What's your chipping process? (Moving Brush)

Parks

New Member
Location
Oregon
When your starting on a tree whether that be pruning or removing it, what does your guys process look like with the brush? I want to know your beginning to end! (Brush to Chipper)

I've really started contemplating what is most effective, sure seems like industry norm to have one groundsmen dragging brush as it comes down. I'll wait to share my opinion until I see some of yours, don't want to sway anybody.
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
The chipping process varies job to job, but assuming an average sized tree, moderate distance to drag, and space enough to put sizable pieces on the ground, we have one guy stacking/blowing the small debris into piles, a loader moving large pieces and piles to the chipper and feeding them in, and one more person operating the chipper controls to keep things moving through.
 

EasternArborist

New Member
Location
Massachusetts
In general as a groundman, with trees that require rigging the goundman should stick around to get the tree down asap and get the climber back safe on the ground. Stack the brush off to the side to keep the rigging zone cleared, when the climber is moving around you can get some out to the chipper if he need time for rigging. You dont want to leave a climber waiting up in a tree to cut a rigged limb while your fiddling around with branches. If the climber is just bombing limbs and brush take as much away and chip as much as you can obviously while watching overhead. Your climber will be very happy to repel down to an open drop zone. Every job is different, just remember chipping properly stacked and limbed brush is really fast and easy.
 

Mitch Hoy

Well-Known Member
Location
Rochester
Chipping procedure is just as variable to type of operation as it is to equipment. When we used to have a smaller chipper, we had to keep a steady flow of material to not bottleneck our process. Now that we have a large chipper that we feed with a machine, we can stockpile huge amounts of debris wherever it is convenient, and process en mass in a very short time. Decreasing material processing times generates more manpower for other operations, making more complex jobs manageable with a smaller crew, and more volume achievable on a regular basis.
 

OasisTree

Well-Known Member
Location
Central Missouri
The best wood waste program for me is not having a chipper! Then we can cut everything to 8' lengths as soon as it is down, forward it to the a brush pile by the road with a mini loader, and pick it up with the grapple truck at the end of the job. It allows the crew to work ahead of the truck, and the best part is you never have to separate a pile of brush for processing. Not to mention you don't have to have a separate truck/trailer for logs, and you don't have the expense and maintenance of a chipper.

I understand that the cost barrier is significant for a grapple truck, but having chipped brush for 9 years and then using a grapple for 3 years there is no comparison as to the efficiency of the grapple.
 

VenasNursery

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
The best wood waste program for me is not having a chipper! Then we can cut everything to 8' lengths as soon as it is down, forward it to the a brush pile by the road with a mini loader, and pick it up with the grapple truck at the end of the job. It allows the crew to work ahead of the truck, and the best part is you never have to separate a pile of brush for processing. Not to mention you don't have to have a separate truck/trailer for logs, and you don't have the expense and maintenance of a chipper.

I understand that the cost barrier is significant for a grapple truck, but having chipped brush for 9 years and then using a grapple for 3 years there is no comparison as to the efficiency of the grapple.
Only problem for some is dumping

a lot easier to get rid of chips than smack piles of brush at least for me
 

Mitch Hoy

Well-Known Member
Location
Rochester
Grapple trucks are great for many operations. Many companies run them around here, despite high dumping prices and our dump sites being sloping mud pits. They make a lot of sense for companies that focus on bucket access. Many places you can get a boom truck, you can get a grapple truck in, or a big skidder to move short massive piles. If you are sending in a lift to nibble down lots of material very quickly and get out, they make a lot of sense. If you are cutting or rigging large/long pieces (as climbers tend to working from the inside of the tree at attachment points to structure) keeping the pieces long and maneuvering them to be processed is more productive, especially if feeding the chipper is continuous. It skips an additional manned process of loading. Our chipper has a remote that the mini loader operator can use to control the throttle and operation.
Chips are so much easier to get rid of. We even sell some.
I haven’t worked with a grapple truck enough to say what is better for brush capacity. If I had to guess, our 30yd chip truck is comparable to a 50yd grapple. Obviously, grapples excel at large quantities of wood. It’s rare for us to run into a project with that much timber at once, and unless you can get the grapple to it, loading directly into a trailer or can is going to save a step (vs). We run a big trailer that we are probably going to replace with a hooklift this year as opposed to going with a grapple for wood for that reason. Cans are also more versatile for hauling other materials and equipment.
I think it’s important to add that we do not have a lift of any sort in our operation, yet. We climb or use a crane for literally 99% of our business, working a specific (although not small) niche of tree work. The few days we need a bucket we sub one. My perspective on grapples may change after we get a lift, who knows.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
I had a few rules of thumb that were followed all of the time:

No butts on brush
No logs on brush
No stub cuts
Don't mix species or branch structure
Angle the piles in chevrons rather than perpendicular to the centerline of the chipper/curb
Make snap or hinge cuts of any dog'leg branches
Set aside some fan-structured branches to use for chute sweepers and pull in little stuff
Lay a 'barricade' of small brush pieces inside the coned off chipping area if you're on the street...and have the space. Drivers will ignore cones but they won't ignore brush.
 

