Skid Steer Tree Spade Maintenance

Skid Steer Tree Spade Maintenance

Gearing up for tree transplanting season? Before you hit the ground running to move as many trees as you can during the busy season, there’s one important thing BIG JOHN owners need to do: annual maintenance checks! And small tree spades are no stranger to routine maintenance schedules.

If you’re a small tree spade owner, you know how important it is to keep your spades running smoothly to get the most out of your machine. Maintenance checks not only help prolong the life of your mini skid steer tree spade, but it can help save you money too.

We teach our BIG JOHN family how to properly check their tree spades and give it the maintenance it needs to keep getting the job done! We advise doing visual checks each time you move a tree but giving your rig a close once over annually can help your spade stay in great shape longer.


If you’ve read through the BIG JOHN skid steer tree spade manual, you’ll remember that we advise cleaning and lubing your spade with a light chain lube. Your quick attach tree spade is working hard, so make sure you’ve cleaned off dirt, sand, or debris after every move and lubricate blade towers and grease all bushings and pivot shafts.

At BIG JOHN we believe that keeping your tools cleaned and oiled makes them last longer! If you’ve skimped on cleaning & lubing your spade, it’s better late than never.


Check your hydraulic lines for regular wear and tear from moving trees. Hydraulic lines can wear overtime because of rubbing or when rubber coatings dry out. We recommend checking your lines every hookup but giving them a close once-over annually is a necessity.

Replacing your hydraulic lines should be done every couple of years to prevent leaks and damage to your skid steer spade. We’ve designed our spades to make replacing lines easier than our competitors so you can take care of your spade with less work.


Check for proper adjustment and bushing wear. Do you need new slides or rolls? We also recommend checking annually to get a good visual of everything. Slides are designed to last through thousands of digs but may need to be replaced in very high volume nurseries. It’s an easy maintenance fix to keep your skid steer running for a long time!

Use Your Skid Steer Spade Manual

When you purchase a BIG JOHN skid steer tree spade, we provide you with a manual that helps you walk through all the lubrication and cleaning checks. We recommend using a high pressure water or detergent based cleaning solution on your machine regularly too.

Our spades are durable and built to last. We pride ourselves on providing our BIG JOHN family with quality spades that have lasted some customers decades. One way we do that is providing customers with instructions on how to properly clean and care for your spade after each use so it can keep getting the job done.

If you don’t have a manual, give us a call and we can send one your way.

Need Skid Steer Spade Maintenance Help? Give Us a Call!

If you find that your spade needs a little more TLC than anticipated, you can always bring it in for maintenance and assistance. In most cases, we can help you troubleshoot over the phone to solve maintenance issues and guide you through how to get the most out of your skid steer spade attachment.

As part of the BIG JOHN family, we’re always here to help. If you’ve done your checks and need parts, aren’t sure if what you’re looking at is okay or needs some work, or just have questions about your spade, give us a call!