Should you buy a chipper or skid steer if you could only buy one or the other? In this video I am going to give you the benefits and disadvantages of each piece of equipment based on our experience using both, and I will conclude with a disclaimer and our personal opinion as to which of the two we prefer and use daily in our own business.
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Benefits of a chipper:
#1 Makes life easy getting rid of brush/branches/logs with little mess and leaving a nice pile of wood chips.
#2 Produces useful material – it converts large pieces of wood into smaller pieces that are very useful:
Mulching for like a garden and plants
Biofuel which is used for more renewable energy sources
Pressed Wood The wood chips are used to create pressed timber, that can be used in even some furniture.
#3 Profitable: Some people are willing to pay for the wood chips or even if they don’t, most people will take it for free, saving you on landfill dump fees.
Disadvantages of a chipper:
You can’t carry large heavy logs/wood
You will have to carry everything by hand, that’s the branches and logs.
Since you can’t haul logs most of the wood can only be used for firewood or go to a landfill, you won’t be able to make money on the logs.
Benefits of a skid steer:
#1 Skid steer loader is a very versatile machine capable of performing very different tasks. It will allow you to remove brush but more importantly large logs/big pieces of wood.
This will allow you to sell the timber to a mill making extra money, it normally pays for daily labor expenses sometimes even more.
You can pull stumps with it, pull or push trees with it.
You can buy different attachments allowing you to perform different sources of income producing activities. Like stump grinding, bush hogging, grading and the list goes on.
Disadvantage of skid steer:
You can fit them in any yard
They are heavy
I don’t consider a skid steer to be as high maintenance as a chipper but parts are more expensive
You can hit or damage something at a customer’s property if you don’t know what you are doing.
You will have to take pay for landfill dump fees
You will have to take more trips
Our personal opinion as to which one we suggest you buy first if you could only buy one or the other.
If you don’t have any issues finding landfills in your area and the fees are not outrageous we highly suggest buying a skid steer first, we have two, a track machine and a wheel loader.
If you live in a state/country where you are limited on the areas you can dump brush/debris, or the use of a skid steer due to limited access. If this is your case, then I would highly suggest buying a chipper and maybe in the future a mini skid steer.
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