The hydraulic oil filter on a Ditch Witch will periodically need to be changed so the machine can operate at its full operational level. Here is a brief tutorial on how to quickly change the hydraulic filter for this type of heavy equipment.
Step 1: Lift the Hydraulic Arm
You will need to lift the hydraulic arm so you can access the area where the filter is located. There are two safety bars that you can put into place to prevent the lifted arm from falling back down to cause damage or injure the operator.
Step 2: Place Down the Safety Bars
Remove the safety release pin and let the safety bar drop down. Then move onto the other side of the arm and do the same procedure. Place the release pins back into the holes so they can be located later. Once the safety bars are into place, the arm will not fall completely down.
Step 3: Warm up the Ditch Witch
If the machine is being serviced in cold temperatures or if the machine was started cold, leave it running for about 10-15 minutes before servicing the machine. You can skip this step if the machine was already warmed up while in operation. Once the machine is warmed up, you can turn off the Ditch Witch.
Step 4: Lift the Hood
Raise the hood and use the safety lever to keep it in place so that it does not drop down. If, for any reason, the safety lever has become damaged or inoperable, you may place in a small safety pin bar or a punch through the hole to keep the hood lifted.
Step 5: Use the Right Tools
There are several tools that can be used to remove (crack) the filter from the machine. You may use a filter strap wrench, water pump pliers or filter pliers to perform the work.
Step 6: Crack the Old Filter Out
The filter is located lower than the hydraulic oil tank. So, a lot of fluid will come out when it is removed. You want to have the new hydraulic filter ready to be placed immediately into the machine. Remove the packaging from the new filter and lube the seal with a little bit of motor oil. The motor oil will not harm the filter. Next, place the filter nearby so it is easy to reach.
Step 7: Place in the New Filter
Twist the old filter out. The hydraulic oil coming from the tank will cause a big mess. Immediately place the new filter in. You may have to push the hoses out of the way so the filter can fit. You normally do not have to use any tools to screw the filter back into place. However, the hoses may push against the filter and make it difficult to screw it tight. Use the tools, if necessary, to tighten the filter.
Step 8: Close Up the Machine
Once the new filter is in place, you can lower the hood. Next, raise the safety bars on the arm and lock them into their original position. Now you can lower the arm of the Ditch Witch.
For more maintenance advice relating to this type of heavy machine, you can check out these articles we have on How to Change the Engine Oil & Filter on a Ditch Witch SK755 and How to Change Your Inline Fuel Filter.