Has anyone tried waxing the inside of their chip box?

TylerYoungblood

New Member
Location
Columbia
I purchased a 2006 GMC C7500 forestry truck last year with a surprisingly solid chip box. No rust on the inside that I can see (though the truck frame is a different story). The truck was obviously taken care of and dumped every night so that the chips didn't rot the chip box. I try to do the same. But for some reason there always seems to be a crust of chips against the back wall that I can't get to slide out.

I took a garden hose and washed out the chip box to make sure the chips weren't one solid fermented layer all stuck together, like you see on the underneath of a lawnmower after a long season of neglect. But they weren't in a big clump. They washed right out and the metal underneath where they tend to stick wasn't pitted or rusted. Seemed the same as the rest of the chip box.

So my questions are these:
  • Do I even need to worry about removing these last few chips every night? Or is emptying chip box of 95% of the chips adequate?
    • Seems like the chips are exactly where the rust would start, so I'm hesitant to leave them.
  • How do you guys clean out your trucks at night? Do you have the same problem getting the last few chips out? And if so, how do you get them out? Water? Rake? Shovel? Broom?
  • Has anyone tried waxing the inside of the chip box with car wax?
    • Seems like this would both help protect the metal and make it more slippery for the chips to fall out.
Two other questions while I'm here:
  • Are all forestry trucks set up like mine where you have to climb up on top to the base of the boom and operate the bucket override controls to lift the boom out of the way before dumping? Or are there trucks with boom override controls at ground level by the outriggers? I'm usually exhausted when I get home and it would be great not to have to make two final trips to the top of the truck to dump the chips.
  • Is there some sort of aftermarket ladder that you can attach to the back of the truck to make climbing up inside it easier? I usually keep a rope attached to the hook at the top of the chip box to help me climb in and out, but I'm not Tarzan so it's awkward. Plus it gets in the way of the chip chute. Every time I try to get into the back of my chip box I think to myself "there's got to be a better way".
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
A roofers shovel with a 5-6' long handle is long enough to reach the front corners of a 10' chip box when it's fully lifted. I like these shovels for the little kickstand on the backside of the blade that makes it easier to pop those stuck chips loose. No need to climb in the chipbox.

I've heard of people spraying the inside of a chip box with diesel in those corners, the oil is supposed to help those chips release. I've never tried it myself

My truck the controls were up on the platform, but could be reached from the ground, but I had to climb up anyways to unstrap the boom before raising it to dump.
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
I shall try to answer all of your questions, at least those I can.

Yes, you should remove all the chips in the corners of the truck bed. We don’t always remove them all every day, but at least once a week in our coated or aluminum beds. Leaving chips there for a period of time will cause rust there eventually, especially Oak as Oak contains a lot of tannic acid.

We find that dumping daily usually gets all the chips out, except in winter when they freeze in place. We don’t always dump every night though, we sometimes have a few chips left overnight so we just use a plastic grain shovel (the same shovels we carry for our cleanups) to clean out the corners about once a week.

Never tried waxing a truck bed, it might work, but I’m not sure it would work real well for real long. We do see that the aluminum beds don’t seem to be as sticky as steel though. Another thought would be to have the inside of the bed coated with Teflon or one of the similar coatings the dump truck companies use to get asphalt and soil to release cleanly.

We use the hitch on the truck or the trailer tongue as a step to get in the trucks, but there are ladders on the market that would work too, I’m sure. Likely one of these would work for you: https://www.buyersproducts.com/catalog/truck-and-trailer-hardware-14
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
I've had some sheets of Delrin that were used to make slippery surfaces. My guess is that some version of HMW sheathing would work. It wouldn't be necessary to do the whole inside either. See which corners are 'sticky' and line those corners only.

Spray on bedliner would work too I bet. Again, do just the 'sticky corner' area.

There are 'bed thumpers' too. I was at the dump and heard an awful noise coming from the end dump next to me. I saw the motor and went to chat with the driver. He fabricated his from a starter motor with a couple of floppy links on the shaft. He wired it up with a spring loaded switch on his dash. Very clever. They are made by truck body outfitters but it would be nothing to fabricate.

Other info:

 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
There may be others, but I think (all?) spray in liners are textured, which would help chips stay in the box.
That has been my experience, I’ve not seen a spray in bedliner that was smooth or slippery, they’re all pretty rough. The LineX in my current pickup is so rough it’s basically impossible to shovel anything off of it, but it sure is durable!
 

