. Hairline cracks are normal, but if they go into the backing, or flat side, of the drive belt you will need to replace it. A good rule of thumb for your machines drive belts is that if cracks are observed 3 mm (1/8 in) apart, all around the belt, the belt may be reaching the end of its serviceable life and should be considered a candidate for changing. Small cracks spaced at greater intervals should not be considered as indicative that the belt needs changing. However, the onset of cracking typically signals that the belt is only about halfway through its usable life.
– President, Insulation Industries
*Insulation Industries does offer a revolutionary drive belt conditioner spray product called Belt Medic that conditions your belts with a molecular coating, adding strength, that prolongs the life of your belts, and makes your belts run cooler and last longer. For more information on Belt Medic please visit our Belt Medic tab on our home page or under accessories.