Chipper / shredders

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by hdtvluvr, May 6, 2006.

  1. hdtvluvr

    hdtvluvr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    I have 5 acres and quite a few trees to clean up after. I mulch the leaves several times in the fall but need to get rid of fallen limbs. I have a ditch nearby that I have been filling with the limbs for the last 2 years. The area that I can get to is almost full. I've seen these chipper / shredders at the big box store and think that having one would be great. However, they have a 5 - 6 hp motor and don't seem to have a very large shute for limbs.

    When I do a cleanup, I have a trailer that I pull behind my mower and I fill it 6 or 7 times with limbs - overflowing each time. This occurs 3 to 5 times a year. Would one of these chippers work well for me? What is the maintenance like? Would I need to sharpen the blades after each use?
  2. LarryF

    LarryF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,181

    I bought one once. It was a Mc Kissic 7 HP and they called it the Mighty Mac. It's probably no longer available, and if so, I can understand why.

    I paid about a thousand bucks for it, and it certainly wasn't one of my better investments. I have only one acre, but with lots of trees. The Mighty Mac handled thin branches ok, but it didn't do much to anything over 2". And when I had a lot of brush to chip, even the thin stuff took hours. When I tried to sell the machine, no one wanted it, but in those days the Internet wasn't available. I finally gave the worthless toy away when I finally realized I could use my utility trailer to haul the brush to a dump. Getting rid of each trailer load was about 5 times faster than chipping that amount.

    Looking back, I think I would have been better off spending that thousand to hire a crew with real equipment to come and clean up my lot.
  3. Larry Davis

    Larry Davis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    I have never met anyone that purchased one of those 5, 6, 6.5, or 7 HP chippers from Home Depot or Lowe's and was happy with its performance, including myself. Anything more than twigs or small amounts of very dry leaves they struggle to handle. These units usually end up unused, sitting in the tool shed rusting away. Now ......... I found myself in the same situation as you .......... lots of limbs and huge amounts of leaves in the fall. I desperately wanted another chipper/shredder and started looking. Well, not much has changed in this line of equipment over the years. There seems to be nothing in the middle between the cheap, homeowner units and the very expensive commercial units. I am a strong believer in buying commercial grade equipment for work that must be done frequently, like lawn work, but not for the few times a year a chipper would be used. So, I decided to try the larger Troy Built unit with 10 HP B&S engine. I have had it 3 years now and have been pleased with its performance. The chipper chute and blades do a good job on limbs/branches up to just under 3" in diameter (they claim 3" but that is pushing it). I'm still using the original blades with no loss of performance. The hopper and shredder does a decent job on dry leaves and small twigs.
    Hope this info helps you decide.
  4. hdtvluvr

    hdtvluvr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    So, if I get one with a 10HP or larger then it should function OK? You stated that you are using the original blades. Have you sharpened them? How long would it take to chip a garden trailer load of limbs?
  5. Larry Davis

    Larry Davis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    I have never sharpened the chipper blades. They are extremely durable. And, they are not really designed for sharpening, just replacing. MTD owns Troy Built and just about every other brand name of cheap homeowner equipment. However, I have found their internet mail order service on parts to be very good and I will just order new blades when the time comes, if it ever comes. After 3 years they truly are still cutting as good as new!

    A lawn cart/garden trailer of limbs? No more than 3 or 4 minutes.
    Picture this in your mind: A pile of branches 20' long x 16' wide x 6' high. This is a larger area than two full size pickup trucks parked side by side. Took me about 2 hours!
  6. Larry Davis

    Larry Davis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    Our local Lowe's store carries this unit. However, they seem to sell the 10 HP units as fast as they get them. Most of the time I'm at Lowe's I'll see a bunch of the 6 HP models but rarely the 10 HP. I believe they are still priced at what I paid for mine which was $795.00. Don't know about Home Depot but they probably have the same thing.
  7. 2 clowns mowing

    2 clowns mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 566

    i started out using a troybilt chipper/shredder 6.5 hp, $850.00 chips 3", sold it and bought a mckissic 10 hp $1875.00 it will chip 4.5" limbs and shred 1.5" limbs. has a wheel barrow handle to move it around. Now have the deluxe shredder it's a Eliet 2000 shreds up to 5.5" and has a 20" wide opening. with hydraulic feed and has self propelled drive. costs me $11500.00 it also has a conveyor that hooks on so you can load a wheel barrow or into a pickup. We charge $80 an hour to shred limbs and most customers want to keep the mulch. i still have the mckissic for sell for $1450.00 used it very little. it's a nice machine but we shred several piles a week. with the eliet i don't have to break off limbs to make them fit into the shredder. the eliet has a 16hp engine and 24 blades turning at 3600 rpm's. it works great check them out at :waving:
  8. hdtvluvr

    hdtvluvr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    I checked the Lowe's website and they only have the 6.5 hp listed. I haven't seen a 10hp at my local store either. The next time I am in there I will ask.

    I did see it on the Troy-bilt website for $849 and free shipping. Anyone know if they charge tax?

    I looked for the mckissic website and the only one I found wasn't in English. Of course the $1875 is out of my price range but I thought they may have something in my range.

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