Dan Cobb

Well-Known Member
Location
Hoover
Spraying with diesel sounds kinda stinky and environmentally unfriendly, but a pump sprayer with vegetable oil might be worth a try. There are some great high tech coatings available that are super slick and extremely durable, but probably cost prohibitive for a chip box. If you try an electric or pneumatic vibrator, just be aware they tend to make continuous welds crack over time. Best to bolt to a piece of steel c-channel that is stitch welded to the item to be vibrated. Use grade 5 bolts, grade 8 are stronger, but more brittle. Good safety practice to have a safety cable on the vibrator in case it breaks loose.
 

TreeCo

Well-Known Member
Chip boxes often get used as a bathroom.

Don't let the crew go in the corners, no matter what their business.

Have them go in the center a couple of feet from the front of the chip box.

For getting out hung chips I use a piece of 1" pvc long enough to stick out the back of the box about 3 ft.
 

TylerYoungblood

New Member
Location
Columbia
Really great suggestions! I think I might try to fabricate my own retractable truck step (https://www.buyersproducts.com/product/retractable-truck-step-777). Not sure why I hadn’t thought of that before. And I’ll try waxing and report back. If that doesn’t work well I’ll try vegetable oil or maybe diesel. But yea, sounds stinky. Or maybe I’ll give gator glide a try.

Honestly I’ve never thought about using the chip bed as a bathroom. My guys never do it. They have their own vehicles and can run to a gas station. But sometimes I work jobs alone and I dread those days because inevitably I’ve had mexican the night before and 60’ in the air I realize it’s time for my daily constitutional. I hate pulling up outriggers and driving a truck and chipper down the street looking for a bathroom. Maybe I should start keeping a 5-gallon bucket with a seat in my chip box? I’ve used them before camping and they work great! Just gotta remember to remove it before dumping the chips!

Seriously, thanks for the advice! On all fronts. Really helpful people here. As a relatively new tree guy (starting my 3rd season) I’m very grateful to have forums like this one as a resource!
 

TylerYoungblood

New Member
Location
Columbia
Really great suggestions! I think I might try to fabricate my own retractable truck step (https://www.buyersproducts.com/product/retractable-truck-step-777). Not sure why I hadn’t thought of that before. And I’ll try waxing and report back. If that doesn’t work well I’ll try vegetable oil or maybe diesel. But yea, sounds stinky. Or maybe I’ll give gator glide a try

Honestly I’ve never thought about using the chip bed as a bathroom. My guys never do it. They have their own vehicles and can run to a gas station. But sometimes I work jobs alone and I dread those days because inevitably I’ve had mexican the night before and 60’ in the air I realize it’s time for my daily constitutional. I hate pulling up outriggers and driving a truck and chipper down the street looking for a bathroom. Maybe I should start keeping a 5-gallon bucket with a seat in my chip box? I’ve used them before camping and they work great! Just gotta remember to remove it before dumping the chips!

Seriously, thanks for the advice! On all fronts. Really helpful people here. As a relatively new tree guy (starting my 3rd season) I’m very grateful to have forums like this one as a resource!
 

TCtreeswinger

Well-Known Member
I cant remember where I've seen them but I've seen fuel tank steps attached to 1.5" cable as a "rope ladder". Seemed to be stable enough but still flexible i.e. bending inside the bumper when dumping?
 

TylerYoungblood

New Member
Location
Columbia
I looked at the slide-out ladders and there doesn't seem to be a spot to put one on my truck with the way the frame meets up with the chip box. So that's out. Sadly. I think that's the least obtrusive option.

I also looked at the cable step. Even if I only got the 12" version (single step) it would help. That first step would be a stretch. About the same as getting your foot in a saddle's stirrup when mounting a horse. No easy (for my 40+ year old body anyway) but definitely doable. The 24" version (two steps) is half rigid and half flexible. So I think that one is even possible, meaning it will flex enough to fully lift the chip box without colliding with my rear bumper.

However, I think I've got an even better plan. When I went out and took measurements for the possible options above it occurred to me to measure my chip door, which is a little over 6' long. So I'm thinking about hanging a 6' straight ladder on the inside of my chip door. The ladder won't be heavy enough to hurt anything and I never fill my chip box (most of my jobs are small and I would dump mid-job on a larger job to prevent overloading). I can't think of a reason that this would be a bad idea.

