The Arborist’s Wood Chipper

Commercial arborists specialise in clearing trees and scrub very efficiently and safely, leaving the land behind ready for whatever new purpose it has. Amongst the many highly specialised and powerful machines that the arborist has in their toolbox, the industrial strength wood chipper has to be one of the most impressive.

This machine is powered by its own diesel engine, and is capable of completely demolishing a 10 or 15 metre log of around a foot in diameter in just a few seconds. These machines are totally portable, and the resulting wood chips are fired like bullets into the back of the covered truck. To the casual Observer the wood chipper appears as a scary Beast, and this is reinforced by the fact that the machine is only loaded by the digger, and the wood chiiper machine operator stands back at least 20 metres.

The diesel motor driving the machine runs at high speed, and it’s main task is to power up a massive flywheel that will deliver power to the chopping/grinding wheels. The machine will literally suck in the logs and squirt out the wood chips, and for reasonable diameter logs of just a few inches the machine will do this in one continuous motion. Larger logs up to a foot in diameter will cause the machine to stop and start frequently, but the reason for this is that the machine is waiting for the diesel motor to spin the flywheel back up again. It is the flywheel that provides the massive horsepower that means that the machine does not stall.

With a skilled digger grabber operator feeding the machine continually with massive branches and tree trunks, the truck can be filled with wood chips in a matter of minutes, and while it is away emptying the load the digger driver can reposition other logs and scrub so that it can feed this into the wood chipper once it returns. The best arborist Hamilton has ever seen would do well to use this impressive tool.

The wood chipper is incredibly impressive to the casual observer who may have used a garden shredder at some stage. The garden Shredder is very easy to stall with only a small handful of twigs and leaves, and next to a fully fledged wood chipper the garden shredder looks like a paper dart compared to a Boeing 747.

Feeding the wood chipper with the digger and grabber is a very safe way to operate, but it can come unstuck if the digger driver and the truck driver are not on their toes and carefully observing every load. It has been known for the digger to accidentally pick up a large object like a piece of railway line, and this can basically destroy the wood chipper if it is fed into it, causing thousands of dollars of damage in a fraction of a second.