False advertising of machinery and goods can cause a lot of headaches in the sports turf industry, we rely on each other to provide truthful and accurate descriptions of the products which we are looking to buy.This is a brief look at a Sisis Multitiner bought second hand from a machinery dealer, which promised good things and was nothing but trouble. I have no images of the Multitiner upon delivery, but I quickly lifted the outer frame off and separated the two units from the main shaft, which looked like this.
Left: Tine bars stuck in locked positions
Right: Spring and chain assemblies rusted and some broken
The center shaft was difficult to separate from the units due to I believe being in place since the date of manufacture back in 1997!
The bearings were seized in place and could not be removed easily, an angle grinder became my friend very quickly for this project.
Dismantling the units was the next job, which was also troublesome due to the rusted and seized spring assemblies on each tine bar, around an hour per unit was the time needed to break apart. Below Left:
Above Right: I decided that I should see how well I could clean up the current paintwork, it looked tired and dated, a quick sand to remove the excess rust and a lick of ‘smooth black’ hammerite paint got it looking much more presentable.
Onto the main part of this rebuild and what was always going to be the most time consuming and frustrating process, removing the tines. There are 96 on the MT4 and every one needed to be removed with force. The cotter pins holding them in place were seized so would be drilled through, for this I had a stock of 5.5mm Cobalt HSS drill bits for use in a pillar drill. Followed by the use of a 3/8” pin punch and my trusty ball-pein hammer to force the tines out from their holes. I lost count of the exact amount of time it took to remove them all, but it was in the 16-20 hour range simply down the fact the cotter pins had to be completely drilled out to allow any sort of movement on the tines themselves, some of which also needed the application of heat to the bar to make it expand enough to get the tines out.
With all of the tines out it was time to start the rebuilding process. Painting the tine bars, end plates and connecting rods all in the same Smooth Black colour.
With everything painted I could now start putting things back together, having brand new bearings, spring assemblies and solid tines which were our preference compared to the old chisel tines which were removed. It was much quicker this way round, taking only 2.5 hours per unit to assemble;
Both units sorted out, all that was left to do was join them together with the main shaft, lower the outer frame back onto them and then insert the new tines. This was simple and only took around 45 minutes to do;
Above right: Both units connected together with the main shaft.
Above left: Outer frame has been lowered onto the units and bolted together.
Below Left: Tines fitted into units
Below Right: Safety guard fitted over the units.
Total time for completion was around 34 hours spaced over 6 weeks from the start to finish. Thank you for taking the time to read this short blog, I hope you have found it as interesting as I did working on it.
Matt Clyne (Groundsman)
Westbourne House School