What's your chipping process? (Moving Brush)

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
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
Sounds like you'll need a big chipper for this to work. I run a 12" and some limbs are at the max on their own, let alone wrapped up with half the tree. However if its a straight shot and the wrap is slick to help skid, it might be nice for getting to the chipper, but then the brush will be tangled and compacted. A non issue if its being skidded to the road for a grapple truck
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
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.
Someone on here had a woodstove that ran off of woodchips. Maybe not super innovative, (burning wood for heat) but I suspect that if a homeowner had one of these, they'd never be wanting for wood as we are always trying to get rid of the chips.

It'd be like having an unlimited supply of split firewood delivered whenever you want, and the guy delivering it would be happy to give it to you.
 

Chaplain242

Well-Known Member
Some
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
Some already use thin sisal rope etc as biodegradable ‘wrap’ for reeds, vines, thin palm, saplings etc so that it will chip and not just wrap around the drum etc but after the oil industry demand for natural fibre rope it became in short supply - not sure if back to full supply. Even if willing to pay a high price you couldn’t buy natural fibre rope to save yourself a couple years ago. I now keep a roll handy for just such a job as it can save considerable time not untangling a drum...
 

VenasNursery

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
If you stack all buts the same way in a orderly fashion a loader with a grapple will feed the chipper
As said above a large enough chipper you can feed whole trees
We feed limbs and trees that we shut down both directions of the road and still have to watch out for mailboxes
:bananahappy:
don’t know why anyone would want to take time to bundle and tie up brush
Spend money on something to chip up
:tonto:
 

Parks

New Member
Location
Oregon
Sounds like you'll need a big chipper for this to work. I run a 12" and some limbs are at the max on their own, let alone wrapped up with half the tree. However if its a straight shot and the wrap is slick to help skid, it might be nice for getting to the chipper, but then the brush will be tangled and compacted. A non issue if its being skidded to the road for a grapple truck

That's a good point, I was thinking jogging would be useful as well but at some points it can just be tooo much.
 

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.
OK here it is...First a disclaimer, I am not as experienced or nearly as big of an operator as some on here. We are a one crew operation, and instead of expanding to multiple crews as we grew, we focused on honing our skills and being more efficient. That led to trying different equipment, and trying different things.
As a side note - when something is working for us, we tend to close our minds to how we could better ourselves and what the options are outside of our point of view.
So we started with a 12" chipper, and hand fed everything. When we purchased a mini it was quite a gamechanger. Then we upgraded our chipper so we had hydraulic down pressure, and that was a huge help. After climbing for 9 years, we purchased our first lift...a Nifty SD64. My expectations were low, because we were working a lake market and most of our competition were primarily climbers. After using it, I realized that the profit margins were much better, and we did not need all of the jobs we were bidding to make a good living. We just needed to get the jobs we had the equipment for! That was a major shift in our operation, and from then on we focused primarily on lift work and crane jobs.
I realized that with the additional output of a lift we were going to run into capacity issues, so we decided to try JMAC's truck setup...A rear-mount grapple truck that has a U frame that you can chip into, and it also dumps. At this point I was still convinced that chipping was the best way to get rid of brush.
After a couple of months of chipping brush, and using the grapple to load logs on top, our chipper broke down for a week. My guys figured out that they could get nearly as much in the truck by stomping down the brush with the grapple as chipping, and then when they put the logs that crushed it down even more! So the chipper got left behind more and more, and finally they just quit using it. I will add that it would be overkill if we were just trimming most of the time, and where it shines is crane jobs and multiple removals.
Also where I live the land is a bit cheaper, and although I do get a permit to burn the burning regulations are less. But based on our experience, if I couldn't burn, I still think I would rather put the 50K it would take to buy a big chipper and spend it on land, and hire someone to come in with a tub grinder rather than chipping onsite.
Plus you add the additional value of taking all the wood out in log lengths, it can really make a difference! I actually just started a sawmill with all the logs I have accumulated over the last year, and although I don't expect to be able to fully supply it, it will definitely cut down on how many we will have to purchase.

Sorry for the long post...This is just a view from my corner.
 

JaredDTS

Member
Location
Kill Devil Hills
You can wrap brush piles with a rope. Bowline or something on one end of the rope and pull the other end through to cinch down the pile. Drag or winch to chipper and then pull the rope out. I had a similar thought as Jehinten. It would need to be a large feed opening ok your chipper or you'd be doing small piles at a time or pulling piles apart at the chipper which is not fun.
 

