Yes, it is big and American, but if you want productivity and safety then take a closer look at this chipper. You need to be in the premier league, generating big volumes of waste, to make use of this machine and you are going to need something like a 7.5t truck to shift it, but it has some great features that simplify the job while saving on time and money. It is a beast and the boys love it.
Targeted at councils and large contractors, the BC1000XL has been around a while but has recently had its final Tier 4 upgrade. Gone is the Cummings engine and power is now supplied by a 74hp Deutz.
It has also changed from a double-axled unit to a single axle - well, there is a saving on tyre changes then. Importantly, it is now all-metal. Any fibreglass on the previous 1000XL is now steel construction, removing the risk of damage in the event of dropped branches or badly handled timbers.
It still boasts a massive 12x17in infeed opening to take bigger timber and crush the most difficult forked wood, and the SmartFeed system remains on the upgrade. We are impressed with this patented feed-sensing control system that monitors engine rpm and automatically stops and reverses feed rollers so that the wood is not against the knives when the engine needs to recover.
There is also a clever setting to adjust the rollers to suit the material. When you are going for 10in or 11in straight timber, the rollers can be slowed down so processing is less stressful. It has also got EcoIdle engine control, which saves fuel - important on a big beast of a machine - by allowing the operator to set a slowdown period so that after one minute, or five depending on the setting, the revs will fall if the users are held up with feeding.
Access to all components is a doddle. The Vermeer has rubberised latches. There are two to get under the bonnet, where you will find all filters and daily checks right in front of you. It is a big machine and you might think the discharge chute heavy to reposition, but actually it's very easy.
Max diameter material 12in (300mm)
Engine type Tier 4 Deutz diesel
Maximum power 74hp
Roller feed Single horizontal hydraulic roller with 158kg clamp load complete with Auto Feed control
Infeed throat size 12x17in
Processing capacity 36m per minute feed speed
Fuel capacity 75.7 litres
Hydraulic oil capacity 26.5 litres
Drum 20in (508mm) in diameter, 2,220rpm
Blades Two 16mm-thick knives, double-sided, held by four bolts
Anvil 89x438mm, 25mm thick
No-stress system Yes
Dimensions (LxWxH) 3,810x1,689x2,565mm
Price On application
Tel Vermeer UK - 01933 274400
Reviewed - This Issue
- GreenMech Arborist 200
- Forst ST8
- Vermeer BC190XL
- Vermeer BC1000XL
- Timberwolf TW 160PH
- Timberwolf TW 280TFTR
Bridgwater College arborists: working in the industry on part-time study with lecturers and technicians
It is a practical day at Bridgwater College and the arborists have the task of removing a row of leylandii from Richard and Wendy Stirling's garden at Combwich. Work is underway and there are piles of material - just what we need to test the latest woodchippers.
Introduced this year, the GreenMech Arborist 200, Timberwolf TW 160PH and Vermeer BC190XL are road machines. The new Timberwolf TW 280TFTR is a tracked unit, ideal for use by utilities and those needing to cross rough ground. Updated is the Vermeer BC1000XL, a big machine with improvements. Forst is the youngster, a brand that is barely three years old.
After several hours' work on a sunny autumn day, some conclusions could be drawn. All the machines performed well. We had no blockages. All had good working heights and strong infeed chutes. Infeed was smooth for all units, with no testers reporting being whipped by the more slender material. Most testers were uncertain which they would buy. General comments were that all the machines took big timbers and were easy to control. The Timberwolf 160 was favoured by some for its towability and price.