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A nick into the metal of a roller can cause the roll to fail like that. Have seen it over the years in other equipment with the most notable and easily identifiable failure of round baler tailgate rolls which were stamped from the factory CANADA. The rolls that failed would fail at the beginning of the C. The stamp was not that deep, but deep enough to set up the failure. In the days of the NH chain balers, a nick in a pipe could lead to the pipe failing. Hard to believe something so small could cause a roll or pipe to fail in a more or less straight line failure.

Look for a dark spot on the side face of the roll for an indication where the failure started.
 
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