Bearcat PTO Chipper
Have any of you guys had any experience with a Bearcat PTO chipper/shredder? I am looking at a model 70554 which is rated for a 5". I am going to use it with my B7500.
Does $1500.00 sound like a good price in excellent condition? How about PTO mounted chippers in general, has anyone had any experience with them?
Any info would be appreciated.
Re: Bearcat PTO Chipper
I've got a Woods model 5000 which is the same chipper/shredder. It's built by Bearcat. Bearcat also makes the models Northern Hydraulics sells.I think the Woods unit retails for around $3,000 new. I found one that a dealer probably had on his lot for a couple of years so he was ready to deal for way less. $1,500 is so-so.
As for performance, I'm a bit undecided. It definitely doesn't do well with wet material. There is a removable screen
below the hammers that can be removed. It might not block up as bad without the screen.There is an optional wet debris screen. Feeding material into the hopper is a bit difficult due to the bristles they use to stop materials from being thrown out. You need something to push materials like leaves through the bristles. They won't just fall through. Whatever you use to push is in danger of being seized by the hammers and pulled in.
The chipper part seems to be less agressive than I thought it would be. Some sticks/branches will feed by gravity as the cutters chip off chunks. Other materials you have to force into the knives. There's only two knives so the chipping operation really beats on your hands as you handfeed.
Because the shafts that hold the hammer knives also connect to the flywheel, there's seems to be room for only two chipper knives. A better design should have incorporated a heavier flywheel and either two or four more chipper
blades for less vibration.
I talked to the folks at Bearcat before I bought the Woods unit and I found them very helpful. The Bearcat unit is rated for more hp than the Woods unit even though they are the same. A potentially useful option is a blower and discharge chute which can be attached and driven via belt otherwse everything drops out the bottom and to the side. I've been quoted $1,000 for that option.
I did manage to stall out a kubota L3710 feeding chunks of sod and earth to make potting soil. After I cranked up the RPM the belts just squealed when the material blocked the knives. I've put maybe six hours on the unit so far. The other thing I've noticed is that with the factory screen, it grinds stuff really fine. Your not going to get big chips out of the machine. After the cutters chip branches, etc. the swinging knives chop the material further. I fed some cedar bark I'd stripped off some piling and the stuff was reduced to almost dust. The piling was at least 40 years old so maybe that had something to do with it.
Re: Bearcat PTO Chipper
I think you can buy that model for about $2300 new. I saw a used one at the NH dealer that was offered for $1700. What I don't like about them is the same opening on the side where you have to feed anything larger than 1 1/4". The opening is so small that you would spend all day trimming side branches in able to feed anything into the unit. Also, the top hopper opening kind of scared me, as was stated by Darren, you have to use something to push the material in. Looks too scary, and potentially dangerous to me.