If you own a tree care business or if you’re planning to start one, you already know that a good-quality wood chipper – a machine used to reduce tree limbs and trunks to small chips – is a piece of equipment you absolutely need.
However, if you’re still unsure about how to choose one that is just right for your needs, here are some tips that should help you decide.
MATCH SIZE TO JOB
The first consideration is size. There are large units in the market that efficiently handle large-scale, commercial tree cutting jobs. But if the work you do, or intend to do, does not involve extensive land-clearing for example, a smaller size would be convenient and cost-effective. You don’t want to be maneuvering a large, unwieldy chipper (that may need a bigger truck for transportation) in close, residential areas, but if you go too small, you may end up spending more time in handling and disposal than you need to.
As a general rule, select a chipper that can handle 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the trees and bushes you expect to be chipping.
DISC CHIPPER OR DRUM CHIPPER?
There are two main chipper designs you can choose from. The original chipper is the disc, which has knives mounted on a steel disc as its chipping mechanism. Reversible hydraulically powered wheels draw wood from the hopper to the disc, and as it spins, the knives cut the wood into chips.
Commercial tree care companies often opt for the disc design, and many operators say that they produce more uniform chips than the drum chipper. On the flip side, it is also true that small, flexible branches may pass through the disc slots and result in poor chip quality.
The material diameter capacity of consumer-grade disc chippers range from 6 to 18 inches, whereas industrial-grade ones can be as large as 160 inches in diameter.
Drum chippers are a newer system that involves a steel drum (powered by a motor) that is located parallel to the hopper and spins towards the output chute. The drum also functions as the feed mechanism, drawing the material through as it chips it.
The drum chipper can not only chip big logs of wood, it can also process small tree branches and fibrous material (like palm trees). It has a compact structure, and is reliable and easy to operate.
The main parameter of chipper technology is the length of the wood chips. So evaluate performance by checking the quality of the chips produced. When wood chip size is balanced and the detritus and chump content is less, then it is a good quality product.
Another piece of equipment to consider is a chip truck. Chip trucks have large chip boxes to catch the cut-up chips that chippers spit out. At Custom Truck One Source, we offer two models of chipper trucks: the 11×66 and the 14×72. The models are simply the size of the chip boxes on the bed of the truck. The smaller model, the 11×66, is an under CDL truck and doesn’t require a special license to operate.
Needless to say, safety is a huge factor that you must keep in mind when selecting a wood chipper. A longer feed table, for example, will create more distance between operators and the cutter. An enhanced upper feed control bar will offer an extra stop position. And so on.
Looking To Buy A Wood Chipper That Is JUST RIGHT For Your Business?
Custom Truck One Source has you covered!
We’re America’s first true single-source provider of specialized truck and heavy equipment solutions and we’re standing by to help you!
Call us at 844-282-1838 or email us at [email protected].