OasisTree

Well-Known Member
Location
Central Missouri
Grapple trucks are great for many operations. Many companies run them around here, despite high dumping prices and our dump sites being sloping mud pits. They make a lot of sense for companies that focus on bucket access. Many places you can get a boom truck, you can get a grapple truck in, or a big skidder to move short massive piles. If you are sending in a lift to nibble down lots of material very quickly and get out, they make a lot of sense. If you are cutting or rigging large/long pieces (as climbers tend to working from the inside of the tree at attachment points to structure) keeping the pieces long and maneuvering them to be processed is more productive, especially if feeding the chipper is continuous. It skips an additional manned process of loading. Our chipper has a remote that the mini loader operator can use to control the throttle and operation.
Chips are so much easier to get rid of. We even sell some.
I haven’t worked with a grapple truck enough to say what is better for brush capacity. If I had to guess, our 30yd chip truck is comparable to a 50yd grapple. Obviously, grapples excel at large quantities of wood. It’s rare for us to run into a project with that much timber at once, and unless you can get the grapple to it, loading directly into a trailer or can is going to save a step (vs). We run a big trailer that we are probably going to replace with a hooklift this year as opposed to going with a grapple for wood for that reason. Cans are also more versatile for hauling other materials and equipment.
I think it’s important to add that we do not have a lift of any sort in our operation, yet. We climb or use a crane for literally 99% of our business, working a specific (although not small) niche of tree work. The few days we need a bucket we sub one. My perspective on grapples may change after we get a lift, who knows.
I would like to reply to this, but it is off the OP topic and will continue to derail the thread. Some points I agree, some I do not agree.
 

Mitch Hoy

Well-Known Member
Location
Rochester
I would like to reply to this, but it is off the OP topic and will continue to derail the thread. Some points I agree, some I do not agree.
If no one else minds, please go ahead. I am a huge nerd about this stuff and honestly appreciate different perspectives and constructive criticism. I say let’s hear it.
 

Parks

New Member
Location
Oregon
So I actually agree with a lot of points made here. This seems to be the traditional tree service way of chipping as others have said.

My idea was making an edible (chipper) wrap for brush. Instead of dragging on some jobs, being able to continue with the important stuff.

Product A: Wrap that goes around the brush
Product B (Optional): An edible line (rough idea) that brings the pile to the brush. (Optional because some chippers have winches that could serve the same purpose.)



- Load a pile all with the butts going in one direction and have it redirected pulled fully to a chipper or into a chipper. Would be very situation dependant but I could still see it saving myself and my guys on some jobs. (Like Pine Trees for examples, example; if in a bucket just toss all the limbs in one direction ontop of the bottom of wrap then tie the top off.) If clear drag path.

Anybody see any cons/opinion in general besides making more risk in the Job Sites? Would like to hear your thoughts on the idea. Then again there's also OSHA and regulations.

This could also serve a similar purpose for grabbing piles of brush with a skid steer/grapple truck. Would only consider doing it if; A. It can be very cheap to produce (already a hard material problem to solve depending on the chippers) B. Other people see the potential in it. C. The product is called Long Days, because that is what they should be used for :p
 

Parks

New Member
Location
Oregon
I would like to reply to this, but it is off the OP topic and will continue to derail the thread. Some points I agree, some I do not agree.

Let's hear it man, we're all trying to improve at any point possible. The more opinions on chipping in general the better.
 

Parks

New Member
Location
Oregon
I had a few rules of thumb that were followed all of the time:

No butts on brush
No logs on brush
No stub cuts
Don't mix species or branch structure
Angle the piles in chevrons rather than perpendicular to the centerline of the chipper/curb
Make snap or hinge cuts of any dog'leg branches
Set aside some fan-structured branches to use for chute sweepers and pull in little stuff
Lay a 'barricade' of small brush pieces inside the coned off chipping area if you're on the street...and have the space. Drivers will ignore cones but they won't ignore brush.

Actually a great tip on staging a barricade, gotta hate small streets where nobody cares for the speed limit.
 

Parks

New Member
Location
Oregon
I like to move my chipper to the work area, as much as possible, and feed with a machine as much as possible.

Teaching about the benefits of mulch often changes "I don't want my chips" to " let me know if you have any more mulch from other jobs that you can deliver".
Some day somebody is gonna find a good good innovative use for all our extra chips we produce lol. They are gonna start a new industry of their own in their new mansion.
 

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