What You Need to Know Before Getting Log Splitter

Determine Needs Before Getting Lot Splitter

Whether renting or buying, the process of getting a log splitter can take some time when you have to determine which one will be the best for your needs at the most economical price. If you are preparing to split large amounts of wood and have to do so on a regular basis, a heavy-duty log splitter may be the best choice. If the logs are relatively small and the wood is of a softer sort, a 12 ton would be most likely be sufficient with a 20 ton being the better choice for woods which have an unknown consistency. The wood’s hardness should also impact the decision, as the log’s size and the amount of wood are not the sole aspects to consider. For woods that are harder, it is best to use one with a higher tonnage. 

Questions to be Answered

If you are planning on sharing your log splitter with family members or neighbors, the majority of log splitters come equipped with a means to transport the equipment such as wheels. The smaller the splitters, the more easily the equipment can be lifted into a vehicle or a truck’s bed while a larger splitter is able to be towed behind trucks or four-wheelers if you possess a hitch. Fortunately, the majority of log splitters can be transported. Another question that needs to be answered is what type of splitter will fit your needs. There are a number of different types of log splitters that are available for purchase under two categories of operation…gas or electric. It largely depends upon the fuel form that is used. If you are located in a location, which is remote, the best choice is probably a manual splitter. If you are located near an outlet, an electric splitter would be beneficial. In order to ensure the utmost portability in large projects, a gas hydraulic splitter is probably the best choice. Although shopping locally may be more fun, it is typically cheaper to shop online. However, be careful about shipping as large splitters may cost a lot to ship due to their weight. 

Operation of the Log Splitter

To operate the splitter, the log is placed on the platform up against the splitter plate. When the machine is turned on, the splitter plate passes towards the sharp wedge at the machine’s end. The log is then pushed against the equipment’s wedge, thereby splitting it in two.

Quality is largely determined by the price of the equipment. Log splitters cut down on the time and energy it takes to clean up after felling a tree or getting firewood ready for winter. However, when using a log splitter or other outdoor power equipment, it’s particularly important to pay attention to the instructions to ensure safe operation.  

Know Safety Tips Before Firing Up Splitter

It is important to know how to stop the machine and disengage quickly. Never allow children under 16 years old to operate this machine. Children 16 years old and over should read and understand instructions and log splitter safety rules in this manual and should be trained and supervised by a parent. Many accidents occur when more than one person operates the machine. Keep bystanders, pets and children at least 20 feet from the machine while it is in operation. Do not use this machine for any other purpose than splitting wood. Always wear safety shoes or heavy boots when using a log splitter. Wear safety glasses or safety goggles whenever operating this machine. Never wear jewelry or loose clothing that might become entangled in moving or rotating parts of outdoor power equipment. Always block the machine to prevent unintended movement, and lock in either horizontal or vertical position. Cut logs so they have square ends prior to splitting.


Much to Consider with Aerial Lifts

Aerial Lifts Come in Variety of Styles

Those days when discussions of aerial lifts were limited to bucket trucks are gone. In researching current aerial lift devices, you will find a huge array of packages, capabilities, options and even power sources. While truck-mounted lifts are still available and an excellent choice for many tree care companies, the variety of aerial devices available, along with the wide variety of prices, has made some type of aerial lift a much more feasible and affordable option for almost every interested tree care company. Traditional bucket truck-type lifts require that companies consider how they want the truck configured – just to transport the lift, or with some form of chip storage ability added. Tow-behind or self-propelled stand-alone lifts lead to their own transportation concerns. Along with these choices come decisions regarding boom length and height, as well as power options. Instead of being overwhelmed by all these choices, the tree industry should rejoice that there are finally options that fit all work sites and budgets.

Regardless of which aerial lift option or package a company elects to purchase, it will be a substantial investment. The common thought process that any new tree crew member can run an aerial lift is a good way to substantially increase that investment through repairs, maintenance or, sadly, medical costs. Fortunately, a few basic principles and concepts can provide a framework of useful rules for these useful tools.

Regular Maintenance Required

There is not one type of lift, regardless of power source, package or transport, that will not require daily, weekly and monthly maintenance. These requirements will be clearly stated in the owner’s manual. These manuals are full of useful, important and possibly life-saving information.

If nothing else, a simple safety and function check should always take place prior to aerial lift operation. This check will vary depending on the type and capabilities of the lift, but should include an inspection for loose pieces/parts, cracked or leaking hoses, and wear on metal/fiberglass components. The device should also be put through its “paces” with no one in the bucket or on the platform to ensure that it’s functioning correctly.

Multiple Skills Needed to Operate Lift

Aerial lift operation is certainly not as physically demanding as climbing, yet it requires a fine touch on the controls and an ability to think within the space of the tree’s canopy, the platform/bucket and the boom. A tree care professional should avoid the tendency to make cuts simply to gain access for the bucket or boom when operating a lift, as these “convenience cuts” certainly don’t fall under the heading of tree care. Aerial lifts are not going to be the best option for every tree or job, but neither is climbing; and many jobs may require a combination of both. Rather than settling into an antagonistic stance toward one skill or the other – and both are definitely skills – tree care professionals would be best served by remembering that a true profession requires multiple skills, and being adept at multiple skills is the sign of a true professional.

Important to Choose Where, How to Set Up Lift

The choices made on where and how to set up the aerial lift, regardless of type, are important for its safe and efficient operation. Climbers don’t often have to worry about soft ground beneath the tree they’re working in, or an old septic tank or newly filled trench, but an aerial lift operator can’t ignore such variables. Aerial lifts often allow the operator to put himself in a safe, stable position to make chain saw cuts aloft. The extra time spent setting up the lift properly will be much cheaper than the alternative of a lift turned “turtle.” Any tires that are part of an aerial lift should be chocked as required. A rolling or shifting lift with a rider aloft is much more serious and dangerous than a nightmare carnival ride.