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PTO chipper thoughts

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by jb1390, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    I am contemplating getting a PTO chipper. I like the woodmaxx 8 inch hydraulic feed, for a variety of reasons, one of them being price. I prefer the hydraulic feed, as it is adjustable and reversible. I am decent at repairing/fabricating so I think any weak spots in the chipper design/construction could be fixed by me at a significant savings over buying a brand name unit.

    The tractor I want to use to run it is a 1968 john deere 300 industrial-with no PTO. It has decent hydraulics on it, so I am thinking of putting a hydraulic pto (requires 17.8 gpm for 540 rpm). The tractor is rated at 23 gpm at 2000 psi. The hydraulic pto motor could be a little bigger, but it would be nice to run the machine a little slower to not be as hard on the machine. I think I will need to install an oil cooler, I'd monitor the oil temp and see after a few runs.

    This hydraulic pto would yield a lower horsepower than is recommended to run the chipper (15-20 hp), compared to a recommended min of 25 hp. The reason I want an 8" chipper isn't to chip 8" logs, it is so that I don't need to prune the gnarly 2-3" logs as much. I am thinking, with a 200 pound flywheel, and an adjustable feed rate, this setup would work fine as long as I don't push it on the size of the log, which would stall the pto. (closed center hydros, so wouldn't stall the tractor)

    I know this will not be the same as running the chipper off the pto of a 50 HP tractor, but I think it would work fine for what i need from it. Would be much better then renting, and better than hauling brush in my truck and piling it somewhere.

    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  2. weckel5984

    weckel5984 Member
    Messages: 55

    what about just getting a used truck chipper? a tractor chipper costs around 4-5k i think. you can find a reg chipper for not much more than that and it will perform probably better
  3. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    A woodmaxx chipper with hydraulic feed is 2700 brand new. Most of the chuck n ducks run around 5k, and I don't want a chuck n duck. A 6 inch stand alone hydraulic chipper would run 6-10k or more used from what I can find somewhat locally. Plus, it's an additional engine to maintain. The pto chipper could be moved among machines, and would transfer over if I get a newer tractor. One last factor is that I like having my tractor at a job site for trees,, and would be required to take 2 trips if I had a tow behind chipper, as opposed to one trip, bringing the tractor+chipper on my trailer.
  4. weckel5984

    weckel5984 Member
    Messages: 55

    ok that makes sense. just trying to give you some options.
  5. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    I appreciate it-definitely something that I have thought about, and would consider again if I find/hear a compelling reason to avoid option 1
  6. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Well, pulled the trigger on an 8 inch woodmaxx hydraulic feed, and a 7.62 cu inch/rev motor. Will let you know how it works out. Talked to friends with experience with hydraulic ptos, and the consensus is that it should work ok. We'll find out soon.
  7. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Update: chipper works great, and my deere 300 doesn't overheat the oil running it. More HP would allow larger logs to go through before it stalls out, but it will take 3-4" wood, which is more than adequate for what I need. I like keeping the larger stuff for firewood. Probably put 40 hours on the machine so far just chipping.
  8. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    I couldn't find on their site where it mentioned the tractor specifications required to run the chipper...do you happen to know what they are?
  9. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    They list it on their site under "specs" as 25+ horsepower. I can say from experience that you can run it with less, it will just affect how big of a branch you can feed. If I put it 4-5" oak, I need to stop the feed every foot or so to let the chipper speed catch back up. I'm running somewhere between 15-20 HP I think.

    The chipper seems very well built, and the customer service is excellent. I had a minor issue due to a couple loose bolts, and the pulleys moved, causing the belts to shred. It says specifically on the website that belts, hoses, and blades are not covered under warranty. I called them, and had a set of belts 2 days later free to my door, with their apologies! I would highly recommend for anyone looking at a PTO unit.
  10. dodgeboy06

    dodgeboy06 Member
    Messages: 42

    Thanks for taking the time to update us on your experiances with this and I do hope it works out well for you for many years in the future. Also nice to hear that the customer service is so good, nice to know that they are willing to do what needs to be done to make things right for you as the consumer/end user.
  11. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    Their site has been bookmarked! I've always wanted a chipper and have a lot of use for one but can't justify a stand alone unit. Their chippers seem to be affordable and if their customer service is as good as you say then there isn't much more to ask for. I wonder though if the minimum hp is 25, would my 55hp be too much for the unit to take. That's something I guess I would have to ask the company when the time to start looking into that equipment comes up. Thanks again for your input about the unit.
  12. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    I would think 55hp would be fine-I would install a slip clutch or shear pin (might already have one in the shaft, I'm not sure), so that the tractor PTO won't be able to bend anything more expensive on the chipper, or slip the belts.

    One additional comment I'll make is that, though this will fit an 8" by 8" log, the opening is only 8" wide, which is smaller than most 6" units. For practical use, I would call this a 4" chipper. Then again, I call anything more than 2-3" firewood.
  13. 2ExploreSnow

    2ExploreSnow Member
    Messages: 64

    I realize it's a little late of a recommendation for original post, still here are some links ==>



    I would recommend Valby - which is now Farmi - wood chippers. They are much stronger than many other units I've seen and their feedrollers are much more aggressive than others. Actually, it's really the feed rollers that win it. So many others just stop or they only have one roller on bottom so the log just sits there while the bottom roller just carves out the bark.

    The unit that I have was bought back around 1990 +/- and I think the model # is 260. Used it on and off around the farm. Used some of the chips for bedding and even threw some newspaper in it -- works, but does better job if rolled up first.

    The feedrolls really shine when one gets into thorn trees. As was said earlier, most of the wood over a few inches is usually saved for firewood. Well with thorn trees, it's all gets chipped up and no one wants to handle it any more than they have to. So, branches and all with minimal cuts and it takes. I was told that the placement of rollers make a difference, the top one is slightly forward.

    We used a few tractors ranging from upper 40's hp to 110hp. Speed was determined by hydraulic flow. A larger hyd. reserve or cooler would be of great benefit. They make some smaller units and one designed for a skid-steer. Valby also makes some other forestry attachments for tractors and loaders, none of which I have used though some look useful.

    -- just some of my experiences :)
  14. bob00

    bob00 Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    i dont know why you want it tractor mounted but did you tink of mount it on your truck with an truck pto hydrolic pump no tractor to haul and it give you that extra power
  15. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    There are a TON of reasons people would want a chipper tractor mounted.

    1. Almost all tractors already have a PTO. The chipper can swap between any tractor, they are all standard.

    2. No additional engine to maintain compared to a tow behind.

    3. Cost-I got into mine for around $3K, because I already own a tractor

    4. Can get into places that are difficult to get to with a tow behind chipper, due to maneuverability and the ability of a tractor to go through mud etc.

    5. A chipper on my tractor is better than trying to jury rig something on my truck, for a lot of reasons. If I care about extra power, I would buy a tow behind unit with a self contained engine. But I don't need it.

    Update on my install:
    I finally have temperature gages mounted on everything-oil temp, and water temp. The tractor runs water temp between 160-170 when it's going full out, with no thermostat installed. The oil temperature gets up to around 160 F as well when im feeding it as fast as I can, and it cools down to around 130 after a few minutes of slower engine speed if I want to let it cool down. My repair manual lists operating temperature of the oil as 180 F, and 200 F is safe for transmissions for short term, so I think holding below 160 should give me plenty of life in my seals.