seedtotree

New Member
Location
Grand Rapids
We're in the market for a new 15" chipper. What's the best choice?! We have 2 crews, and currently run a 99' Morbark 2070 (9") and '07 Morbark 15 Tornado. The 2070 is slowing us down big time, and needs to be replaced. We demoed a Vermeer BC1500, Bandit 15XP, and Morbark 1821. All of them had the GM 5.7L 165 hp gas engine. It's a tough choice! My employees like the Vermeer best—they like the new safety features. I looked at it and saw lots of sensors and electrical stuff that could eventually break. The Morbark had very little safety improvements. I thought that the Bandit was a nice compromise of safety features, but still relatively simple. They all seemed to chip nice, though it seemed like the Bandit could take the biggest wood IMO. Anyone else laboring over the same decision?
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
Bandit is all we run, and all we ever run. They are fairly easy to work on, should something great, but nothing really ever seems to. Changing knives is easy, daily maintenance is simple, and they are so heavily built they are nearly bombproof. We have a 1590 that has more than 5500 hours, and has never had a major problem. It just keeps right on chipping away, all day, every day.
 

bck56

Member
I’m in the same boat. I did a demo on the 1821 with the gas. It’s a nice machine but very big also. What do you think if the bandit 15xp? I like that it’s a smaller machine. I’m not sold on the gas engines either. I just think a chipper has to be a diesel when it’s being run hard. Tough for me to buy a new big beautiful machine with a gas engine. That’s my problem with the 1821. Have you considered a diesel?
 

seedtotree

New Member
Location
Grand Rapids
I hear what you're saying about Vermeer and their parts. We own a s800tx mini. The track rollers don't even last a year, and you have to buy them direct from them, and those puppies cost $200 a piece...and there's a lot of them! I spoke with a Ditch Witch rep, and he said that their track rollers have replaceable bearings, and can be fixed for about $20. I wish somebody would have told me that before buying the Vermeer. And hence the reason for wanting to start the thread. The BC1500 seems really nice, a very well thought out machine, but is it a maintenance nightmare?
In regards to the diesel vs gas, I would prefer diesel. But the quote I got from all 3 companies was substantially higher for diesel engines...anywhere from $10k-$20k more! Is it worth it?
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Location
SF Bay Area, CA
Seed......don't buy a Vermeer anything. As far as I know they make them with proprietary parts. (Someone told you. :) )

Diesel engines were about 7 to 10 thousand more than a comparable gas engine before all the emissions issues as far as I knew. They were seen as worth it then. I suspect they are worth it even at higher price differences today more often than not. I personally think a lot of people buying gas will in years to come wish they had not.

Write price difference on one side of the paper - con. On the other side write pros, more power/torque, greater fuel economy by x amount, quieter (as I read in these pages), engine longevity, etc.
 

bck56

Member
Pros of a gas
-$20k cheaper
- less maintenance? Maybe, spark plugs, distributors, longevity after 2000 hours ?
-cheaper fuel, but they’re going to have worse fuel economy of a diesel so that doesn’t really count
-easy winter starting, but how hard is it to add some diesel additive and plug the girl in
-no extensive computer and exhaust components

Cons of a gas
-poor fuel economy
-low power compared to a diesel
- durability over the life a chipper is untested
- still issues with gas engines that are being reported in this forum
-I think resale value will be low (who wants a used gas chipper)

Pros of a diesel
-better fuel economy
-power that’s really needed for a chipper when you consider what a chipper is expected to do day in and day out. Especially on the big jobs when you feed it nonstop with a machine.
-diesel engines just go forever
- better resale value? Not sure with the emissions controls. But I’m willing to bet they can be deleted after the warranty or as soon as the soot becomes an issue

cons of a diesel
-$20k extra
- untested advanced technology ? Maybe.
- expensive repairs ? Maybe if not properly maintained
- short term more expensive to run
- less reliable with the emissions ? I don’t know

I think we are in a transition period with chippers and I’m not sold on the gas being the answer, especially for bigger machines. Maybe I’m wrong but time will tell. I don’t know what the issues are, if any, with new diesels but again time will tell. If I Absolutely had to buy a new bigger chipper I would get a diesel. You’ll make up the $20k difference.
 

