Spit­ting chips

Wal­len­stein BX102R PTO hy­draulic feed chip­per

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -

The BX102R chip­per is the largest in the Wal­len­stein link­age range. It han­dles logs up to 10 inches (26cm) in di­am­e­ter; has a hy­draulic roller feed sys­tem; and a 914mm ro­tor with four seg­mented knives that chops then blasts the chips up the dis­charge chute, where they are re­leased at a height of 277cm.

A wood chip­per has tra­di­tion­ally not been high on the list of must-haves on sheep, cat­tle and crop­ping prop­er­ties across Aus­tralia. How­ever, with the grow­ing trend against burn­ing waste tim­ber and cut­tings on farms be­cause of the ef­fects of car­bon on the at­mos­phere, we may see wood chip­ping be­com­ing an ef­fec­tive al­ter­na­tive to burn­ing.

Most prop­er­ties have waste tim­ber. Whether this is a con­tin­ual ac­cu­mu­la­tion of cut­tings from or­chards, vine­yards or tree farms, or just tim­ber that needs to be dis­posed of to main­tain a tidy en­vi­ron­ment, a wood chip­per can con­vert the worth­less waste into a prod­uct with value.

The wood­chips can be re­cy­cled back onto the prop­erty as mulch and soft floor­ing in stock yards or mar­keted for sale as an ex­tra in­come stream for the en­ter­prise.

The BX102R and other Wal­len­stein ag im­ple­ments are man­u­fac­tured in Canada by EMB MFG and im­ported into Aus­tralia by Sota Trac­tors.

With a large pro­por­tion of Canada’s in­come still com­ing in some way, shape or form from the tim­ber in­dus­try, it’s not sur­pris­ing that it is also in­volved in the man­u­fac­ture of qual­ity equip­ment used to ser­vice that in­dus­try.

EMB MFG be­gan build­ing log split­ters more than 25 years ago near the ru­ral com­mu­nity of Wal­len­stein, On­tario. The log split­ters quickly gained a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing ex­cel­lent qual­ity with ex­cep­tional dura­bil­ity.

The pop­u­lar­ity of th­ese log split­ters led to the cre­ation of the Wal­len­stein brand name.

The com­pany grew and, within a few years, Wal­len­stein log split­ters could be found in na­tional re­tail­ers and farm equip­ment deal­er­ships across Canada.

In 1995, EMB MFG moved to its cur­rent lo­ca­tion out­side St Cle­ments, On­tario and cur­rently em­ploys about 30 peo­ple in engi­neer­ing, pro­duc­tion and sales.

To­day, the Wal­len­stein prod­uct range has grown from the orig­i­nal split­ter range to in­clude wood chip­pers, skid­ding winches, com­pact ma­nure spread­ers and a wood pro­cess­ing unit ca­pa­ble of cut­ting, split­ting and load­ing in one op­er­a­tion.

I don’t know about you, but when I think of the Cana­dian tim­ber in­dus­try I as­so­ciate it with 7ft-tall lum­ber­jacks with arms the size of tree trunks car­ry­ing a chain­saw in one hand and an axe in the other.

Like the men who work in the in­dus­try, the BX102R is also a brute to look at and, when you fire it up and start feed­ing logs down its throat, it cer­tainly lives up to the rep­u­ta­tion gained by the lum­ber­jacks of old.

POWER PLAY

To op­er­ate the Wal­len­stein BX102R link­age chip­per to its full po­ten­tial, you are go­ing to need a trac­tor with a power out­put of some­where be­tween 65hp and 150hp.

It’s not so much the weight of the ma­chine that de­mands this size trac­tor, be­cause it only weighs 885kg, but rather about hav­ing enough horse­power avail­able to run the hy­draulics and main­tain the PTO speed when the chip­per comes un­der ex­treme load.

It is es­sen­tial that the trac­tor has at least one set of hy­draulic re­motes with con­stant flow ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing hy­draulic oil flow in the vicin­ity of 15-31L/min to drive the feed rollers, a 1000/540 rear PTO drive to turn the big 193kg chip­ping ro­tor, and Cat II three-point link­age for hitch­ing it up.

We used a 110hp Farm­trac trac­tor run­ning at 540 PTO revs for the test and it didn’t even flinch as we fed log af­ter log into it.

Once you get the big 193kg ro­tor spin­ning, it acts as a fly­wheel and its own weight does most of the work of main­tain­ing the ma­chine’s mo­men­tum.

SET­TING UP

When you ar­rive at the site for work, you lower the link­age down to al­low the chip­per to sit firmly on the ground. It has an ad­justable leg stand that puts the ma­chine at its cor­rect work­ing height to keep the PTO shaft as close to hor­i­zon­tal as pos­si­ble.

It’s im­pos­si­ble not to get bit ex­cited and feel a sense of child­like sat­is­fac­tion watch­ing the huge logs get dragged in, smashed to pieces and spat out onto the ground

The hop­per can now be folded down from its up­right trans­port po­si­tion into a hor­i­zon­tal work po­si­tion with its 30-inch x 42-inch (76cm x 107cm) open­ing fac­ing to the rear.

Once it’s down and level, it’s worth con­sid­er­ing where you want the chips to fly. Ob­vi­ously you don’t want them aimed at you, the op­er­a­tor or the trac­tor.

