Setup a Windmill Rider Roller

Hey everyone,
After a bunch of jobs skip-printing on our windmill, I asked around and figured we needed a rider roller. We do some rather large flat coverage printing, and I only have a windmill to print on. I acquired a really good condition roller this week from Whittenberg (they have everything!).
After trying for a while, I could not get the rider roller to work without issues. It may have been set too tight down on the form rollers, but I can’t say for sure. For the best balance, I attached it when my form rollers were midway between the top and bottom of the roller path. When I tried to install it at the top of the form roller path, it caused my upper roller to lift off the track repeatedly.
Once printing, it was leaving a lap line on the print (a 5x7 flat coverage with halftone) in a consistent location midway in the flat, maybe from where it rests once the press stops? I tried running it a bunch of rotations before test printing, and the line still showed up. When I double rolled my plate without the rider, the print was clean and flat. I’m stumped because it seems to be rotating well, has an even ink coverage on it, and it’s contacting both rollers from what I can see.
I saw on another old discussion thread that I should only set the rider onto the bottom roller, but how do I do that? Does that eliminate this issue, or have some benefit from setting it up that way?
Any help on how to properly install one of these would be greatly helpful and save me from having to double-toggle skip-feed multiple times a week.


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Here are the instructions from the handbook and a photo showing the shaped nut and the way round it should be.
I think the key to getting it right is to use a light finger pressure as shown in the picture.
Hope this helps

image: windmill rider roller.jpg

windmill rider roller.jpg

image: windmill.jpg


I had the same issues as you and added a rider roller. I was also doing to much skip feeding. I thought it would be be great but found caused issues. You should be able to swing it onto either roller. Make sure you are using the T bracket in the right way. I tried it on the first roller, the second roller and in between. I discovered the best way to start was to get my roller track height set where I wanted it to run the job. For a solid I like to give a little more roller stripe to the plate and not starve the plate for ink. I then clean my rails. I found if I set the rider roller to tight it was acting almost like a brake and causing the roller to sort of skid and not roller over my plate. Since the only thing making the rollers move is the trucks any added contract may cause them to drag or slip. I replaced my roller bearings but that made no difference. I did not notice until I went to change my rollers for numbering how much the rider roller shaft also acts like a solid bridging of the 2 roller arms which stops some the arms independent leveling and roller shaft shifting or movement inside the roller bearing placement housing. With the rider roller on try pulling on one roller arm, now remove the rider and see the difference. Since I had set roller strips on regular printing presses for 40 yearsI was using that theroy for the windmill rollers but it does not work quite the same and I had to much contact which at first I thought would be a good thing - it was not. Once I have the things going the way I want I bring the the roller down to the plate and stop the on my plate. At that point I install the roller and give it a light touch contact with the ink form roller. I used multiple pieces of neg film like shims to control the height until I find a point the roller begins to ink. I try not to give any added pressure to the side of the roller I am not using, I want it to ink but not restrain the roller. It now works better and helps for some of the solid work but I still do some skip feeding at times.

I’ve been trying the shimming concept to attach the roller, and I’ll keep trying, but I’m still not able to get this rider roller to work. I am going to try adding a washer to one end where it bolts on because there is a small 1/16” gap between the roller mount and form roller carriage if that makes sense. Maybe that’s pulling the roller end caps inward too much?
I either get it to run and discover a gap where the rider lifted off, or it is too tightly attached and causes my trucks to lift off when it nears the bottom or middle of the roller track. It makes a click, so I can usually hear when they lift off and fall back onto the track. It’s so frustrating.

Even with the rider on, my ink isn’t consistent and I get periodic really salty ink impressions, almost inkless. I’ll get 5 fully inked prints, and then one with a huge salty area, then 4 more fully inked prints. I have no idea what’s going on. If I were using a C&P I would never have this issue, but the ink inconsistency on this windmill is driving me crazy. I don’t know if it’s ghosting, a part is sticking, or some other technical issue and I had hoped the rider would fix it. So far no luck getting it to run smoothly.

It’s either me or the roller is deficient, but I don’t see any value in having one of these. Good luck everyone! I’ll be over here skip feeding my trap-less full bleed prints lol.


On mine, the end brackets on the roller slide a bit. This allows the roller to move left/right with the form rollers. It also eliminates the need for a “Shim” washer. Maybe try to loosen up the end brackets with solvent and oil? Automatic Transmission Fluid, “ATF” is a good penetrating oil.