Chipper size

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Moose's Mowing, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    Hey all,

    I have a small tree job to do this weekend. I'm going to rent a chipper to make my life easier. I have two 20ish foot pine trees to take down. about 6-8" diameter. not too big but lots of branches. will be a PITA to haul away so I figured I'd chip them onsite into my pickup. She also wants her butterfly bushes cut down and three other small shrubs cut. so a total of 2 pine trees and about 7 bushes need chipped. the bushes aren't an issue, they're only about 1" sticks max. the pines are what have me wondering. I certainly don't need to rent a 12" chipper. I don't have to chip the trunks of the trees, just the branches. But my options are a 3" for $55/day from one place, and from another place they have a 4" for $115. I'm thinking the 4" will be a mini sized tow behind chipper and the 3" will be a "pick it up and put it in the truck" type of thing.

    Right now I'm leaning toward the 4" but I just want to make sure it'll be large enough. Everything being chipped will be less than 2" but every pine branch will be a Y shape. I'd just hate to waste $ by renting something that isn't gonna do me any good. If these small chippers are a waste, I can just load the trailer and pickup and make two or three trips but I'd rather not have to. I can also use the chips for mulch around my barn at home and I have some junk at home that needs chipped while I have the machine. What do you guys think? Will a 4" work for me?
  2. metro36

    metro36 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,417

    It depends on what your disposal cost are and how far your dump site is. A chipper makes life a lot easier but for small loads I dont bother. I only rent a chipper when I have 20+ yards of brush. Otherwise it is cheaper to just load it and haul it. If you only have a few pickup loads I cant see a chipper being worth it.

    That being said, if you are set on renting a chipper, I would rent a 6" hydraulic feed unit. All of the small units are just a pain because the branches have to be chopped up small and must be straight to get them to feed. I did use a bearcat 5" chipper once which had a large infeed so I didnt mind it. If your rental place has a 4-5" with a large infeed you might be ok but I would still get a 6". I usually do all the cutting first and line the brush up to be chipped. Then I go get the chipper, chip, and return. This way I only need it for less than 4 hours which is the minimum rental.
  3. TriCountyLawn

    TriCountyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,517

    My go to chipper size is usually 6", that said based on the rental places here the 4 different units I have to choose from all say 6" but performance greatly varies. Doesn't sound like that will be a problem for you on this project.

    I can always go to the 12" chipper if needed but when your playing with project like that Its usually cheaper to do some sub contracting. good luck and be safe
  4. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,087

    Just hire someone with a chipper, help him chip and give him a hundred bucks cash. You will be done in 15 min.
  5. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    i don't know how you priced the job, but i would cut the two pines at the base, and rent a 12" chipper and chip them whole, same with the bushes and be done very fast. I would try to line some other chipping jobs before i do this one that way you can get a whole day of work and maximize your money. save yourself a lot of time by not having to cut the branches off at all!
  6. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

    sub it to the tree guy with a 12"+ chipper and make money while they do the work--chippers aren't for everyone and certainly are not for chipping into the back of a pickup
  7. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    well, i skipped the chipper all together. turns out the son had already taken care of all the shrubs, which was great. so i just cut and hauled the pines away. was able to get both in one it was all profit this time. I'd still like to have a small chipper for those little odd jobs here and there just to make transporting debris easier. something like a 3" chipper than can ride on the trailer. But i've used a 4 or 5 inch job before and it was worthless so im guessing a smaller one would be even worse.
  8. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,763

    I'd do the same thing. No limbing, so no real mess to clean up.
  9. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    yep, except i don't usually rent a chipper anymore since i bought one from my profits i made from the storm we got last october, I used it a lot from november until probably march with zero issues, and this summer it has had a bunch of little gremlins that keep haunting me. but still a good investment, because it has given a huge return like 1000% maybe more. in under 12 months.

Share This Page