Parks

New Member
Location
Oregon
OK here it is...First a disclaimer, I am not as experienced or nearly as big of an operator as some on here. We are a one crew operation, and instead of expanding to multiple crews as we grew, we focused on honing our skills and being more efficient. That led to trying different equipment, and trying different things.
As a side note - when something is working for us, we tend to close our minds to how we could better ourselves and what the options are outside of our point of view.
So we started with a 12" chipper, and hand fed everything. When we purchased a mini it was quite a gamechanger. Then we upgraded our chipper so we had hydraulic down pressure, and that was a huge help. After climbing for 9 years, we purchased our first lift...a Nifty SD64. My expectations were low, because we were working a lake market and most of our competition were primarily climbers. After using it, I realized that the profit margins were much better, and we did not need all of the jobs we were bidding to make a good living. We just needed to get the jobs we had the equipment for! That was a major shift in our operation, and from then on we focused primarily on lift work and crane jobs.
I realized that with the additional output of a lift we were going to run into capacity issues, so we decided to try JMAC's truck setup...A rear-mount grapple truck that has a U frame that you can chip into, and it also dumps. At this point I was still convinced that chipping was the best way to get rid of brush.
After a couple of months of chipping brush, and using the grapple to load logs on top, our chipper broke down for a week. My guys figured out that they could get nearly as much in the truck by stomping down the brush with the grapple as chipping, and then when they put the logs that crushed it down even more! So the chipper got left behind more and more, and finally they just quit using it. I will add that it would be overkill if we were just trimming most of the time, and where it shines is crane jobs and multiple removals.
Also where I live the land is a bit cheaper, and although I do get a permit to burn the burning regulations are less. But based on our experience, if I couldn't burn, I still think I would rather put the 50K it would take to buy a big chipper and spend it on land, and hire someone to come in with a tub grinder rather than chipping onsite.
Plus you add the additional value of taking all the wood out in log lengths, it can really make a difference! I actually just started a sawmill with all the logs I have accumulated over the last year, and although I don't expect to be able to fully supply it, it will definitely cut down on how many we will have to purchase.

Sorry for the long post...This is just a view from my corner.

Hmmm if only I had a grapple to try this with. Thank you for the share though, really. These are the type of posts that I am truly looking for, something to consider for myself down the road!
 

OasisTree

Well-Known Member
Location
Central Missouri
Someone on here had a woodstove that ran off of woodchips. Maybe not super innovative, (burning wood for heat) but I suspect that if a homeowner had one of these, they'd never be wanting for wood as we are always trying to get rid of the chips.

It'd be like having an unlimited supply of split firewood delivered whenever you want, and the guy delivering it would be happy to give it to you.
The person you referenced that had a chip burner was me.

I thought the idea was super cool...The reality was a bit different - those stoves burn super hot as they burn the methane gas off of the green chips. The temp was a little hard to regulate, and it always needs an outlet for the heat it produces. It cant sit at idle without overheating.

It was a bit particular about what fed it...I actually ended up chipping special loads of white oak logs because that is what worked the best.

I had one of the smallest ones, and it was still too much for our 5,000 sq. ft. house/shop combo. Also, input costs was about double compared to propane. I ran it 3 years, and then sold it and switched to propane.

I went from having a separate building and 30-60 min. tending it each day, to a small on-demand propane water heater mounted on the wall and never having to even look at it.
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
Someone on here had a woodstove that ran off of woodchips. Maybe not super innovative, (burning wood for heat) but I suspect that if a homeowner had one of these, they'd never be wanting for wood as we are always trying to get rid of the chips.

It'd be like having an unlimited supply of split firewood delivered whenever you want, and the guy delivering it would be happy to give it to you.
We have a guy in this area with a chip burner; it’s pretty impressive. Dump truck loads of chips go in, an auger feeds it, and it’s self lighting. I want one when we build our next shop, they’re fairly expensive ($25k+) but worth it to have something so easy and with no fuel costs.
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
The person you referenced that had a chip burner was me.

I thought the idea was super cool...The reality was a bit different - those stoves burn super hot as they burn the methane gas off of the green chips. The temp was a little hard to regulate, and it always needs an outlet for the heat it produces. It cant sit at idle without overheating.

It was a bit particular about what fed it...I actually ended up chipping special loads of white oak logs because that is what worked the best.

I had one of the smallest ones, and it was still too much for our 5,000 sq. ft. house/shop combo. Also, input costs was about double compared to propane. I ran it 3 years, and then sold it and switched to propane.

I went from having a separate building and 30-60 min. tending it each day, to a small on-demand propane water heater mounted on the wall and never having to even look at it.
I remembered the pics and description, but could not remember who's it was. Thanks for the update on it, it seems like a cool design but may be best for heating the outdoors if its running that hot. ;)
 

