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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    169
    Location
    North Idaho, USA
    Tractor
    2000 Kubota L4610

    Default Anyone got a Befco Bushmaster Chipper?

    I have been looking at buying one of these. It seems heavy enough and has a geared feed. The Valby is available locally at higher cost for hydraulic feed. Can anyone speak from experience on how well the Bushmaster holds up? It looks like alot of parts make it up, does it take alot of maintenance to keep it going or is it a natural?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    288
    Location
    Central Florida
    Tractor
    None: Sold Kubota L3410 HST 4WD

    Default Re: Anyone got a Befco Bushmaster Chipper?

    I can't speak for the Bushmaster Chipper, but the BEFCO implements I have are all heavy duty and work well. I have a rear finish mower and PHD.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Veteran Member hayden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    1,709
    Location
    MA/VT
    Tractor
    Kubota L5740 cab + FEL, Cat D5G dozer, Kubota KX121 excavtor

    Default Re: Anyone got a Befco Bushmaster Chipper?

    I'd love to know too. THere seems to be a big range in cost for chippers, and the differences are not clear to me. For example (and I'll use rough numbers) for the following PTO chippers:

    Patu DC-40, 4", manual feed - $2800

    Befco, 6", mechanical power feed - $3800 (power feed plus 2" more capacity ... I can understand this difference)

    Danauser, 6", mechanical feed - $5400 (What's $1600 better than the Befco?)

    Salsco, 6", hydraulic feed - $6500 (Is hydraulic feed really worth $1100 more to get a reverser?)

    I don't know where the Valby fits in this list.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    169
    Location
    North Idaho, USA
    Tractor
    2000 Kubota L4610

    Default Re: Anyone got a Befco Bushmaster Chipper?

    I was quoted 5500. for a Valby 150 hyd. feed. Then they told me another 700. to plumb my L4610 for a remote fitting. The Befco looks even better at that rate. Nobody seems to have any specifics on this machine. I even called the factory rep at the plant and was given some thin answers. The flywheel weighs either 120 or 400 pounds, depending on who you ask... The gist of it was, at least what I thought they said, it is an Italian company, building implements in the US out of Italian and American parts. IF anyone knows the straight scoop, PLEASE correct me. Befco implements seem to be well thought of, at least I don't hear anyone crying foul. It sure would be nice to hear from someone that owns this chipper.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Anyone got a Befco Bushmaster Chipper?

    We have sold several of these. The only replacement parts we have ever sold for them have been knives hope this helps you out.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    280
    Location
    Rindge, NH
    Tractor
    Kubota L48 (Ellie Mae)

    Default Re: Anyone got a Befco Bushmaster Chipper?

    Hayden,

    The Salsco is a 6"x12" feed. I haven't seen that on any other chipper. After using it for about a month now, I've really grown to appreciate this. I've only had to limb a couple of pieces of stock so far. I also find that crooked stock seems to automagically rotate so that it goes through the throat. I've also noticed that it can handle a couple of smaller stuff running in parallel.

    On the reverser - for me, definitely. It only takes one experience having something get stuck and having to disassemble part of the machine to get it out.

    Some other things to consider (no order, just a quick brain dump):
    - How heavy is it? My old Troybilt chipper kept cracking the welds (so does my Troybilt rider...).
    - How heavy is the rotor? Rotor mass helps smooth out the load on the tractor.
    - How many blades does it have?
    - How many bed knives does it have?
    - Can you adjust the gap between the blades and bed knives?
    - How well does it discharge. One dealer/rental agency told me they switched from Patu to Salsco largely because the Salsco almost never plugged up. (OK - I plugged mine up last weekend - still not sure what I did differently)
    - If it has a hydraulic feed, do it use tractor hydraulics or does it have its own pump.
    - How much PTO HP does your tractor have? Chippers use a LOT. I've almost stalled my L48 when eating a big log at full feed speed. I now slow it down a bit on the big stuff and run it fast on the little stuff.
    - What color does it come in? [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img]
    - Oh, and all the standard stuff about dealers, support and what are you actually going to do with it.

