Time for a chipper upgrade, what's your preference?

greengreer

TreeHouser
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Oct 13, 2014
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Todd NC
I've outgrown my trusty old bandit 200+. Mostly feeding with mini skidsteer or mini excavator and the chipper has become the bottleneck. It's a terrible time to buy used but I don't think I can afford to wait another year.

Obviously bigger is better but I'd like to stick to towing with my f-550 as we have lots of tight driveways and loose/steep roads here in the mtn's. If I stay below the 8500lb mark I'll be in the sweet spot with the 17500 gvw of the truck giving me under 26k combined. That being said weight isn't the biggest factor, but I would like to keep it single axle for maneuverability.

Pre tier iv is a must, mechanical diesel would be a big plus to me. Winch is a must but can be added on most models, same with autofeed

More interested in the ability to crush tops and feed brush with less saw work than chipping big logs all day. I have a sawmill 15 min down the road and everyone burns firewood here. That being said, there's always junk wood that is better off chipped.

So far I'm looking at:

Bandit 1390/1490/1590.
+ I'm familiar with bandit and have had really good luck with them. Availability is pretty good. Easy enough to add winch if not optioned. Bigger drum than most (37").
-Used pricing is high. Too new for all mechanical diesels. the 18" (1590hd?) is pushing it weight wise

Morbark 15 (tornado?)
+welded infeed looks stout for feeding with machinery. Decent availability. Dealer is better than bandit locally. Pricing seems a little more realistic.
-Unfamiliar with morbark in general. Smaller drum (~20") with only two knives

Morbark 2400 (hurricane)
+ Welded infeed, bigger feed system and drum, 18" capacity, old enough to be available with mechanical motor, decent availablity and pricing
-Stuck to 4cyl due to weight (underpowered?), i've read pre 2001 had trouble throwing chips due to lack of blower

Vermeer BC1800
+readily available, big feed wheels (although vertical?), big drum, lot's out there with winch. pricing is better used than others, old enough to have mechanical motor
-flimsy vermeer bodywork, proprietary parts, underpowered (most older ones are 110hp that i've seen)

Carlton 2015
+ factory is a few hours away and has good support, most have winch, pricing is better than some of the big names
-maybe too new for pre emissions diesel, not very common used

Never seen a woodsman or conehead in person but I would like to know more about them.

Any other machines that fit my criteria that I'm missing?

I'm all ears, so any info or advice is greatly appreciated.
 

greengreer

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That 1890 is a beast, unfortunately Montana is a long drive in an old work truck. Although I'd take about any excuse to be out there
 

treebilly

Student of the Jedi
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North Lawrence,OH
I like bandits. Fairly simple machines and parts are easy enough to source out. Morbark is nice as well. The Vermeer 1800 is reliable but parts can be expensive since many are proprietary. Also a lot of electronic safety switches that can be a pain but once you understand how things work it’s simple, just costly. The verticals rollers take some getting used to when feeding. You really can’t go wrong with any of those 3. I wasn’t impressed with the Carlton we demoed years ago. Had something wrong with it and they didn’t seem to keen on fixing it or getting us another demo. The others you mentioned I have no experience with
 

cory

Tree House enthusiast
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Sounds like you should seriously consider BIGTWIG's chipper.

Talk to him, get some pics and vids. From my armchair he seems like a very honest, knowledgeable, stand up guy who, if you want to buy used gear, he'd be a very good source for it.

Have it shipped to you. EZ PZ :rockhard: :drink:

Edit:Since you are machine feeding, you need something sizable like his chipper
 
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greengreer

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thanks for the replies, that big 1890 is tempting for sure, I doubt the chipper would be my bottle neck anymore. May be a little heavy on the truck and I'm really wanting to stick to the f-550 for a few reasons.
@Altissimus What morbark are you running? What makes you reside in their camp?
 

