Commercial compactor maintenance tips: Easily extend the longevity of your machine & boost ROI

green commercial compactor

Your stationary or self-contained commercial compactor is a big investment that can pay off equally big dividends—from reducing garbage hauling costs and improving worker safety to offering quieter operation and reducing pests.

So, naturally, you’ll want to get as much ROI from your commercial compactor as possible. 

That’s where preventative maintenance comes in.

Because no matter how thoughtfully designed and expertly crafted your machine is, it still needs regular maintenance to continue humming along for years to come.

So, what should you be thinking about?

Safety first!

Your Nedland compactor is an electric-powered machine that offers among the largest compaction forces in the industry.

Please take care to protect yourself.

Never enter any part of the compactor until you’ve both locked out and tagged out the unit.

Monthly compactor maintenance

Every month, be sure to:

  • Take off the rear access cover and remove any material that’s accumulated behind the ram—you don’t want to blow cylinders and be staring down an $800 repair
  • Inspect the ram UHMW wear bars to ensure they’re in the correct position
  • Check the top and bottom ram UHMW for correct adjustments
  • Check the hydraulic fittings for any leakage
  • Check the external hydraulic hoses for any chafing, rubbing, or other damage or deterioration
  • Check the oil level in the hydraulic reservoir—it should be at 3/4 on the sight gauge
  • Inspect the compactor area for unsafe working conditions, like hoses lying around or other trip hazards
  • Confirm all compactor safety features are working correctly—the safety interlocks and emergency stop (e-stop) buttons are two of the big ones

Lastly, if you’re operating a self-contained compactor, be sure to clean out the sump under the ram floor. Meanwhile, if you’re running a stationary compactor, you’ll also have to clean out underneath the compactor to maintain proper operation.

Quarterly compactor maintenance

On a quarterly basis, be sure to:

  • Check the operation of all machine controls and options—the stop button, for example, and both manual and auto operation
  • Check the hydraulic cylinders for any leaks
  • Examine the internal hoses for any chafing and wear
  • Check the hydraulic connection for any leakage
  • Lubricate each hydraulic cylinder to maintain effective operation—grease fittings are located at each end of the hydraulic cylinders
  • Check anchoring bolts for tightness on the compactor guide rails and stops
  • Check the hydraulic system pressure to be sure it does not exceed the recommended setting of 2,000 PSI
  • Clean all safety decals to ensure they’re readable—and replace any that are worn, damaged, or missing (give us a ring and we’ll get them out to you)

Annual compactor maintenance

On an annual basis, we also recommend that you clean the hydraulic filter and element:

  • Remove the bolted cover on top of the power unit and exercise care when removing the filter from the reservoir (if you drop anything, you’ll either have to drain the reservoir—or lock out and tag out the machine to go armpit-deep to retrieve it)
  • Take care when cleaning the filter to ensure that the element is not torn
  • Clean the element with a soft brush and a standard cleaning solvent
  • Replace the filter after cleaning
  • Secure the top cover, taking care not to over-tighten the bolts


Is your hydraulic fluid running low? Be sure to refill the reservoir. And, when you do, we recommend using biodegradable hydraulic synthetic fluid only (Ultra Guard BHF-46).

Why? If you blow a hose at some point and you have non-biodegradable oil on the ground, you could be looking at expensive cleanup costs and EPA and state agency fines.

Using biodegradable oil, however, protects the environment—and your business.

Diligent compactor maintenance pays off

Commercial compactors are an investment.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll increase your ROI. In fact, customers, just like you, have operated their Nedland commercial compactors for 15-25 years—some are even running into their 30s.

All it takes is a little time and attention.

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