Few pieces of equipment like shredders - a category that brings together flail mowers and straw choppers - are used in extreme conditions. In fact, this type of machine is required to perform extremely mechanically demanding operations, ranging from cutting spontaneous vegetation to shredding pruning residues on different slopes, most of the time in extremely dusty conditions.

In addition to proper maintenance, the reliability and service life of shredders also depend on the accuracy of their design and the quality of their components. But what are the specific aspects that influence the functioning of a shredder?

Although the many models available on the market may be similar in terms of construction, it is the different technical characteristics of the machine that make the difference in the field. In order to function properly, it is necessary that the different parts of the machine allow its correct regulation, especially for the cutting height.

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Quality of materials and design: what role do they play in the shredder functioning?

When it comes to shredding, we immediately think of the parts most subject to wear and tear in this equipment, namely:

  • the cutting tools (hammers or knives in variable numbers depending on the working width);
  • the rotor with its supports;
  • the motion transmission box;
  • the cardan shaft;
  • the transmission belts;
  • the universal 3 point linkage to the tractor;
  • the rear roller and its supports.

Hammers are the most used type of tool on shredders, and the size of their wear is mainly related to the working height set and the nature of the material chopped (woody or green). For this reason, one of the aspects to consider when purchasing a shredder is the presence, on the cutting zones of the hammers, of specific treatments that increase the life of sharpening.

The knives, generally in the 'Y' version, are intended for lighter work, such as maintaining turf, and are particularly sensitive to accidental impacts against stones or foreign bodies. It is therefore decisive to have a guarantee of the quality of their construction in order to ensure the effective operation of the shredder over time.

Some shredder models are also equipped with counter-knives, capable of reducing plant residues into small fragments to speed up their decomposition.

But the heart of this equipment is the central gearbox, which must be designed to withstand different power levels to transfer motion to the transmission. The latter will then, in turn, set in motion the rotor at very high speeds.

The synergy between these three elements – the rotation speed, the movement of the tools and the shape of the frame - determines the ability of the shredder to do its job effectively, even in conditions of high residue moisture.

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As mentioned earlier, the gearbox and rotor are frequently subjected to very intense stresses. It is therefore clear how their solidity, or any mechanical solutions designed to reinforce them, avoids the risk of premature structural problems, such as sagging or deformation.

The quality of the bearings supporting the rear roller and the stability of their supports is also fundamental to avoid the shredder being noisy or generating excessive vibrations. These aspects in fact, can damage in the long run, the quality of work, durability, and functioning of the shredder itself.

In addition, most of the shredders available on the market today are equipped with a side-shift system for the shredding head. The latter is a very useful feature that allows the shredder to vary their working position in relation to the tractor, making it possible to work more accurately near trees, fences, or other obstacles. The hydraulic shift is therefore easier than the manual one.


In this article we have reviewed the main elements that determine the proper functioning of a shredder. It is the components most subject to wear and tear on which depends the durability of the equipment and its degree of effectiveness, even when it must be used in particularly bad soil conditions.

Forigo Roter Italia designs and develops high-performance and innovative solutions for the agricultural sector, intended for optimal soil preparation and subsequent tillage. Our machines are specifically designed to prevent the soil, and thus the organic substance useful for crop growth, from being compromised.

If you would like to receive more information on how the shredders work and, in general, on the whole range of Forigo solutions, contact us now: our team is here for you!

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Agrotti Michele

Written by Agrotti Michele

Graduated in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies at the University of Padua, in Forigo Roteritalia he is involved in training and consulting for Italy and foreign Countries.

Forigo ® Roteritalia srl
Via Brennero Nord, 9
456035 Ostigila
Mantova - Italy


+39 0386 32691
+39 0386 31250

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