My first impression of the Beever 12 chipper was that it looked like any other disk chipper produced in the last 10 years. Aaron from New England Equipment explained that it was basically the same design as the old Eager Beaver, but with a few new features. The automatic feed was a great improvement over some of the older chippers I have used that didn’t have it. I really liked how the logs back away from the chipping disk when the RPMs drop, allowing the chipper to get back up to speed much faster. I also liked how easy it is to adjust each setting, high/low RPM and the backup. The only problem I had with this was on several occasions during the week, it had trouble reaching the high RPM setting to trigger the feed system to start again. I think this had something to do with the throttle cable having a stop, and not allowing it to run much higher than that high setting.
Most chippers I have used bounced around quite a bit while being towed. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Beever reacted while being towed. There was noticeably more weight on the hitch, which might present problems for pickups, but seemed just fine with the truck I have. I was also impressed with how easily the clutch engaged compared to some other brands. The Caterpillar engine on the model I tested was strong and started easy, even as temps were in the teens some mornings. The chips flew much farther than I originally anticipated, and the chips from the first few trees went right over the truck. The best feature on this model, which I had not used on other chippers, was the down pressure on the single-feed wheel. This allowed many trees and branches to be fed in whole, instead of having to be limbed extensively, saving time. I have had problems with the bottom feed wheel binding on small pieces of wood on other chippers, so I think the single-top feed wheel is a much better design.
One problem I had was that the safety control bar would reverse the chipper from both sides, but would only put the feed wheel back in forward from one side. I’m not sure if this was the design or a problem, but it got annoying having to walk all the way around the machine to put the feed into forward. Another problem was that the chute was difficult to rotate. Being only 5 feet 6 inches tall, I found myself having to climb all over the machine to turn the chute or adjust the deflector. I feel that a crank to turn the chute would make this much easier, and safer, to do.
As far as my dealings with New England Equipment, Aaron was great. He answered his phone every time I called, and he even called halfway through the week to see how things were going. He dropped the chipper off and picked it up at my convenience at my house. I really appreciated that.
I did mention the few problems I had and he said he would have them look at it when he got it back to the shop. I will definitely keep them in mind when it comes time to buy another chipper.
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