Whether you’re expanding your services, upgrading your fleet, or launching your own tree care company, a brush chipper is one of the most important investments you’ll ever make. Careful consideration before buying will help you choose the best chipper for your needs, saving you time, money – and headaches – over the long haul.
What type of work will you be doing? The nature of the job and the volume and size of wood you plan to put through the chipper makes a big difference. A company specializing in tree trimming needs a much different chipper than a contractor performing land clearing and tree removals. Look at your local landscape. Will most of your jobs be in newer, residential areas with young trees that are smaller in diameter or in established developments with larger, more mature trees? These considerations determine the size and capacity of the chipper that’s best for you. You shouldn’t plan to constantly run the chipper at its maximum capacity. In general, the typical size of the wood you feed your chipper should be about 2/3 of its capacity, with occasional larger pieces. The opening size is intended to allow branches to fold in better, to allow multiple stems to be fed, and to provide smooth intake of material, not to be the size of wood you’re always feeding the chipper.
Buy too small of a chipper, and you risk spending time and money hauling the wood to another company for chipping, since many dumpsites no longer accept whole trees and large logs. Alternatively, you don’t want to waste fuel running a chipper that’s much larger than necessary. Anticipated growth also factors in to your purchasing decision; perhaps you’re concentrating on tree trimming now, but want to expand into takedowns. In that case, you’ll want a larger machine than your current needs would indicate.