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Thread: OT- Learn me about chippers/shredders

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    5,176

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    I have a 10hp Patriot Forester; 14 years of chipping in Washington where trees result in a pile of branches as big as a house. I have a few hundred hours of run time on this machine - typically 30+ per year. They still make this model with several engine options.

    Takes 3" in the chipper (if the wood is dead straight - 2 inch realistically), 1 inch in the shredder. It has an outboard bearing (doesn't rely on the motor bearing for the outboard support). It develops a high vacuum and a baffle and 6 inch hose works well to suck up leaves. This machine is about as good as you get for the price ($1000-1200), and I can't get away with anything less. All my neighbors have long since parked their 5hp box store chippers


    It takes me 8 hours to chip/shred what I can do in 30 minutes with a 12 inch chipper, but at $400 a day for 12 inch rental.... my time is cheap. My body is trashed though - quite a work out. If the wood gets above 2 inches I toss it in a pile for firewood - no point in beating myself and the machine to death.


    I've repaired it many times... cracked housings (latest was about 3 feet of cracks and the external bearing fell out with 5 pieces of housing - I should have fixed it years ago...), blown outboard bearings, everything external eventually falls off etc... and... for each full day, the 2 knives need sharpening. Sharpening takes about 30-40 minutes for removal, sharpen and reassembly. Mostly it's just a slight touch-up on a slow speed water wheel, but the difference is dramatic. The 6 (?) shredding hammers are still in one piece. It will be interesting if one lets go.


    Today... If I had a tractor or whatever with PTO, I'd buy a DR chipper... but my needs exceed that of a typcial yard.
    Last edited by lakeside53; 02-26-2012 at 01:44 PM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Independent principality of Sinquefieldia (formerly Missouri)
    Posts
    17,292

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tait
    I had a 5 HP chipper from sears that worked OK, but it took hours to feed branches from a couple of mulberrys through every year.

    I think the take home lesson here is: More power is good.
    Or, suit the unit to the job.......

    Mulch/leaf shredders don't do branches well, although they do sticks fine.

    You want to chip wood, get a wood chipper............ What Sears CALLS a chipper may not be what you want..... they don't expect you to be doing it on a more "industrial scale"....

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    990

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    I have a Troybuilt 5HP tomahawk and it's really great. Sumac makes some really nice coloured mulch and around here, there's lots.
    For best results the input material has to be partly dried just right as others have said.

    CAUTION:
    This is the only machine I've ever used which has too few warnings plastered all over it, even though some of them mention death.
    If you put vines in the top it's like teasing a rotary wire brush with a rag.
    Leather gloves and safety glasses are a must. A face shield is a good idea.
    Mike

    My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Middlesex, New Jersey
    Posts
    232

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    I have a 5HP Mighty Mac shredder/chipper for well over 25yrs. Yes, they do beat themselves up along with the operator and have to be repaired. It's a great practice in making cutter blades and hammer tines. Replaced mine a number of times along with welding cracks.
    All the things that I read in the previous replies are true. Leaves jam up when wet, some branches want to pull you into the chute, other branches whip the heck out of your arms. You do learn to use it and the final result is great for the yard and garden.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    681

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    So it seems the older machines are better, given the nature of them. Makes sense. Frankly, I'm not really looking to deal with 2 to 3 inch limbs and such, I burn those. I yearly burn pile is a must! Reducing smaller stuff to mulch and taking leaves to garden mulch is a biggie. I hate weeds in my veggie garden, and I always bag as much cut grass clippings as I can to mulch the garden, but I have more garden than I can cut grass! So leaves and even grinding up straw to a nice thick dense mulch would do me fine.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    SE OZ
    Posts
    2,184

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    I had a 6HP OHV B&S driven mulcher that was OK within limits but I gave it away. It did not like vines or soft stuff and needed hard(er) wood with it to keep it going.

    Now small sutff and twigs ("vines" and grass too) go onto the trailer and straight to the local municipal green-waste disposal site.

    For bigger twigs, branches, trees, shrubs etc. I get a local tree-felling and chipping contrator in on his way past when he has the time (which he usually does). He has got all the gear and does a nice job andtakes it all away. Job done at a very reasonable cost.

    Same for "grinding" out tree stumps etc.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    5,176

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    Quote Originally Posted by rws
    So it seems the older machines are better, given the nature of them. Makes sense. Frankly, I'm not really looking to deal with 2 to 3 inch limbs and such, I burn those. I yearly burn pile is a must! Reducing smaller stuff to mulch and taking leaves to garden mulch is a biggie. I hate weeds in my veggie garden, and I always bag as much cut grass clippings as I can to mulch the garden, but I have more garden than I can cut grass! So leaves and even grinding up straw to a nice thick dense mulch would do me fine.

    Small shrubby stuff (and often too big, but... ) and leaves I just toss on the lawn and run the mower over them a few times. Mulches perfectly. Eveything gets composted or laid on a few hundred feet of paths.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Northeast Texas
    Posts
    130

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    I had a 9hp Craftsman. Bought it used, I'd guess it was it was 10 to 15 years old. Bottom line, way too much work, noise and repairs for the result. Burning leaves and branches is much easier and faster. Sold the chipper/shredder last year and haven't missed it a bit.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    On the Oil Coast,USA
    Posts
    16,872

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    Or build your own like this guy did

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=h8EuNcpJ9Jo
    I just need one more tool,just one!

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Canada, Bc
    Posts
    7,645

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    Just make a huge pile and then bury it after a few years. 5 years later everything will be decayed to a nice mulch and rubarb will grow like no tomarrow (At least, it did at our old place!).. Well, that and stinging nettles.

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