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Chipper engine choice: Gas or Diesel?

BeerGeek

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Posting to keep relevant. Also, has anybody had experience w/the Morbark Chip Safe feature? Good/bad/whatever? Thanks again.
 

Mellow

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I have not but I see it as just one more thing to go wrong. Nearly all of the problems I've had with my Morbark M12R have been related to the "safety" features.
 

SeanKroll

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Chip-safe is using gloves and anklets to keep guys from getting pulled in the chipper while doing unsafe things.
 

BeerGeek

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He did; it was almost 3 yrs ago when he got his M15RX (which is the upper end model I'm debating, if I want to bite off that big a monthly payment). I see his points on it's benefits, but I also appreciate the comments/common sense provided here. I'll be demoing the 3 later this week, and will make my decision after seeing it actually in action.
 

BeerGeek

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"Slightly better than sketchy", to start. I thankfully have some guys around my age who are helping out in the early stages, so they are more understanding/receptive to my instructions/guidance on using the equipment. As I've seen you raise in other threads, the labor situation is one of the toughest aspects to deal with in this industry. I've already incorporated additional specific chipper usage into my version of the "Excellent Groundman" list that will be used in my future hiring scenario, as this will be more part time as I slide out of my current situation into this full time by early next year. As I've also got the advantage of a decent amount of seed money to get things going, the SENA headsets will also be in play to ensure good communication/ability to watch out for each other.

To Sean and all others replying, the input/feedback is greatly appreciated! :thumbup:
 

SeanKroll

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Are you going to have a machine for material handling?

Less guys, who are less tired, who do less feeding, when you have a machine.

I've got an old whisper-chipper. If the material is conducive, which it frequently is, after making good 'grapple piles', I can feed by machine quite frequently. Not always. The less people are feeding the machine, the less the issue.

General workplace safety is sometimes way more of an issue than feeding a chipper, if fed from the side, and hands stay out of the "No Hand Zone". People don't always realize that the machine can wallop their hand against the infeed chute with a piece of wood like a baseball bat.


I'd want a rope-shear more than a Chip-safe system. Bandit has it. Bandit's are solid machines, too.
 

BeerGeek

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Mini-skid purchase is in the late year 1/early year 2 schedule of the plan, as I'll need another truck to tow it and the dump trailer it will ride on (especially if I get the larger chipper). Thankfully starting later in life and have got more sense about me in considering options and input/feedback. As for the Bandit/Morbark debate, the nearest Bandit dealer is over an hour away, while the Morbark dealer is only 10 mins. I've used older models of both, and they get equal praise, but having the dealer on a new unit that close gives Morbark the edge.
 

SeanKroll

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You can fit some mini-skids in the chip-bed making it a one-rig show, dump before heading home (getchipdrop.com).


The mini will make you so much easier money than guys trying to do machine-work. The guys won't be broken down by the manual work. You will need less, better guys. Mini has no Worker's Comp, no overtime, no baby-mama drama, doesn't get sick, or have sick kids, etc, etc.

How about a winch on the chipper?
 

Tree09

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I'm sure you know this, but just about everyone here will agree that material handling is the name of the game. A mini and dump trailer is in my opinion more important than a chipper, especially if you don't have far to go to dump. Treework is basically 2 operations, technical treework and removing waste. If you have a thing that moves the waste without you breaking a sweat you will make money faster than if you are trying to grunt 10s of thousands of pounds everyday, no matter how motivated your help is. Carts, log arches, and arbor trolleys can definitely help, but nothing beats machinery to move stuff. That's the one thing I've learned starting out.
 

