Ditch Witch 1550 Good Machines or Bad??

Hello, I'm looking to add another rotating grapple to my line up. Was thinking of getting the DW 1550 w/ Ryan's grapple but I've been hearing some bad things about DW. Can anyone share their experiences with me? thx
 

Fivepoints

Branched out member
Not 1550 specific but we have a 650 and an 850. I really like them both. The 650 is a 2006 so its pretty old. Had some issues due to bad designs. The radiator in them is solid mounted so it cracks due to the bouncing. Overall still a good machine. Its made me lots of money over the years. It has over 3000 hours on it.

We have a 2015 sk850 that we bought used from a rental yard. It's been rode hard but keeps on going. I dont care for the newer computerized stuff but it does work, for now. Its much more refined vs our 650. Its faster, smoother, and more powerful. It does start easier in cold weather. I remember it bumping right off last winter when it was showing 19 degrees out. The aux specs are similar between the two but the 850 drives an attachment much harder. Im glad we bought it.

Id definitely buy a ditch witch again. Our nearest dealer is 2 hours away but they have been good about mailing us what we need.
 

Sfoppema

Participating member
Location
Central MA
I would consider getting a 1550 especially because I already have a smaller and narrower machine. The 1050 is 42 inches wide (my 650 is the same), and all smaller ones are the same, maybe slightly narrower. 1550 is 48 inches wide (Might be slightly more), which doesn't sound like much, but will stop you from getting through some areas that the 1050 and smaller will get you through. My 1050 will go through pretty much any gate. Very occasionally a fence gate will be narrower than that (in my area anyway). Depends on where you are working. Going through the woods it can make a big difference as well.
The 1050 is awesome, but it struggles with fat wood. Be nice to have a bigger machine on deck with a larger grapple with rotating function. Usually I just swap to forks, but you can end up making a mess struggling to get odd shaped fat heavy pieces onto the forks properly....
I've come to terms with the fact that big diameter stuff is a pain. Just have to price for it. Then who wants short fat chunks of junky wood.... No one (in MA anyways). They make good lawn ornaments for the lady folk to complain about....
 
Love ours. You see one on a lot near you? We are wait listed for second one. Get the extended warranty to help deal with the occasional emissions issues and drive motor failure. Wouldn't change brands or machines for that though as it's such a stable and productive unit.
 
We actually had the opposite with our 1550’s. We had two of them and we couldn’t keep them running. Both machines had the hydro pumps replaced, always threw fuel rail codes and would shut down, attachment plates cracked and too top it off our dealer sucks. When the dealer came out, they would blame the motor problems on Yammar, I would take it to Yammar and they would blame it on Ditch Witch. I could never get either one to take blame, I just got rid of both at that point.

Hope yours are better.
 

colb

Been here a while
Location
Florida
I bought a high hour sk650. I've had to replace most everything except the hydraulic system. I'm still a DW fan. DWs have run a generation ahead of the other brands in terms of performance for over a decade now. I had trouble with the motor/non-motor passing of the buck between DW and Kubota. I ended up receiving help from Kubota - who makes the block - for replacement. They were closer than my DW dealer so it worked out well. At the end of the day, the DWs just lift heavier payloads and are designed to perform better for tree work than the rare unit (e.g. Toro, etc.) that lifts a similar payload.
 

southsoundtree

Been here a while
Location
Olympia, WA
We actually had the opposite with our 1550’s. We had two of them and we couldn’t keep them running. Both machines had the hydro pumps replaced, always threw fuel rail codes and would shut down, attachment plates cracked and too top it off our dealer sucks. When the dealer came out, they would blame the motor problems on Yammar, I would take it to Yammar and they would blame it on Ditch Witch. I could never get either one to take blame, I just got rid of both at that point.

Hope yours are better.


Back on forum(s), @littlenick ?
 

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