Do I need a PTO Chipper or PTO Chipper/Shredder combo?
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    Do I need a PTO Chipper or PTO Chipper/Shredder combo?

    Hi all,

    Like fish bait on the eastern end of the state I've got a bazillion ash trees ready to go down (or already down)

    My neighbor was kind enough to sternly remind me of a 2007 burn ban for brush etc on private property - campfires 4 ft x 3 ft permitted, no debris/garbage etc.

    I'm looking to create some chips to put in landscaping beds, on trails, as trim, and cushioning under a swingset.

    Wife like's black mulch, that's what we've always bought : is there an easy way to dye home made chips en masse?

    Also, there's probably as much twig content (ie 1/8" to 3/4") as there are limbs that come down regularly.

    Will a PTO driven chipper turn the small stuff into chips? Do I need a shredder for that subset of material? I have a fair amount of small stuff and too much to burn without drawing attention - also I do the burns infrequently so it tends to collect.

    I know a lot of people use the shredder component for leaves, garden waste, etc. I think I would just mow over that stuff and I do have a mulching kit for my mowing deck.

    I also know that combo chipper/shredders tend to have smaller capacities, and I don't believe there are any with hydraulic automatic feeders.
    Thanks,
    Jer

    PS Eyeing the Woodmaxx TM86H - sa-weet!

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    Chipper/shredder

    For what it's worth, I bought a chipper/shredder and like lots of tools that attempt to do more than one thing, it excels at neither task. It does both and is pretty handy at times but I should have saved my money and gone for a larger chipper with hydraulic feed.

    I will say that while it's slow shredding large piles of leaves, the resultant mulch is a really nice consistency and it's nice to be able to have it in a pile to use where I want it. I'd happily sell mine if someone was interested- for pure HO use it's a good machine but I'd be better off with a larger capacity chipper and no shredder.

    Treefarmer
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    56Nine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jermedic View Post
    ...is there an easy way to dye home made chips en masse?
    We have brown mulch and have used the Mulch Dye Color Concentrate with decent results. The difference being your mulch would have started out dyed from the landscape place then refreshed when it started looking bad. Something to consider.
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    Also interested in the chipper/shredder combo as well so would like to follow along. Treefarmer..what make did you buy was it a Wallenstein?
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    You can buy an awful lot of mulch for $3k.
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    Bubber's Avatar
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    I'll start by saying I'm a fan of my http://www.greentractortalk.com/foru...0-chipper.html. The TM86H looks like a great machine and I don't think you'd gain anything by going to a combo machine, as has been said, only lose. With hydraulic feed, if the wheel grabs it, it'll shred it. Mine has no problems with leaves, or pine straw on branches. The angled chute of the TM86H would help with the small stuff too. I like the flat feed of mine, I don't have to cut things into smaller pieces





    So, I haven't used a model with a shredder, but I haven't wished that I had one either. Yesterday I maxed it out with some near 8" branches and it ate them up fine. I deal with a bunch of pine, since I'm not using that for firewood, I chip all that I can and it handles the whole top of the tree down to where it won't fit through the opening any more. Needles, cones, branches, the whole mess. I would definitely say hydraulic feed over shredder.

    I have no affiliation with Woodmax, I'm just a happy chipper user. It's my "backhoe" to speak

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    TJR345's Avatar
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    Areas that have burn restrictions the town usually will have brush pickup or a drop off.You might want to do some checking before spending money.Find out what your tax dollars do before spending anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJR345 View Post
    Areas that have burn restrictions the town usually will have brush pickup or a drop off.You might want to do some checking before spending money.Find out what your tax dollars do before spending anything.
    In our area there is a place to drop off tree limbs and branches but you cannot drop off any smaller trimmings like you get from yard bushes and hedges. Of course you also need to have a way to transport said limbs and branches to the drop-off site.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TJR345 View Post
    Areas that have burn restrictions the town usually will have brush pickup or a drop off.You might want to do some checking before spending money.Find out what your tax dollars do before spending anything.
    In our area there is a place to drop off tree limbs and branches but you cannot drop off any smaller trimmings like you get from yard bushes and hedges. Of course you also need to have a way to transport said limbs and branches to the drop-off site.
    Thanks - i also have a use for the chips, many many trees that are down, and think it might be easier to chip everything rather than load and unload a trailer numerous times at a dump site, all the while securing the load and making sure nothing flies off my trailer on the road since there is some small/loose stuff
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    I'm in the (maybe fortunate) position of having had both types of chippers.

