Wood Chipper Machine Rental vs Buying
If you need to chip branches, brush, or other wood debris on your property, you have two main options. You can rent a wood chipper machine or buy one. Both have pros and cons.
Deciding between rental or buying depends on several factors. Here is an in-depth look at the key differences. It will help you determine if wood chipper rental or buying is the better choice for your needs.
Reasons to Rent a Wood Chipper Machine
The biggest reason to consider wood chipper rental is that you only need it sometimes. For example, you may be cleaning up debris from storm damage.
You might also be doing seasonal property cleanup. Or, you might be taking on a one-time landscaping project. Renting is ideal for short, intermittent use. Buying a machine will sit unused.
Try Before Buying
Renting first can help you determine if a wood chipper is the right equipment for your needs and property size. It can help you avoid committing to a buy. Trying out different size chippers and features allows you to learn what works best for your specific tasks.
No Maintenance or Storage
If you own a wood chipper, you have to maintain, repair, store, and protect the equipment. Renting transfers those authorities to the rental company. They handle all upkeep, repairs, and storage when the machine is not in use.
If you’ll only use a wood chipper machine, renting is likely to be more cost-effective. When buying, you must pay the full machine price upfront. When renting, there’s no large initial investment. The duration you need the wood chipper determines the rental fees.
No Risk of Obsolescence
Wood chipper machine models improve over time like most equipment. If you buy one outright, you risk it becoming outdated faster. Newer and better models become available. Renting means you can use the latest chippers with the most advanced features.
Reasons to Buy a Wood Chipper Machine
If you have a lot of branches, brush, and debris to chip on your property, buying your wood chipper is the best option. When you use the machine, buying it can recoup the costs more compared to renting.
Having your wood chipper machine is ideal for long-term property cleanup projects. It’s also ideal for prolonged landscaping work. It’s also great for ongoing tree and brush removal. You can use it whenever needed without coordinating rental availability.
Buying allows you to select a wood chipper machine with customized features. The features match your specific tasks and usage. This includes chip size, throughput capacity, and engine type. A rental may not provide other options.
Regular maintenance and proper operation can optimize performance. They can also extend the usable life of a wood chipper machine. You have more incentive to maintain an owned machine vs a rental.
Frequent users may spend more on rentals than on buying their chipper. Owning gets more cost-effective if you’ll use it over many years.
A purchased wood chipper machine retains a resale value should you later choose to sell it used. Reselling can sometimes recoup much of your original investment. Rentals yield no return.
Key Wood Chipper Machine Features To Consider
When deciding between renting or buying a chipper, assess which features you need. Key options to factor into your decision include:
- Feed Type – Drum or disc style. The drum is more common for smaller machines. Larger disc-style chippers handle bigger branches and higher volumes.
- Engine Power – Gas, diesel, or electric motors from about 10 to over 600 horsepower. Match power needs to your typical branch/debris sizes.
- We express Chipping Capacity in inches. It is the largest branch diameter a chipper can process. Standard residential models chip up to 3-5 inches.
- Throughput Volume – Chips per hour indicating total volume capacity. Can range from 100 cubic feet/hour for small chippers up to over 1,000 cubic feet/hour for heavy-duty models.
- Chip Size – Adjustable chip size settings from smaller fines to chunks up to a few inches across. Smaller chip sizes aid composting.
- Mobility – Stationary or towable chippers. Towable units offer portability between job sites. Some are ATV/UTV-mountable for access to remote areas.
- Auto-Feed – Auto-feed mechanisms pull material into the chipping mechanism for hands-free operation. This allows faster processing.
- Hopper Size – Total capacity of the hopper where branches and debris are loaded. Bigger hoppers allow more continuous runtime.
Key Safety Tips When Using Wood Chipper Machines
Safety should always be the top priority when operating a wood chipper machine since these can be dangerous. Key safety tips include:
- Read and follow all instructions in user manuals before operating rental chippers or new purchases.
- Inspect machines before each use and ensure all safety guards are in place. Verify that auto-feed sensors work on equipped models.
- Wear protective eyewear, gloves, hearing protection, closed-toe shoes, and avoid loose clothing.
- Avoid distractions – do not use phones/devices when feeding material into chippers.
- Keep bystanders and animals out of the work area when the chipper is running. Maintain a safe zone.
- Feed branches into the chipper. Do not force material. Let the machine pull it through auto-feed systems.
- Only chip one branch at a time. Bind smaller pieces into manageable bundles if needed.
- Stay alert and never reach into an operating chipper hopper for any reason. Immediately turn off chippers if clogs occur before clearing jams.
Key Maintenance Tips For Wood Chipper Machines
Proper maintenance is crucial to keep wood chipper machines operating safely and efficiently. Here are some important maintenance tips:
- Sharpen cutter blades at least once per year or as needed. This maximizes chipping performance.
- Replace worn feed rollers/tires that lose traction and grip over time.
- Lubricate bearings, bushings, and other friction points with grease or oil. Do this as specified in your owner’s manual.
- Check and change air filters and replace spark plugs as needed.
- Drain and replace hydraulic fluid and other lubricants after every 100-200 operating hours.
- Inspect belts and drive systems. Tighten loose belts and replace worn belts/bearings immediately.
- Clean debris buildup and wood chips from discharge chutes. Also clean feed intakes and other areas.
- Touch up any rust or paint damage to prevent further corrosion.
Factors To Consider Between Wood Chipper Rental or Buying
So when should you opt for wood chipper rental vs buying your machine? Here are some key factors to help determine the better choice:
- How often will you use it – frequent/ongoing needs favor buying.
- Project length – one-time or short jobs support renting.
- Power and capacity required – match size to typical task volume.
- Available storage space for ownership – rentals avoid storage needs.
- Safety training/experience with chipper operation.
- Ability and willingness to do maintenance on owned chippers.
- Budget – long-term cost benefits of buying or short-term savings from renting.
Finding Wood Chipper Rentals or Purchasing
Once you decide between renting or buying, here are some options for finding affordable rentals in your area. You can also explore purchasing your own.
Wood Chipper Rentals:
- Check rental centers like Sunbelt Rentals or United Rentals. Larger hardware stores like Home Depot also rent chippers.
- Search for “wood chipper rental (your city)” online. Look for rental yards near you.
- Ask tree services or landscapers if they rent or loan chippers. Some will for do-it-yourselfers.
Purchasing Wood Chipper Machines:
- Research top-rated models online and read woodchipper reviews. Consider the features needed before buying.
- Check retailers like Tractor Supply, Northern Tool, or forestry equipment dealers.
- Shop used/refurbished chippers from classified ads or auction sites. Adds value for lower budgets.
- Work with a tree service company like Jay Khodiyar. They can help you specify and source the right wood chipper machine for buying. They base their recommendations on professional advice.
Whether you opt to rent or buy, choose a properly sized machine for typical workloads. Operate it safely with proper protective gear. Be sure to maintain machines in purchasing.