However, Bandit also has a patented last-chance pull stop cable standard on its hand-fed chippers. It consists of two cables hanging about halfway between the hopper entrance and the feed wheels. If an operator incorrectly finds himself past the feed control bar and inside the hopper, he can use the cable to stop or reverse the feed wheels and wood flow.
In addition, Vermeer has a patented bottom feed stop bar. Its location makes it possible for the operator's leg to strike the bar and shut off the feed in an emergency situation. The bar offers two sensitivity settings.Winches deliver labor savings
These hydraulic assistants help operators bring big material to the chipper and pile it into the feed system with much less labor and fatigue. "You also are likely to chip more of the tree when you use winches," Faber points out. "There's less chainsaw work."
Morbark offers this option for about $2,500 on its 12- to 18-in.-diameter models.
Frank Gonzales of Frank's Tree Service in Summit, NJ, has two Morbark 2400 XLs with winch packages. "They are just the thing to pull branches to the chipper in industrial complexes and residential areas where trees must be cleared before other work can be done, but long driveways or other obstacles get in the way of easy chipper loading," he states.
As with other winches, Vermeer models are equipped with a rope (150 ft.) with a chain choker on the end. "It allows operators to pull material into the brush chipper that may not be accessible or easy to move using other conventional methods, such as a skid steer," Rieckhoff explains.
"A winch greatly reduces hand carrying and helps reduce the need to cut and trim," Kinnee points out. "It's good for dragging material from tight or restricted areas not easily accessible to the chipper."
Bandit's winch retails for about $1,800 and is available with a remote control.
"You can reduce the labor needed to process large-diameter material and reduce chainsaw trimming," Kinnee adds. "Reduced crew fatigue and less potential for back injuries are two other benefits of winches."
Other Options Available
Chipper manufacturers have devised many options to make the job easier and your crews more productive. They include:
- hand-crankable or hydraulic swivel discharges to change chip direction
- height-adjustable discharges to allow for fuller trucks and fewer trips to the dump site
- larger-sized feed system for easier handling of crotchy and limby material
- knife savers that sharpen knives while still in the machine
- hydraulic lift cylinders that raise the top feed wheel to assist in feeding larger-diameter materials and crush limbs and branches
- rubber track undercarriages for self-propelled chippers doing off-road work