    The first chipper I had was a BearCat 73554 Chipper/Shredder.
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    It was a good chipper with a 5" capacity. In reality, it was more of a 3" capacity unless you cut the bigger stuff into smaller lengths so it wouldn't stall out the tractor. I rarely used the "shredder" part of it as it was just easier to put any branches in the chute and chip them. The shredder also made a LOT of racket when dropping branches and stuff in it. About the only time I used the shredder was to put in my ornamental grass in the spring when I cut it to ground level. The grass stalks were kind of like straw. But, I've found that using the brush hog on my Gravely worked just as well.

    I also didn't like the narrow chute on the BearCat. If you had something long and straight, it would basically self-feed as long as the knives were sharp. Just drop it in the chute and out it comes on the other end. But, you had to cut the limbs off EVERYTHING - any sort of "Y" in the branch would often get caught in the chute. I spent way too much time getting stuff ready to chip. While the machine did what it was supposed to, it would work you to death keeping it fed.

    I sold that chipper in the fall of 2016 and bought a WoodMaxx MX-9900 chipper in March of 2017. I don't miss the "shredder" on the BearCat at all!! The WoodMaxx will eat up all those little branches and leaves while you're feeding in the bigger stuff. And when it says it's a 9" chipper - WoodMaxx means it!! If it can go through the throat, it will eat it! I do adjust the feed on the really big stuff and have yet to bog down the tractor. I no longer have to trim things before I can chip them. The hydraulic feed will pull in the material and "squish" down the branches on its own during the feed process. It's pretty rare that I have to cut something down first. Now what wears me out is picking up long logs that many people would use for firewood. I don't burn wood and there's so much dead Ash around here that no one wants it for firewood.

    My only complaint about the MX-9900 is that they could have made the 3PH attach points just a tad deeper. The "hooks" on my QuickHitch are a super tight fit and I sometimes have a bit of trouble disconnecting it. I have to get my fat butt up on the 3PH arms to force it down. I need to grind just a tad off the hooks and I'd be OK. But not doing that gives me something to complain about.

    I'd say go for the best quality hydraulic feed chipper that you can afford. I'd think that for 99% of what you'll use it for, you'll never miss having a "shredder". If you think you might want one, you can pick up a smaller, self-contained shredder for not too much money on CL.

    The MX-8800 and MX-9900 chippers are more expensive than the WM-8H chipper. Here's why I spent the extra money:
    ** I liked the "Made in the USA" aspect of the 8800 and 9900 machines.
    ** I liked the "self contained hydraulic system" on the 8800 and 9900 machines. It only uses a few quarts of motor oil and there are no extraneous hoses hanging off the machine.
    ** I don't have first hand knowledge of the feed rate adjustment on the WM-8H, but I think that the feed adjustment on the 8800 and 9900 machines is much easier and you can adjust it from the feed position.
    ** The MX-9900 has 4 knives instead of 2. I don't know if that makes much difference, but I liked it! I was told by WoodMaxx that the knives are offset from each other so that each knife takes a smaller bite than the 2 knife machines do.
    ** The flywheel on the MX-9900 weighs more than the other machines - giving it more inertia when chipping larger material.
    ** The MX-9900 has a smaller storage footprint than the MX-8800 has. You can fold up the feed platform to get it out of the way.
    ** The MX-9900 has adjustable height legs, although I've never adjusted them once I got it set for the correct height to align the PTO shaft with the tractor. In theory though, I could lower the legs for storage to slip it under a shelf or something.


    With regards to Coaltrain's comment that "you can buy a lot of mulch for $3k"... yes you can. And you can buy a lot more the $6k or so that I paid for the MX-9900. But, for me - and most likely for JerMedic - it's not just about making "mulch". Sweetie prefers the black mulch from the garden center for our landscaped beds so I'm still buying mulch. For me it's about doing something with the hundreds of trees that have fallen to the Emerald Ash Borer on our property. I still have stuff that's too big for for the MX-9900, but at some point I'll just rent a BIG chipper and take care of that. I also have a ton of honeysuckle (invasive plant) on our property so I chip that as well. I've got a pretty good sized pile going right now that is a mix of Ash and honeysuckle. I'm letting it compost so hopefully I'll have something to put on my garden beds in the spring. But, the bottom line is that I needed something to take care of the debris around this place. Taking it to the County operated facility is free, but I still have time and gas to get there. It's just so much easier to chip as I go.
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