3-Pt Log Splitters - How Fast?

   #1  

Argonne

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I'm in the market for a log splitter. I like the idea of a 3 pt splitter so that I can take it to the woodlot on the tractor, and I should be able to take advantage of the tractor's power and save money on a power source (and one less small engine to winterize every year).

There seem to be 2 types out there. Those that run on the tractor hydraulics, and those that have a PTO pump. The PTO models seem to be hard to find, and are expensive when you do. I'd like to keep the price under $1k.

I've found two models with attractive price tags and the power to split the Osage Orange I'm splitting. The Northern Tool offering, and the Ramsplitter.

The technical information on both is sketchy, but I e-mailed Ramsplitter and they say that with a 6 GPM pump on the tractor, the cycle time is about 20 seconds. The Northern Tool model has 3/4 the power at 15k tons, so I suppose it's cycle time is a bit faster.

So here's my question (finally). I have no experience with log splitters and I'm wondering about the significance of the cycle time spec. When they say that the cycle time is 20 seconds, is that the time it takes the ram to fully extend, extend and retract, or what? Also, when splitting logs, is it typical to need to make a full cycle, or is the job typically done in a half cycle or something?

The reason I'm so interested is that my JD2210 only has ~3 GPM available, and even if I go with the smaller Northern Tool model I'm having visions of having time for a coffee break between each log split. If so, I might need to spring for the expensive PTO type, or bite-the-bullet and have another small engine to babysit on a standalone model.

Any education anyone could give me on the subject would be appreciated.
 
   #2  

greg_g

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JD says your 2210 has a 5.5 gpm pump, but makes no mention of remotes. You're not going to operate either splitter on 2210 hydraulics without somewhere to connect the hoses. A TPH splitter with it's own pump only requires PTO power from the tractor. What you have to do is weigh the cost of adding a pair of hydraulic remotes to the 2210 against the cost of the PTO driven splitter.

I have a new 22 ton Huskee that is powered by tractor hydraulics, but never actually timed the work cycle. Even with the tractor at half throttle (~1200 rpm), the return time is faster than I can get the split piece off and put a fresh section on. The piston is almost always sitting there waiting on me to get the next log positioned. Next time I split, I'm going to back the engine off to ~1000 rpm, maybe then I can keep up with the splitter work cycle.

By the way, my Huskee didn't come with hoses or QD fittings either. You should probably factor that into your cost comparison too.

One other thing, the splitters you linked to were horizontal only. I can tell you that a horizontal/vertical is positively worth the money if you split anything heavy. I tilt the splitter vertical to split everything over 50# first. When the big chunks are all down to the weight limit my back will tolerate, I flip the splitter down to horizontal and go back to work.

//greg//
 
   #3  

RonMar

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A gallon is 231 cubic inches. A 4" piston has 12.566 square inches of surface area. Multiply this by the length of the stroke and you have the volume of the cylinder in cubic inches. A 4" X 24" cylinder will have a total volume of 301 cu in. At 3 GPM that is 693 cu in of fluid so it will take a little less than 30 seconds to fully extend. Retracting will be a little faster as the rod side of the cylinder has less volume due to the area occupied by the rod.

Depending on the type of wood and moisture content you will usually not have to extend the ram all the way to complete the split.
 
  
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#4  
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Argonne

Argonne

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I'll be installing auxilliary hydraulic connections on the tractor soon to serve another implement, but I haven't yet looked into exactly how to do that. I'm not sure how many GPM I'll have available when I do, so I chose ~3GPM as a worst case scenario.

How many GPM do you think you're feeding your Husky at 1200RPM?
 
   #5  

greg_g

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I can only guess, one or two maybe ? But it's academic, the flow goes into bypass when the lever returns to the center detente. The point is to adjust the engine rpm to the best compromise between splitting power and cycle time. And obviously lower RPMs translate into lower fuel consumption.

Same with the PTO driven ones too I would assume.

And unless you have some reason to install flow restrictors, the gpm at the remotes should be the same as at the pump.

//greg//
 
   #6  

jimmysisson

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My experience is that slow cycle times are a major aggravation. I have a 13.5 gpm 2-stage pump on my tow-behind splitter and with a 4" x 36" ram cycle time is maybe 12-14 seconds, and I still wish it was faster. My old setup with the same splitter was a 22 gpm Prince pto pump on an old Farmall A and that was better though it stressed the 18 hp Farmall a little in an elm knot. Do the math like Ron says, and get yourself a fair gpm figure for your tractor. If it's going to be 15 seconds or more you might not like having spent the money for the remotes if you don't need them for something else. That said, it's still easier than swinging a maul! Jim
 
   #7  

Youare

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I looked at 3PH splitters before I purchased a stand alone unit. One model was a TimberWolf with a PTO driven hydraulic pump. The PTO driven arrangement had faster cycle times than the tractor's hydraulic driven one and no remotes were necessary.

That splitter sold for a few hundred dollars more than their stand alone unit.

As far as cycle times go it depends on how much wood you are going to split in a season. If you are going to split 6 to 8 cords of wood then 20 seconds to go from the retracted position to the advanced position and back is not really a big deal.

The hardest part is psychological, when you are splitting wood that with one or two hits with a maul does the job in 6 - 8 seconds. However, when you get to those pieces that are mean to split and you watch the splitter muscle its way through 20 seconds is not much time.

The one draw back to a 3PH splitter is how far behind the tractor it extends. For me I would forget to allow for this length and end up whacking something with it. Most stand alone units are on wheels so you can still tow them places and use the tractor to bring wood to the splitter or have a trailer to haul split wood away.

Storage of a stand alone unit is easier and you can move it out of the way when necessary.

Randy
 
   #8  

PhilNH5

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Argonne,
I have a BX2200 and considered a hydraulic log splitter. From input on TBN and other research it did not seem like a good idea. The GPM just isn't there.

I then considered the IRON AND OAK PTO log splitter. But as you noted the PTO splitters are expensive. The one I linked to is almost $1800.

I like splitting by hand but usually once a year we rent a splitter. Costs me about $60 for the whole day. My wife, daughter and I can process a whole lot of wood in one day.
For us the rental option works best.

Phil
 
   #9  

greg_g

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</font><font color="blue" class="small">( The one draw back to a 3PH splitter is how far behind the tractor it extends. )</font>

Not so with the horizontal/vertical models Randy. Click on the link in my earlier post, or the Iron & Oak link below yours. You'll see that the more versatile horizontal/vertical models mount "sideways" on the TPH.

And I never measured either, but I can't help but wonder if a pull behind doesn't extend just as far behind a tractor as does the TPH type you describe.

//greg//
 

DJLX

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Like you Argonne I wish I had all kinds of attachments on my 2210. I could have used a grapple for the pine I cut down and demolishing my old deck to the burn pile. Also would like a woodsplitter to replace my tow behind I just sold. I didn't need the tow behind taking up space and was lending it out more that I was using it. I don't burn more that a cord/year.
Check out Markham welding, I believe they have a splitter for a Bob Cat that might be something to modify/mount in place of the 2210 bucket. I am seriously thinking of adding an electric selector valve on my 2210.
 
 
 
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