I know, I know. I also have a dedicated spot for a 10' ladder ... in the ladder storage area. But I'm using that for my pole saw, rake, shovel, etc. Plus a 10' ladder would actually be too tall to be useful to get into the back of the truck. I might even be able to get away with a 12' extension ladder (or maybe it's a 10' extension ladder that collapses to 6' long, I'd have to check). But since I have a bucket truck I've never needed a ladder. Ever. Except to get into the back of my truck.

Anyway, that's my thought. I can buy a brand new 300 pound capacity ladder with free shipping from Zoro (whoever they are) for less than $100.

https://www.zoro.com/louisville-straight-ladder-6-ft-fiberglass-natural-fh1006/i/G0658467/

Or I can pay the Granger premium and get one locally for 1.5 times that amount. But I'm not in that kind of hurry. :)
 

hseII

Well-Known Member
Location
United States
I looked at the slide-out ladders and there doesn't seem to be a spot to put one on my truck with the way the frame meets up with the chip box. So that's out. Sadly. I think that's the least obtrusive option.

I also looked at the cable step. Even if I only got the 12" version (single step) it would help. That first step would be a stretch. About the same as getting your foot in a saddle's stirrup when mounting a horse. No easy (for my 40+ year old body anyway) but definitely doable. The 24" version (two steps) is half rigid and half flexible. So I think that one is even possible, meaning it will flex enough to fully lift the chip box without colliding with my rear bumper.

However, I think I've got an even better plan. When I went out and took measurements for the possible options above it occurred to me to measure my chip door, which is a little over 6' long. So I'm thinking about hanging a 6' straight ladder on the inside of my chip door. The ladder won't be heavy enough to hurt anything and I never fill my chip box (most of my jobs are small and I would dump mid-job on a larger job to prevent overloading). I can't think of a reason that this would be a bad idea.

I know, I know. I also have a dedicated spot for a 10' ladder ... in the ladder storage area. But I'm using that for my pole saw, rake, shovel, etc. Plus a 10' ladder would actually be too tall to be useful to get into the back of the truck. I might even be able to get away with a 12' extension ladder (or maybe it's a 10' extension ladder that collapses to 6' long, I'd have to check). But since I have a bucket truck I've never needed a ladder. Ever. Except to get into the back of my truck.

Anyway, that's my thought. I can buy a brand new 300 pound capacity ladder with free shipping from Zoro (whoever they are) for less than $100.

https://www.zoro.com/louisville-straight-ladder-6-ft-fiberglass-natural-fh1006/i/G0658467/

Or I can pay the Granger premium and get one locally for 1.5 times that amount. But I'm not in that kind of hurry. :)

Consider putting the ladder on the outside of your door with a fold down section to your choosing.

I relocated mine to the side above the rear wheels so I could step up on the tires as I would think mounted inside would hang on limbs/ branches.

9fc80ed219fdbb2edcb02e576564bed4.jpg


I cut the bottom off to clear the ramps...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
Last edited:

flushcut

Well-Known Member
Location
Delavan, WI
I've had some sheets of Delrin that were used to make slippery surfaces. My guess is that some version of HMW sheathing would work. It wouldn't be necessary to do the whole inside either. See which corners are 'sticky' and line those corners only.

Spray on bedliner would work too I bet. Again, do just the 'sticky corner' area.

There are 'bed thumpers' too. I was at the dump and heard an awful noise coming from the end dump next to me. I saw the motor and went to chat with the driver. He fabricated his from a starter motor with a couple of floppy links on the shaft. He wired it up with a spring loaded switch on his dash. Very clever. They are made by truck body outfitters but it would be nothing to fabricate.

Other info:

Spray in bed liner is bullshit inside a chip box don't do it. It does not last Line X brand double layer, no good.
Just use a pole saw pole and knock the corners loose it takes all of a minute and half. A hose and a rattle can every other year will keep your box looking good.
 

SomethingWitty

Arkansawyer
Location
LR
A roofers shovel with a 5-6' long handle is long enough to reach the front corners of a 10' chip box when it's fully lifted. I like these shovels for the little kickstand on the backside of the blade that makes it easier to pop those stuck chips loose. No need to climb in the chipbox.

I've heard of people spraying the inside of a chip box with diesel in those corners, the oil is supposed to help those chips release. I've never tried it myself

My truck the controls were up on the platform, but could be reached from the ground, but I had to climb up anyways to unstrap the boom before raising it to dump.
If diesel makes a difference, I haven't noticed. We did try it briefly, but it made walking insides the box for any reason really fucking sketchy.
It also feels dirty. Someone might use some of those chips.
Just use a pole. We have about a 10' stick inside the long box for poking the corners out.
 

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