    This would all be a heck of a lot easier if you could actually demo them - I ended up taking the "buy the biggest one you can affort route".

    BTW - Salsco now makes a smaller model, the 824. It has a 4"x8" infeed opening. The blades are 7"x4.5". IIRC, the price quoted from Chappel was $4200.

    -david

  7. #7
    Veteran Member hayden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    1,709
    Location
    MA/VT
    Tractor
    Kubota L5740 cab + FEL, Cat D5G dozer, Kubota KX121 excavtor

    Default Re: Anyone got a Befco Bushmaster Chipper?

    Dave, thanks for the detailed reply.

    From what I've seen, the chippers I listed, and I suspect the Valby as well, are all very well built and in a different league from the Troy builts of the world. Several people on this site have Valby's and speak vey highly of them. I've got the Patu and it's rock solid and has never plugged up. I have stalled my B2910 once or twice with very large limbs/logs (4"-5" dried maple). From this I've jumped to the conclusion that all these brands are solid and work without a fuss. I believe they all have replacable, adjustable blades, and heavy flywheels - I know the Patu does and it's the lowest end of the bunch.

    From what I can tell it comes down to feed systems and what you are willing/need to pay to get incremental capabilities. I think the hardest thing for me to get my arms around is the difference, if any, between a mechnical feed and a hydraulic feed, other than a bunch of money. Reversability seems to be a feature of hydraulic feed, and I guess the feed speed is adjustable when with mechnical it's either on or off, and runs at one speed.

    The other this I don't get, and gets back more to the topic of this original note, is the significant difference in price between a Befco mechanical feed and a Danauser mechanical feed. Both seem to be the same size, capacity, weight, etc. and both have mechanical feed, but the Befco is $3800 and the Danauser is $5400.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    280
    Location
    Rindge, NH
    Tractor
    Kubota L48 (Ellie Mae)

    Default Re: Anyone got a Befco Bushmaster Chipper?

    I guess the importance of reversibility is related the likelyhood of getting a piece stuck and the difficulty of getting it unstuck. If you are in the habit of cleanly limbing stock before chipping, you shouldn't have too much trouble here. If you do manage to get a piece stuck, what does it take to get it unstuck?

    On the importance of variable speed - you mention that the mechanical feed is either on or off. When it is on, it is either fast or slow - meaning that it is might be too fast for big stuff (mine will stall the L48 on 6" green hemlock at maximum speed) or so slow that you will go nuts on the little stuff. Perhaps its worthwhile to compare the feed speed on the mechanical units with the speed range on the hydraulics ones. [Bearcat even sells an optional kit that automatically adjusts the feed speed based on shaft speed]. Maybe it will be "just right". I wonder what you do if it is too fast? Can you use digital speed control (disengage/engage)? If so what wears out - belts, clutch ...?

    On the difference in pricing between the Befco and Danauser - it might just be greed. You shouldn't take the prices that I quoted for the Salsco as rock-bottom. I'm not a particularly agressive negotiator. I found a $2,000 difference between the same unit at two different dealers. If I bought a JD4600 with FEL & backhoe at the same time, the spread dropped to $1,000.

    -david

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    280
    Location
    Rindge, NH
    Tractor
    Kubota L48 (Ellie Mae)

    Default Re: Anyone got a Befco Bushmaster Chipper?

    It looks like the Befco unit has a variable speed feed. From the Befco site:

    The Bushmaster's variable speed power-feed (70 or 45 Fpm), drum-style design gives smooth, sure handed feeding for continuous chipping of material up to 6".

    It is also different from other chippers I've seen in that it is a drum design. You can see in the picture at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://befco.com/products/bushmaster/default.html>http://befco.com/products/bushmaster/default.html</A> that the infeed is at right angles to the PTO. I have no idea if thisi is important or not. It is about 20% lighter than the Salsco and Bearcat. I can't find a link on the Danauser - do you have one handy?

