Vermeer BC190XL woodchipper

Vermeer BC190XL woodchipper - image: HW
Vermeer BC190XL woodchipper - image: HW

Introduced this year, the BC190XL has already received good reviews, and that is not surprising. This machine has excellent infeed, good throughput and smooth discharge. You do not need a 7.5t truck to tow this Vermeer. A 3.5t truck will do. At 1.5t, this is the heaviest chipper in its class, yet it is quite compact and competitively priced.

Aimed at local authorities and specialist contractors, the 190 is soundly constructed. It is clearly built to last. It has market-leading oversized cutter bearings, disc, drive and infeed system mounted in a high-strength all-steel body. Even the jockey wheel is oversized for strength. There is chunky steel everywhere, making it suitable for loading either by winch or skid steer loader.

Just look at the infeed. It has two heavy-duty 8x12in rollers that are offset to give a "conveyor" feed so when a large, heavy timber is fed into the throat you do not have to try to get the top roller to open. The bottom feed roller pushes it against the top roller for you.

SmartFeed, as on the BC1000XL (see p39), is standard because the infeed rollers are so large the timber is backed off further so as to give it a better chance of breaking the fork or crotch when it is re-fed.

It works remarkably well and makes life so much easier because it takes out the snedding, meaning that you spend less time and cut risks by reducing the need to use the chainsaw to prep wood.

Vermeer is as big on safety as it is on strong construction. The 190 has safety bars mounted to top, bottom and both sides. Like the 1000, it has the override so false trips can be eliminated when feeding in large volumes of brash. Simply step to the side and hold the button to disengage the bottom bar while you stand in the safety zone.

Everything is big and strong, but that does not make servicing a nightmare. Clearly Vermeer has given thought to access and also to problems such as changing belts, which incidentally are fully automatic for tensioning. With a counter-lever weight, changing belts takes under 30 seconds. The main grease points are all accessible from the outside.

Coupled with the Kubota 48hp engine and with a 76cm-diameter, four-knife disc weighing 120kg, the BC190XL excels at chipping and discharges material up to 12m away, taking some of the hassle out of close-positioning the chipper and collection vehicle.


Max diameter material 8in (200mm)

Engine type Kubota V2203-M-E3B liquid-cooled diesel

Maximum power 48.1hp (35.9kW)

Roller feed Twin hydraulic rollers, offset, with 290kg clamping force

Infeed throat size 8x12in

Processing capacity 36m per minute feed speed

Fuel capacity 56 litres

Hydraulic oil capacity 22.7 litres

Rotor 760mm diameter, weighing 120kg, 1,480rpm

Blades Four A8 chipper steel

No-stress system Yes

Weight 1,450kg

Dimensions (LxWxH) 3,500x1,550x240mm

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

Review Panel

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.

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