Troubleshooting spreader problems
Try these methods when you find your spinner won't rotate.
- If the spinner will not rotate, check the cotter pin or key used to connect the wheel and axle. If it is missing or broken, the axle will not rotate and the spinner will not work. Cotter pins are inexpensive and easily replaced. Check Sears PartsDirect for replacement cotter pins or keys.
- If the spinner will not rotate and the cotter pin or key is intact, the gearbox may be the problem. The gearbox is prone to clogging with fertilizer, grass or other materials. Gearboxes must be lubricated regularly; if yours has not been greased and oiled properly, it can lock up over time.
- Gearbox problems can be identified by detaching the connections and opening it to check for grass or other debris causing it to lock up. Check the gearbox components for any broken parts.
- Replace your gearbox if necessary.
- If the spinner will not turn on a spreader with an electric motor, look at all the wires and connections to see if any are loose.
- Replace any frayed, worn or damaged wiring or connectors.
- Over time, it is not uncommon for these motors to wear to the point where replacement is necessary.
How to maintain your spreader
Here are some things you can avoid doing or do proactively to keep your spreader in good working condition.
- Never leave product in your fertilizer bucket or in the parts. Make sure all of it has worked its way out and that none remains in the bottom of the bucket.
- Whenever possible, store your spreader indoors.
- Empty your spreader after every use and brush the remaining small bits out of parts. Rinse your spreader thoroughly, and then dry completely before putting it away.
- Clean dirt and grease off your spreader when it's not going to be in use for a few days.
- While occasional lubrication may be needed during the season, it is essential to oil and lube your spreader before putting it away for several months. Lubricate all moving parts, including chains, sprockets and grease fittings. You run a higher risk of your spreader parts becoming stuck if this routine maintenance is not completed.
- If you own a pull-type spreader, check the chains. Tighten, oil or replace the chains as necessary.
Obtain spreader replacement parts
Parts are available for models from popular brands including Agri-Fab and Craftsman. At Sears PartsDirect, we have many replacement parts for your spreader, including cotter pins, handles, bushings and springs.