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Small PTO chipper options - Woodland Mills WC46/68/88 or MDL Powerup TH100?


Harry Tate
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Interesting thoughts - thanks guys!

Another detail I didn't include originally - this isn't for constant, commercial-type use, this is for managing woodland and old hedgerows on a small farm.  This Winter I've got about 100-150m of mature (mostly willow this time) hedge trees to coppice (probably 50+ years since last done).  This is probably likely to be a fairly average year of use.  Eventually it'll be similar quantities of dedicated short rotation coppice planting to harvest and process each year.

 

I don't want a frustratingly defective "cheap bag of spanners" from China.  Obviously would prefer locally manufactured but sadly not in a position to pay a massive premium for that.  I am willing to pay a premium over all the no-name rubbish on ebay and elsewhere, in order to get a reliable brand who hold their outsourced eastern manufacturers to high standards though, as well as provide good after-sales support if required.

 

I've got the impression from here and the rest of the internet that WM is fairly well regarded for their hobby/small scale sawmills, is this not the case at all for their chippers? 

 

MDL Powerup is a total wildcard in my mind without any feedback online from un/satisfied customers... I just liked the idea of a small, lightweight, hydraulically-fed drum chipper that can output biomass boiler compatible chips - I haven't seen this from any more well known brands.

Do the Timberwolf 150 or TP130 come up secondhand very often?  What would be a fair price for these?  Hadn't thought of attaching wheels to a heavier machine and towing it... I suspect buying these new might be difficult to justify pricewise.

What would be a good choice for the diesel road-tow option and fair price to expect to pay?

 

I'm hoping to stick to a budget of under £3k if I can... not sure if all the suggestions above are at all compatible with this?

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19 minutes ago, Jase hutch said:

What about a GreenMech EC150TMP ?

GREENMECH.CO.UK

The ECO 150 TMP Woodchipper is used in landscape, golf courses & large estates where compact tractors are used...

 

I'd looked at this but hadn't noticed how light it is!! Only 195kg - how do they manage that?!?  Is that a typo?  Ah wait - "the tractor hydraulics are used to control the feed rollers", so avoiding the dedicated hydraulic pump, reservoir etc of the other options must save a fair bit of weight...

@Jase hutch - did I see on another thread that you work for these guys?  What sort of money do these cost?  My tractor is a "26hp class tractor" according to the sales pitch... however it's actually 24.4hp I think, with obviously somewhat less than that at the (mechanical transmission) PTO.  I don't want to chip anything larger than 3-4" diameter max (probably even more like 3" max), so I'm hoping the lack of power won't be incompatible with running something like this on small stuff only?  I think the hydraulics on the tractor are specced at "20L/min" on the datasheet, I assume that would be enough to allow one of these to function properly?

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I came across one branch logger online, not entirely clear what they do exactly - are they just an automated way of chopping branches up into logs a consistent length?

Maybe that's a solution to a problem I didn't know I had? At the moment, whilst it is labour intensive, I think I'm happy chainsawing anything over 3" or so into firewood manually, but it might be one of those things that I'd never be able to go back to if I knew what I was missing out on?

The brash needs to be chipped for use as ramial mulch for orchard and hedgerow tree weed suppression and nutrient amendment.  Anything over about 3"-4" is firewood for a log burner... I've toyed with the idea of switching to an automated wood chip boiler but it seems like a lot of complication and faff to heat one small (well insulated) house plus a small barn/workshop space.  Seems to me that if your heating needs are large then the complication and cost of biomass boilers make a lot more sense...?

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1 hour ago, Harry Tate said:

I'd looked at this but hadn't noticed how light it is!! Only 195kg - how do they manage that?!?  Is that a typo?  Ah wait - "the tractor hydraulics are used to control the feed rollers", so avoiding the dedicated hydraulic pump, reservoir etc of the other options must save a fair bit of weight...

@Jase hutch - did I see on another thread that you work for these guys?  What sort of money do these cost?  My tractor is a "26hp class tractor" according to the sales pitch... however it's actually 24.4hp I think, with obviously somewhat less than that at the (mechanical transmission) PTO.  I don't want to chip anything larger than 3-4" diameter max (probably even more like 3" max), so I'm hoping the lack of power won't be incompatible with running something like this on small stuff only?  I think the hydraulics on the tractor are specced at "20L/min" on the datasheet, I assume that would be enough to allow one of these to function properly?

@PeteB  Would be the best to advise...

It's heavier than you state though I believe. 

20 litres per minute should be plenty and regarding hp , the first road tow version using the same flywheel and roller box set up was powered by a 25hp Lister Petter engine so your tractor should be fine..

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6 hours ago, Harry Tate said:

Thanks for the replies!

My concern with the TPs are that the smallest hydraulic feed model (TP130) is 523kg, which is just over half the weight of the entire tractor I want to attach it to.  It might theoretically be _nearly_ possible (Three point linkage rated for 750kg, but this is at the ends of the linkage - not including the leverage of the length of the chipper hanging beyond that), but doubt even if the linkage can actually lift it, that the experience moving it about would be very good.  The TP100 is only gravity feed, which I'd like to avoid as I don't like the idea of constantly jarring my hands/wrists when feeding the machine (already suffer from HAVS due to stupidity with cheap vibrating power tools in the past).

 

As for the WC46, I would be grateful to hear what its flaws are if you can find time to explain?  I'm not too keen on that smallest model because the opening for the in-feed roller is too small to accept anything with side branches still attached.  Seems like the WC68 solves that problem at the expense of a bit of extra weight?  Not got any conifers to feed through it either, will be mostly willow, ash, alder, aspen/poplar etc.

 

Does anyone have any experience of MDL Powerup in general, if not this specific product?  Woodland Mills seems to have a pretty good reputation in general with lots of positive videos on Youtube etc.  Can find next to nothing on MDL Powerup though...
 

Biggest problem is not small opening ,but distance between feeding roller and a flywheel ! And to be honest one feeding roller it’s a bit of NAFF🥳 it’s just bad mashine however people say that biggest models a bit better but you need more Hp !

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40 minutes ago, Sviatoslav Tulin said:

Biggest problem is not small opening ,but distance between feeding roller and a flywheel ! And to be honest one feeding roller it’s a bit of NAFF🥳 it’s just bad mashine however people say that biggest models a bit better but you need more Hp !

Thanks for the extra info!

Is the distance between feed-in roller and flywheel a problem because the wood flops about and shreds instead of getting cut cleanly, or is it something else?  Trying to figure out what you mean here...

I agree two rollers would be better, clearly this was a cost saving design decision.  In videos it looks like it works ok if the spring tension is set right for the diameter of the stuff you're feeding in, but if it is set tight enough to grip small stuff it looks like a massive pain to force anything big through without slackening off the spring first?

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