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Thread: Educate me on a wood chipper

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Grand Forks, ND
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    Educate me on a wood chipper

    We had a major snow late last fall while the trees were still full of leaves, so needless to say I have a ton of tree cleanup this spring. Thinking its time to get a chipper. Looking at the used market or possibly new. I'd like to be able to handle larger branches, say up to 5"? So looking for advice on what brands, hp, and what to look out for. I would also be open to a 3 point chipper as I do have a 40hp tractor.
    A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. My desk is a work station.

  2. #2
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    This is one machine where you get what you pay for. That's my strongest recommendation. The work is hard, especially when you start wanting to process stuff that's more than a couple inches, despite "rated capacities". I'm not familiar with what's on the market, so I can't provide specific recommendations. 3PT with your tractor is absolutely the way to go. The small stand-alone units mostly are best for yard work, not chipping.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 04-06-2020 at 7:25 PM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
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    Sep 2009
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    Putney, Vermont
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    Much cheaper and easier to make a burn pile. May have to call your town fire dept. for a burn permit, usually at no cost.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2016
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    Longmont, CO
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    the woodmaxx brand seems to get recommended a lot for pto chippers.

    anything without some kind of self feed is going to be super dangerous.

    i have used a couple cheap small chippers, and found them to be just about worthless. also rented a 12 inch Vermeer, and that thing was a beast.

    you may want to go over to the tractorbynet forums, lots of info and experience there.

    i would love a chipper as well, but its hard to justify the cost. I only have 19 pto hp on an allis 5020.

    i pile mine up on a trailer and dump at the local yard waste place for 10 per ton, and get mulch using Chipdrop, I have gotten about 40 - 50 yards of mulch over the last 2 years and it cost me a total of 100 bucks delivered and dumped where i want it. over that time period i have also gotten rid of 15000 lbs of brush/yard waste.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    New York, NY
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    Per above, rent a Vermeer 6" or 12" chipper. You'll get through that pile of branches no time and be able to direct the stream of chips into a nice neat pile away from your work area.

    The small ones are just worthless unless you're only shredding leaves for compost.

  6. #6
    My son rented one to clean up after a sawmilling project. You might want to look at that possibility. The one he used was a monster, about 30-40 hp I think, took at least a minute to spin up and sounded like an airplane. He fed a couple of unused logs into it, at least 12" diameter and it ate them up. Something like that would be a big investment for occasional use. You could probably hire a tree service fairly reasonably.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Manassas, VA
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    I have Kubota sub-compact tractor with only 16 HP PTO. I bought this one -https://www.woodmaxx.com/TM_86H_PTO_...r_p/tm-86h.htm, for my chipping needs. I just can say -WOW. Even with minimum PTO on the shaft, I am able to spit out up to 6" brunches. Not freshly cutted, but not rotten wood ether.
    If it is only one -two times project - rent will be a better option. In my case, a lot of cleaning needs to be done on my property.
    Ed.

  8. #8
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    That's a really nice unit, Eduard! Looks sturdy and very capable.

    I had a physically larger Woods unit for a number of years and it's in service of a friend now. He just reconditioned it with new belts and it's eating like a hungry teenager everything he feeds it. It ran great with my BX-22, but it runs better with my friend's slightly larger tractor for obvious reasons...more PTO power.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
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    313
    I've considered a chipper here, where we have over 100 acres of woods, but what I have found works best for me is to cut up everything 2" and over and put it in the woodshed to burn in the boiler for heat and hot water. The stuff under 2" breaks down in 10 years or so, so I make brush piles where necessary and just let them lie if they're not in the way where I cut them off the tree.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Lancaster, Ohio
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    267
    RENT A CHIPPER
    you are just kidding yourself trying to work with anything on a 50hp tractor
    get at least a 12" capacity chipper larger the better, an 18" is better etc. NEED power feed rollers, a winch is handy if you have big enough stuff. problem is with forks 6" branch with a 3" branch off will not feed in a 12" machine unless it breaks SO THEN you have to cut all branches off. Get into some locust with thorns or any other hard twisted wood and you will work yourself to death fighting to feed it. 200-300 hp diesel, tandem axle, pull behind will flat out keep 3-5 people hustling to feed it, any log that comes close to full size on it will pull it way down but it will gobble branches with smaller branches.
    good luck
    Ron

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by michael langman View Post
    Much cheaper and easier to make a burn pile. May have to call your town fire dept. for a burn permit, usually at no cost.
    Mmmm, wood heat. You can buy a good chain saw for under 500. The OP lives in ND, would a wood stove in the shop be an option? I still remember those days. What do you do with your offcuts anyway....

  12. #12
    Make sure to rinse it out really well, no evidence that way.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Mountain City, TN
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    511
    I bought a 3 point DR chipper. Mine can handle up to 4" branches easily. I mount the chipper to a 25 hp subcompact utility tractor. Works great and I am not able to bog it down. I would suggest getting on the mailing list for DR and maybe a few other brands. I bought mine directly from the factory. Sooner or later, they run a sale. You will need to assemble it if you get it from the factory.

    The only drawback is, if I put too many pine braches in too fast, the output chute can plug up due to all the needles.

    I used lots of wood chips for mulch, so the chips never go to waste. The chickens love scratching in them.

    My previous chipper was an 8 hp Yard Shark. It could handle up to a 2" branch. It lasted 20 years. I would recommend the 3 point model.

    When you start your branch pile, have the fat ends of the branches pointing the same direction. That way, you can feed the fat end of the branch into the chipper without flipping the branch around.

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy Warner View Post
    Make sure to rinse it out really well, no evidence that way.
    LOL, hopefully wont need it for that. Classic movie either way!
    A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. My desk is a work station.

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eduard Nemirovsky View Post
    I have Kubota sub-compact tractor with only 16 HP PTO. I bought this one -https://www.woodmaxx.com/TM_86H_PTO_...r_p/tm-86h.htm, for my chipping needs. I just can say -WOW. Even with minimum PTO on the shaft, I am able to spit out up to 6" brunches. Not freshly cutted, but not rotten wood ether.
    If it is only one -two times project - rent will be a better option. In my case, a lot of cleaning needs to be done on my property.
    Ed.
    That is a nice unit! I have a woodmaxx 3pt snowblower, it is a very well built unit. I will look into these. thanks

    Also a question, watched a couple videos noticed the safety or off bar is very close to the opening. Do branches ever hit this when being pulled in and shut if off??
    Last edited by Jeff Monson; 04-07-2020 at 11:29 AM.
    A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. My desk is a work station.

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