The dis­charge chute is de­signed with a spring-loaded latch han­dle that al­lows the chute to be po­si­tioned through a full 360 de­grees then locked into po­si­tion with the latch.

The chute is equipped with a spring-ten­sioned hood de­flec­tor on the end of the chute to di­rect the chips ex­actly where de­sired. The height of the dis­charge chute is 277cm so the chips can be fired straight into the back of a truck or di­rected into a pile on the ground.

Turn­ing on the PTO and en­gag­ing the hy­draulics to con­stant flow has you ready for de­mo­li­tion.

At this point I would rec­om­mend hav­ing a play with the hy­draulic roller feed lever to just get used to the speed and di­rec­tion of travel.

The hy­draulic feed cir­cuit is equipped with a man­u­ally set flow con­trol. The op­er­a­tor can ad­just the feed­ing speed ap­pro­pri­ate for the op­er­at­ing con­di­tions. In­crease the speed when chip­ping brush or twigs. De­crease the speed when chip­ping hard, solid ma­te­rial or when the en­gine load is ex­ces­sive.

The feed roller con­trol bar con­trols its for­ward, re­verse and stop ac­tion.

I have mixed feel­ings about it. On the pos­i­tive side the bar con­trols the en­try of tim­ber into the ro­tor; it can be eas­ily op­er­ated from ei­ther side of the hop­per; and, for safety, it in­stantly stops the roller feeder if you push it all the way for­ward or all the way back­wards. It locks into place and can’t be re­ac­ti­vated un­til a safety re­lease han­dle is en­gaged. No prob­lems there.

What I do have an is­sue with is the fact that to make the logs move for­ward into the ro­tor you have to pull the han­dle back­wards, and to re­verse the tim­ber out you push it for­ward. To me that seems back to front and op­po­site to what feels nat­u­ral. In a pres­sure sit­u­a­tion it could cause you to go the wrong way.

UN­BREAK­ABLE

Mea­sur­ing 92cm in di­am­e­ter and weigh­ing a sub­stan­tial 193kg, the ro­tor is equipped with four blades spaced evenly to keep the ro­tor in bal­ance. They are made of hard­ened steel and are re­versible. If one needs to be changed, the one op­po­site should also be changed to main­tain proper bal­ance.

Each ma­chine is equipped with a ledger (sta­tion­ary) blade that acts as a shear for the mov­ing ro­tor blades. The ledger blade is lo­cated on the lower ro­tor hous­ing, mounted on slot­ted holes for ad­just­ment.

There are four us­able cor­ners on the blade. When the cor­ner fac­ing the ro­tor blade rounds over, sim­ply re­move the blade and re-in­stall with a dif­fer­ent cor­ner fac­ing the ro­tor blade. Ad­just­ing the ledger blade in or out is what de­ter­mines the size of wood­chip that is cre­ated.

ON THE JOB

De­spite its rat­ing of han­dling up to 10-inch logs, I thought I’d just ease my way in by start­ing off small and work­ing my way up. Two-, three- and four-inch dried sugar gum branches put up zero re­sis­tance. Five-, six- and seven-inch tim­ber dis­ap­peared with­out caus­ing the slight­est re­duc­tion in the trac­tor’s en­gine revs.

Then it was time to put it to the ex­treme test. With a touch of ner­vous ex­cite­ment I dragged a 10-inch dried sugar gum branch up to the hop­per and shoved it in. As it turned out, it didn’t put up any more re­sis­tance than the lighter tim­ber did, and within sec­onds was re­duced to small tim­ber par­ti­cles mea­sur­ing no more than about half an inch in size.

It’s im­pos­si­ble not to get a bit ex­cited and feel a sense of child­like sat­is­fac­tion watch­ing the huge logs get dragged in, smashed to pieces and spat out onto the ground. Ev­ery­one loves to smash things, don’t they?

The ro­tor can eas­ily be ac­cessed for clean­ing and work­ing on the blades by un­do­ing a bolt and lift­ing the top half of the pro­tec­tive ro­tor hous­ing. There is also a safety lock­ing pin to pre­vent the ro­tor mov­ing while clean­ing and main­te­nance is be­ing car­ried out.

A hinged door un­der the ro­tor feeder al­lows any ac­cu­mu­la­tion of de­bris to be cleaned out as well.

THE BOT­TOM LINE

I pushed the Wal­len­stein BX102R chip­per to its max­i­mum re­gard­ing log size and hard­ness, and it han­dled it eas­ily. There is not much that can go wrong with it so long as you keep the grease up to the bear­ings and reg­u­larly sharpen the blades.

It well and truly lives up to the rep­u­ta­tion that the lum­ber­jacks set with re­gard to the tough­ness of a Cana­dian tim­ber and forestry worker.

Truly tough as nails.

1. Tester Tom Dick­son feeds some small dried sugar gum branches

into the Wal­len­stein BX102R chip­per

2. The chip­per can make light work of wood up to 10 inches in

di­am­e­ter

3. The PTO shaft needs to be kept as close to hor­i­zon­tal as pos­si­ble 4. At least one set of hy­draulic re­motes with a flow of 15-31 lpm is

needed

5. Once you get the big 193kg ro­tor spin­ning it acts as a fly­wheel

6. I’m a lum­ber­jack and I’m OK …

7. We used a 110hp Farm­trac trac­tor

run­ning at 540 PTO revs for the test

8. The dis­charge chute can be po­si­tioned

through a full 360 de­grees

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