The seven most common reasons waste balers break down

The seven most common reasons waste balers break down

Here at Riverside, we’re well aware of the need to keep your business assets in tip-top working condition — protecting your investment, ensuring smooth running, and meaning that you don’t have a costly repair job on your hands down the line. 

While some faults are unavoidable, there are certain steps customers can take to ensure the performance of their waste baler remains at an all-time high. 

Here, we highlight seven of the most common reasons for a waste baler to break down…

Operator error

Operator errors can lead to major malfunctions in the baling process — particularly when it comes to sequence and process lapses during ejecting. Untrained personnel, who may not be familiar with the correct procedures or safety protocols, are often one of the biggest contributors to this challenge — with the lack of experience or expertise leading to mistakes that could compromise the safety of themselves and others. That’s why adequate training and understanding of the equipment is crucial from the outset.

Foreign objects

Another common cause of waste baler breakdowns is the presence of foreign objects in the baling chamber — such as rocks, metal, and other incompressible materials — which can quickly damage components of the machine, including the ram cylinder, compaction plate, and bale chamber. It’s essential that only suitable waste materials are fed into the baler and that time is taken to inspect the waste materials for foreign objects before they enter the machine.

Wear and tear

Balers have a variety of moving components that can deteriorate over time. These parts include cylinders, pumps, motors, and hydraulic hoses — and regular maintenance and the timely replacement of worn elements can help prevent unexpected equipment breakdowns. Neglecting such maintenance can result in costly repairs and downtime, which could impact wider business operations. Implementing a maintenance schedule — and keeping up with repairs — is critical for ensuring efficient baler performance and maximising productivity long term.

Electrical issues

Waste balers rely on electrical systems to operate, and any issues with the live system can cause breakdowns. Such problems can include blown fuses, faulty wiring, and issues with the motor. Regular inspection and maintenance of the electrical system can help prevent any issues due to electrical problems.


Understandably, waste machinery can become outdated and less effective over time, making them more prone to breakdowns. At Riverside, we recommend regular assessments and service inspections, to guarantee efficient operation.


Introduction to harsh conditions — such as hot temperatures, corrosive surroundings, messy construction sites, dust, or dirty environments can have a knock-on effect on running order. In addition, limit exposure to harmful chemicals and liquids.

Lack of maintenance

Finally, one of the primary reasons why waste baler machines break down is due to a lack of proper maintenance — which is crucial to ensure that the machine is in good working condition, preventing any problems. Failure to carry out scheduled maintenance can cause the machine to wear out quickly, leading to mechanical issues and breakdowns. We recommend daily and monthly checks be carried out, as well as annual servicing to be scheduled — avoiding any nasty surprises down the line.

To discuss a waste baler in greater detail, please get in touch with the team today.