We asked experts from three leading equipment manufacturers: “What’s the one thing tree care professionals need to consider when purchasing a chipper?”

Here’s what they had to say:

J.R. Bowling
VP of Sales and Marketing, Rayco

Today more than ever before, the big question is, “Do I want a gasoline or a diesel engine?” If you’re shopping for a machine in the middle of the hand-fed chipper size range (12-, 15- and even 18-inch capacity), you’re likely to find both gasoline and diesel options available. For years, these units have been powered almost exclusively by diesel engines, but that’s no longer the case. With the transition to Tier 4-final emissions in full swing, gasoline engines have once again made a resurgence into the chipper market. Buyers should take time to learn about and consider the advantages and drawbacks of each before making their decision. Contacting the dealer for a demonstration is important. We’ve found customers are often pleasantly surprised at the performance of our 15-inch chipper that’s powered by a 130-hp gasoline engine. The industry has been dominated by diesel for so long, most customers have simply never used a chipper powered by a gasoline engine.

Casey Gross
Tree Care Products Director, Morbark

The one thing tree care professionals need to consider when purchasing a chipper is, “How will this purchase help make my company money?” But that’s just not one thing. Tree care professionals need to ask themselves a series of questions to determine how a chipper purchase will affect their bottom line. These include: “How will this affect my productivity? Will this be cost effective for my business? What is the cost of ownership? Does this fit with my other machines that I already own? Are parts readily available? Do I have local service for this product? Can I trust that the company will stand behind their product?” As you can see, there isn’t one thing you can consider when purchasing a chipper. Morbark can help answer all these questions and help guide you in the right direction when considering the purchase of a chipper.

Matt Hutchinson
Product Manager for Tree Care, Rental and Landscape, Vermeer

Whether you’re buying your first brush chipper or your fifth, the most important thing to consider is whether the chipper fits your business and productivity goals. Purchasing a chipper that can effectively handle at least 80 to 90 percent of the tree and brush you intend to chip is a good rule of thumb to follow. Will you be processing small limbs in a residential area? Or are you chipping big branches in a large green area? By evaluating your productivity goals, you can make a decision on the best chipper to fit your needs. Once these standards are met, be mindful of the company support after your purchase. They will play a vital role in your buying experience as well.