CurSedVoyce

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Chipper purchase should be real close with the mini purchase.
When you can move larger amounts of material faster, you will overwhelm a trailer quite quickly.
Then comes the crane work. Material needs to be made smaller and made gone as efficient as possible.
Just my .02
 

BeerGeek

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[SeanKroll]
[You can fit some mini-skids in the chip-bed making it a one-rig show, dump before heading home (getchipdrop.com).]
The mini will make you so much easier money than guys trying to do machine-work. The guys won't be broken down by the manual work. You will need less, better guys. Mini has no Worker's Comp, no overtime, no baby-mama drama, doesn't get sick, or have sick kids, etc, etc.
All good points, Sean, just a matter of financing/timing to get the mini I want. I can work around it until business really starts kicking in full time and can afford the other payment.
[How about a winch on the chipper? ]
Definitely keeping that in mind on the purchase.
[Kyle & Steve (I believe)]
Both good reinforcing points about moving the waste. Around where I am, lots of hardwood prunings resulting in boatloads of chips. Chips are the easiest and cheapest to dispose of, so the chipper becomes priority one. Brush can be disposed of, but only one place anywhere near me, and it's not that close (and the most expensive to dump there). Lots of folks out here burn wood (including most of my customer base), so disposal of that is less of a concern. The dump trailer will be purchased within the next few weeks, and the log carts just arrived today (so the ground monkeys and I will be able to move wood fairly well until the mini-skid and truck 2 are in play). Also keeping in mind my seed money will be down to the subsistence level to get me through the winter, until storm work or warmer weather allows business to pick back up.

Once again, appreciate the feedback/ideas. Please keep them coming!
 

SeanKroll

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I'll get you a picture of my minorly modified hand-truck. A cheap investment, and does a few tricks the Arbor-Trolley doesn't, at a fraction of the cost. I use both. The AT was a huge step up, but not winning every event. Length-wise log carrying through gates without lifting, and carrying a Brute garbage can, are the two I can think of, ATM.
 

SeanKroll

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No. I've wanted to, but...The Ogre! All I can haul of any size is 12', which the Mini or Mini-Arbor Trolley handles.



Skip the chains, ratchet straps instead.
IMG_20190911_163356974.jpg

Come in near the balance point, wiggling the 'horn' under the log. You will be able to lever it up onto the blade, and swivel the log over the handle.
 

BeerGeek

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Status update:

Spent 3 hours with the dealer today going over and chip testing the 2 M12R/1415 models I originally listed (they are leftover 2018 models, so they are knocking a couple thousand off each). I had a pickup bed full of ash limbs and logs from a recent EAB takedown, so was able to really see the performance of each. The limbs were all 3-8" diameter, with some being gnarly twisted and long, and both handled them with ease. Then came the log sections, 3 each about 10-13" in diameter and about 18-20" long. Both handled them well, with some minor hiccups on the 13" ones (both ended up stalling when left on factory default down rev setting for feed reverse, as there wasn't enough left on the end of each piece between the feed wheel and the drum to allow for a reverse, and there were some sizable knots in each). Overall, both performed well, with the following notable differences:
- The gas model was much louder than the diesel; you could at least hear each other when the diesel ran full speed, not so w/the gas.
- The diesel threw the chips much further than the gas model.
- The diesel performed just as well at 2200 max rpm for performance, while the gas had to get over 2500 to do the same.

While the controls and features were nearly the same, the diesel just seemed to be the better performing machine (and recovered from the stall much quicker). Additionally, the sales rep indicated his customers w/the diesel were reporting abut 50-60% longer run times on the diesel before refill as compared to the gas. If I stay in this model range, the diesel would be the choice.

The rep also informed me they had 2 versions of the M15RX (one gas, one diesel) that they could have up next week to do the same kind of demo. Will report back on that after it happens.
 

BeerGeek

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No. I've wanted to, but...The Ogre! All I can haul of any size is 12', which the Mini or Mini-Arbor Trolley handles.



Skip the chains, ratchet straps instead.


Come in near the balance point, wiggling the 'horn' under the log. You will be able to lever it up onto the blade, and swivel the log over the handle.
Nice setup you've got on that hand truck, Sean. Did it come with those nice, oversized tires, or did you add them on?
 

SeanKroll

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Good review.

I bought the smaller, lighter duty HF hand truck, but kept breaking wheels. I upgraded to some harbor freight wheels, and needed a slightly wider axle. Consequently, the wheels are wider than the guards, but good for lots of things, including full sheets of plywood and Brute cans..

Finally bent the handle, which was reinforced with angle iron, since.

12 years of use and abuse.
 
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