BeerGeek

Tree Numbnutz
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I run a 2019 Morbark 1621. 122.5 HP Perkins motor, 5K winch, like it's name, 16" wide by 21" high. Eats trees. Was pricey when I bought it, but worth every penny. Eats trees, making disposal oh so much easier. Did I mention that it eats trees?

I bought it because Morbark dealer was close (no others within an hour+ away), and they had less electronic parts that could fail. Glad I did.
 

vharrison

Island Girl
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Take a look at the bandit for sale on this site, he lowered the price to 40,000. It might just fit your needs and you would be surprised at how easy it is to have it shipped to you.
We have a 2004, yes 2004 Bandit 280 HD that kicks butt all the time. We bought it new, take care of it and it has never let us down. We also have a 2017 280 HD that is amazing, well, it is bad to the bone.
Bandit is the way to go. the only way to go :)
 

Altissimus

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I run a comparably small Morbark 7" w Duetz Diesel bought brand new many years back special order with infeed table and axle from the 9" . Before buying I spent years renting , though an expensive time consuming pain in the ass , I got to run several sizes and makes , favor the Morbark for design ... ran three sizes of Bandits gas and that Perkins , yes they DO eat trees but infeed design ... I guess can be clogged easily imo.
 

cory

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I've owned only morbarks and bandits. A 12" model 100-, a 17" model 17 , an 18" model 2400, and my current 18" model 1590 xp, which is 8 y o and is the only chipper I've ever had that has never once clogged.....knock wood. :rockhard: .

It's got a Perkins diesel and perhaps lately has become broken in at around 2k hours and eats an astonishingly small amount of fuel:drink:
 

cory

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I'm not sure how hilly greengeer's 'hood is, but @BIGTWIG , do you think a f550 is enough truck to tow the 1890?
 

cory

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Um that kinda looks like an f550 in the pic of BIG's 1890.
 

greengreer

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I've owned only morbarks and bandits. A 12" model 100-, a 17" model 17 , an 18" model 2400, and my current 18" model 1590 xp, which is 8 y o and is the only chipper I've ever had that has never once clogged.....knock wood. :rockhard: .

It's got a Perkins diesel and perhaps lately has become broken in at around 2k hours and eats an astonishingly small amount of fuel:drink:
How did you like the model 17 & 2400?

I think that 1890 is gonna be pushing it. A buddy of mine had one identical to twig's and it was a lot for his f450 from what he told me
 

greengreer

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Take a look at the bandit for sale on this site, he lowered the price to 40,000. It might just fit your needs and you would be surprised at how easy it is to have it shipped to you.
We have a 2004, yes 2004 Bandit 280 HD that kicks butt all the time. We bought it new, take care of it and it has never let us down. We also have a 2017 280 HD that is amazing, well, it is bad to the bone.
Bandit is the way to go. the only way to go :)
I left the bigger bandit disc chippers out, not for any reason in particular.
4cyl or 6 in your 280's? There's a nice one on treebuzz right now that might fit the bill
 

Nutball

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I prefer vertical feed wheels, but they are more dangerous when hand loading logs because they can swing a log to the side crushing fingers that shouldn't be resting there. They probably clog easier, but just clean them daily or weekly. The horizontal wheels I find more difficult to load long branches into because the branch needs to be lifted and the butt pointing down enough to get in the wheels, especially if the upper wheel is small. Vertical wheels let you just drag the branch in, little to no lifting needed. Single wheel chippers also suck as far as gripping and crushing brush goes.
1661821496821.png
 

cory

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Geez, I'm about ready to buy this chipper!

Not really but yeah. :rockhard:
 

pigwot

Marlee's, Juniper's, and Lowen’s Grandpa
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Delaware, East Coast, USA
I’ve only ever owned Morbark; Friend #1 to this day is an only Bandit shop - electronic issues were his biggest gripe with a 200, but since he upgraded to a 250 no issues.
Friend #2 had Morbark, then Bandit, now two Coneheads. They eat trees, BUT they are big and heavy, and no longer made, so parts could be an issue
 
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