Crimsonking

Well-Known Member
Most of the companies I’ve been with either already had all bandit chippers, or were replacing other brands with bandits, for the reasons already mentioned in this thread. I’ve used a 1390 gasser, and diesel 1590, 15xp, 1890, and 1990. The 1390 is definitely louder, but performed well. However, it was new, so longevity hasn’t been tested. The others were all at various stages of use, from new to beaten up, worn out, still grindin’.
 

bck56

Member
Pros of a gas
-$20k cheaper
- less maintenance? Maybe, spark plugs, distributors, longevity after 2000 hours ?
-cheaper fuel, but they’re going to have worse fuel economy of a diesel so that doesn’t really count
-easy winter starting, but how hard is it to add some diesel additive and plug the girl in
-no extensive computer and exhaust components

Cons of a gas
-poor fuel economy
-low power compared to a diesel
- durability over the life a chipper is untested
- still issues with gas engines that are being reported in this forum
-I think resale value will be low (who wants a used gas chipper)

Pros of a diesel
-better fuel economy
-power that’s really needed for a chipper when you consider what a chipper is expected to do day in and day out. Especially on the big jobs when you feed it nonstop with a machine.
-diesel engines just go forever
- better resale value? Not sure with the emissions controls. But I’m willing to bet they can be deleted after the warranty or as soon as the soot becomes an issue

cons of a diesel
-$20k extra
- untested advances technology
- expensive repairs
- short term more expensive
 

Hotsaw

Member
Location
SE PA
Ill give my first hand experience with this. I bought a 19XPC with the 165 GM gas to replace my 250XP with 125 JD diesel back in July 2019. I too was hung up on wanting a diesel esp in a chipper that size. When we demoed it we didnt give it back. It gave up nothing to a diesel. And I have a lot of time running another contractors Morbark Hurricane 18” with a 360hp JD so I can say that imo. Heres my real world numbers. Not stuff spouted by a sales rep. Most of my chipping is done into a 7 yard truck BTW.
Gas 7 gallons fills the truck 4 times/ 7 gallons diesel fills it 2x
Gas is cheaper than diesel
$12k more in my case to get the diesel I thought I wanted. Emissions and trade tariffs drive the cost on most diesels since so much of the parts are imported.
Gas pumps are harder to get into in my area with that big chipper so gotta plan a bit
Gas costs about about $75/ per service less ( in parts, we do the labor in house)
Bandit has a 5 yr warranty on the gas motors. The longest warranty on a diesel is 2 years
If you need dealer service for a gas engine problem Bandit can work on it. If you need diesel service it must go back to the engine manufacturer and there is currently a 6-12 week wait depending on brand of engine
If you idle these new diesels between rigging parts out they jam up the dpf and throw a code into limp which requires a dealer to reset. See previous for wait time to reset the computer...
If you leave it revved up so you can let it regen what are you saving? Lotta hrs and fuel for nothing
Ive seen gassers of this new generation with 3500 hrs on them. By then you certainly got your money out of it
Resale value is a hard one to peg on any chipper ( or equipment) so I wouldnt even put that into a decision

One more fyi my 2 best to date runs with each machine. Keep in mind we were set up to feed both non stop in each case with excavators.
250XP filled a triaxle dump truck ( abt 35-40 yards) in 1/2 hr and used 9 gallons of fuel
19XPC filled 2 bucket truck boxes and a 7 yard truck in 1/2 hr and used 5 gallons of gas.
Good luck with your decision
 

bck56

Member
Thanks for the input. I appreciate your real world experience. 9 gallons of fuel in.a half hour? Did I read that right ? That seams really high
 

Hotsaw

Member
Location
SE PA
Thanks for the input. I appreciate your real world experience. 9 gallons of fuel in.a half hour? Did I read that right ? That seams really high
Yes its correct. We were feeding it with actually 2 excavators and had trees stacked up for days so it was pretty much under full load the whole time. Not like a typical tree removal job with a fair amount of time running no load. This was a small lot clearing. Way too small of a chipper for the job but we all have been in that spot where we make due with what we have and still make money hopefully lol
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
Thanks for the input. I appreciate your real world experience. 9 gallons of fuel in.a half hour? Did I read that right ? That seams really high
That’s pretty impressively bad fuel economy! We have a 1590 with a 148 CAT diesel; it burns 7 gallons per hour full load, but averages about 15 gallons on a very busy day with us, even on days where we may make 80-100 yards of chips.
 

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