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Considering A Log Splitter For Your Skid Steer

Making the choiceupsidedown-log-splitter

So you own a skid steer and have a wood lot, a wood burner or outdoor boiler, and need to split some wood. If you don’t have a teen with a lot of energy and a splitting maul then consider a log splitter attachment for your skid steer.

So where do we start?

* Know your skid steer including the GPM Hydraulic flow; our 20 ton log splitter requires a minimum 8 GPM, the 30 ton requires a minimum of 13 gpm.

* What type of wood are you splitting? Mixed hardwood, pine, poplar, Iron wood?

* How long are the pieces? A commercial boiler accepts logs up to 36” or so. A fire place takes16-18” logs.

* What about diameter and weight? A piece of oak 24” long by 12” diameter is about 60lbs depending on whether is green or seasoned.

* If it’s a larger diameter consider a 4 way option which quarters your wood and saves time.

* How much am I splitting?  A full cord of wood is 8’wide x 4’ high, and 4’ deep.

* How am I going to handle them?

* What are the conditions where I’m splitting? Wet and soft ground, or high and dry?

* Do I have some help?

Now that you’ve asked yourself these questions and considered your answers, you’ve got some choices to make. There are basically three different types of splitters:

1.)    Horizontal log splitter which splits wood in the horizontal position and requires the operator to lift and place the wood onto the splitting beam or cradle.

2.)    Horizontal / vertical log splitter which allows the user to split in either the horizontal position or raise the beam and lock into and split in the vertical position. This is for those big boys you just don’t want to lift. Just roll it over, and tip it onto the base plate and you’re good to go.

3.)    Upside down log splitter unit allows the operator to work from the cab of the skid steer, picking up and moving the log, or splitting in place. No lifting on the part of the user, except for of course stacking in place, after splitting.

4.)    20 ton or 30 ton, I would always opt for the largest splitter your loader will accommodate. So if you’ve answered the questions above you’ll know what to expect.  There is nothing worse than being disappointed in the performance of your equipment and you’ve got a job to do. It’s just not worth the aggravation. The tonnage is the force of the log splitter determined by piston size and pump pressure.

Just a few more things to consider:

SAFETY: Be prepared with the proper protective clothing including footwear, gloves, hearing protection, and hard hat. Let someone know what you are doing, where, and when to expect you back. Stay hydrated. Have a 1st aid kit on board, and carry a cell phone for that emergency phone call if necessary.

CONDITIONS: If you don’t have a track machine and the conditions are soft, wet or uneven you might consider equipping your machine with Tracks over Tires

CLEAN UP: If you’ve select cut few trees or snags for splitting. You can also consider a root grapple for your loader to organize your mess into a nice brush pile for the creatures of the woods  This would also give you the ability to move your logs into a more central area for splitting. Look at a stump bucket or stump grinder to remove those stumps and avoid trip hazards in the woods. Plastic, or lunch bags didn’t grow there, aluminum doesn’t grow on trees either, so take it back home with you. We are all charged with being good stewards of the earth with which we were blessed.

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