    -david

  10. #10

    Default Re: Anyone got a Befco Bushmaster Chipper?

    I have a Danuser 4" mechanical feed. I am not familiar with the 6" model, but would not be suprised if it is similar to the 4" design. I decided on the 4" for 2 reasons, available PTO HP and large wood is cut for firewood so why chip it. The actual infeed opening is 6" although it is rated as a 4" chipper. A larger opening will help with branches, but with power feed it has not been much of a problem for me.

    The price difference between the brands may be because of design differences. Some features may add to the cost if they are not on the other brands. My 4" Danuser runs the flywheel much faster than PTO speed. In addition to the flywheel there is a massive 8 V-belt pulley that adds to the flywheel weight. It is an overhead discharge with a fan built in and can shoot chips into a trailer. Some 4" chippers only have a 4" opening. Some 4 blade chippers have little blades and 2 chip one side of the opening and 2 chip the other side.

    I posted the following a while ago, but here it is again.

    Andy



    PTO Woodchipper Report

    Last week I purchased a PTO woodchipper for use with my B2400. I had been looking at different brands for a couple of years. I decided on the Danuser model 18P. This is a 4 inch chipper with power feed. Even though it is rated to take 4 inch diameter wood, the actual infeed opening is 6 inches square. This aids in fitting branches through the opening without getting jammed. The power feed is gear driven off the chipper power shaft and feeds at 55 feet per minute. Many other brands have hydraulic power feed. The gear drive does not allow the feed to be reversed in the event of a jam, however it does not require a hydraulic connection to the tractor.
    The chipper is built of heavy gage steel with hefty bearings and shafts. The 106 pound flywheel turns at 1280 RPM with 540 RPM PTO speed and there are 2 cutting knives. Most of the other brands have the flywheel turn at 540 RPM. A slower flywheel stores much less energy than a faster turning one. The higher speed also results in more cuts per minute even though some of the other brands have 3 or 4 blades. The speed increase is accomplished with belt drive. These pulleys have 8 belts side by side to handle the torque load. The belts act as a mechanical fuse if things get jammed, preventing damage to either the chipper or the tractor.
    The chipper is rated for 18 to 45 HP. My B2400 is on the bottom end of this rating producing 18 PTO HP. I did succeed in stalling the tractor on a piece of 3 inch dry maple. The tractor stalled after about 7 feet and yes the belts did squeal when this happened. I guess I should have disengaged the power feed. Interesting enough the tractor RPM never even never dropped on anything else I chipped all weekend including some 4 inch oak.
    The chipper has a built in fan on the back of the flywheel that lifts the chips up and discharges them out a chute. I built a plywood extension and top for my trailer and shoot the chips into it.
    I am satisfied with the quality of construction and ease of operation. The power feed is great. I decided on the power feed because it will pull small branches and vines as well as the large stuff right into the chipper. It eliminates kickbacks which can happen with the last foot or so of the branch without power feed. It is also rated as quieter than many other chippers.
    I paid $3475 for the 18P, the model without power feed (18G) was $1000 less but is being discontinued. The first dealer raised the price $600. since I priced it with him last fall. I contacted the manufacturer and was told the list price had increased $100 during that time. I found another dealer that sold it to me for $75 more than I was quoted last fall.
    The company web site is at: http://www.danuser.com/chippers.htm#specifications

    Other chipper web sites are:

    Roberge http://www.comsearch-can.com/cpe5.htm
    Bear Cat http://www.crary.com/bearcat/index.html
    Vermeer http://www.vermeer.com/eq_brush_chip...l#Anchor-BC625
    Chippit http://www.entectradingltd.co.uk/chi...hippit_pto.htm
    Gravely http://www.gravely.com/index.phtml?pg=Xherochipper
    KwikChip http://www.fletcherstewart.co.uk/ptochip.htm
    Ram http://www.rampower.com/products.htm
    Befco http://www.sledmaine.com/dealers/whi...co/buschip.htm
    Woods http://www.woodsonline.com/

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