Mitch Hoy

Well-Known Member
Location
Rochester
OK here it is...First a disclaimer, I am not as experienced or nearly as big of an operator as some on here. We are a one crew operation, and instead of expanding to multiple crews as we grew, we focused on honing our skills and being more efficient. That led to trying different equipment, and trying different things.
As a side note - when something is working for us, we tend to close our minds to how we could better ourselves and what the options are outside of our point of view.
So we started with a 12" chipper, and hand fed everything. When we purchased a mini it was quite a gamechanger. Then we upgraded our chipper so we had hydraulic down pressure, and that was a huge help. After climbing for 9 years, we purchased our first lift...a Nifty SD64. My expectations were low, because we were working a lake market and most of our competition were primarily climbers. After using it, I realized that the profit margins were much better, and we did not need all of the jobs we were bidding to make a good living. We just needed to get the jobs we had the equipment for! That was a major shift in our operation, and from then on we focused primarily on lift work and crane jobs.
I realized that with the additional output of a lift we were going to run into capacity issues, so we decided to try JMAC's truck setup...A rear-mount grapple truck that has a U frame that you can chip into, and it also dumps. At this point I was still convinced that chipping was the best way to get rid of brush.
After a couple of months of chipping brush, and using the grapple to load logs on top, our chipper broke down for a week. My guys figured out that they could get nearly as much in the truck by stomping down the brush with the grapple as chipping, and then when they put the logs that crushed it down even more! So the chipper got left behind more and more, and finally they just quit using it. I will add that it would be overkill if we were just trimming most of the time, and where it shines is crane jobs and multiple removals.
Also where I live the land is a bit cheaper, and although I do get a permit to burn the burning regulations are less. But based on our experience, if I couldn't burn, I still think I would rather put the 50K it would take to buy a big chipper and spend it on land, and hire someone to come in with a tub grinder rather than chipping onsite.
Plus you add the additional value of taking all the wood out in log lengths, it can really make a difference! I actually just started a sawmill with all the logs I have accumulated over the last year, and although I don't expect to be able to fully supply it, it will definitely cut down on how many we will have to purchase.

Sorry for the long post...This is just a view from my corner.
Thanks for the perspective. I think we have more similar points than not, actually. I had to think about this a lot before we upgraded to a truck and chipper that cost just as much as a nice grapple truck. It all came down to the type of work we do most (difficult access removals), how we move the material to the street, and how difficult it is for us to get rid of material around here. In the end, having the ability to have one employee move large pieces of tree and process them quickly into the truck in a single operation straight from the landing zone made sense, and not having to worry as much about dumping made sense.
Land is very expensive here, and some of the companies I know that run grapples have had land prior to land prices shooting up (a decade or more). We had a tornado two years ago, and two of our three brush dumps took it as an opportunity to raise their dumping prices by 1000% over night. My 14yd dump trailer went from $30 to $300 at one site. I know of one company that has mostly had their grapple parked after that, and another that went from mostly loading brush to mostly chipping brush that runs multiple crews.
The only unsettled question for me is capacity. I would assume that chipped material is more dense, and my experience working with and subcontracting grapple trucks would lean that way. I guess I won't know unless I buy a grapple truck.
 

timmysaint

Active Member
Location
Ontario
We're a really, really small operation. I work with a full-time groundman/climber for pruning work, and schedule a part-time groundman when the job is bigger. Either my groundman is dragging all day (or I'm dragging - I like the work out), but when we have more technical jobs with lots of rope work (and I don't feel like hanging there waiting for them) I bring on one other guy.

We only climb - no big equipment or bucket trucks.

Having said that, definitely focus on pruning work and small-to-medium removals (think 20" DBH, 60-70' height, or something like that).

I'm still using the Bandit 65XP which I just use for brush. Anything larger than that is firewood-ed. I burn about 10 cords per winter (yurt, go figure), and the folks keep 3 fireplaces running, so you can imagine...

Our chips are used in our garden (it's 1/4 acre garden, so it used alot of chips), or just spread in the bush. We're on 30 acres or so, just outside of Toronto. So, I'm not worrying about dumping fees, etc. My part-time guy is a farmer 20 minutes away, and also uses a ton of chips. We also provide free chips to the local schoolboard for playgrounds...etc.
 
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DupreeLLT

New Member
Location
Da Burgh
we typically chip as big as we can get on the ground and to the chipper without damaging anything. 20+inch chipper and let the machine do all the dragging
 

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rope-a-dope

Well-Known Member
Location
Asheville
Man I hate hashing up brush in a truck or trailer. I had both today, almost filled up and it is so painful. The chipper broke down yesterday, which is a huge bummer because that is such a better process for me and my crew! Plus the chipper winch is so clutch. My crew is one of two and the other guys get the single mini skid and extra truck. Our typical jobs are pruning and smaller removals obviously, but those removals absolutely need to be getting chipped and cleaned simultaneously with cutting to hit our productivity goals. There is nothing worse for efficiency than a huge shit pile getting picked apart by hand.
 

rope-a-dope

Well-Known Member
Location
Asheville
Right, I think that's a thread theme. Do what makes the most sense for your situation. If you spend most of your time pruning with the occasional removal there is no need to mess with a massive grapple truck!
And as for working by yourself, theres no right or wrong way cuz you only have what you can bring and do at one time.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
Every job and situation is different. Sometimes it’s two climbers raining brush at the same time and chipping between trees. Sometimes it’s rigging and staging brush in piles to chip later. sometimes it’s chipping as it comes down.
 

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