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any opinions on 3 point splitter vs self powered?

Post in 'The Gear' started by woodmeister, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. woodmeister

    woodmeister New Member

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    talking to a friend and the question is does it make sense to buy a splitter when you own a tractor that can run one off the 3 point attachment?

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Less fuel on a splitter rather than feeding the tractor. You dont have to mount it each time you need it, easier to move from location to location with out the tractor.

    Sure some one can give you the pro's.
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    If the tractor has a FEL, I'd want to free it up to move the wood to/from the splitter. The PSI and GPM of the tractor hydraulics may limit the tons and cycle time. I'd rather run up the hours on a cheap $200 motor than on an expensive tractor. A tow behind splitter can go everywhere the tractor can and more. It doesn't take up much more room in storage and is easier to manouver in and out of tight spaces.
  4. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    My little diesel uses less fuel than a gas splitter. However, the noise from running it at high RPM and the 8.7 gpm pump made me find a better solution. Once you buy one with a pto pump, you are at nearly the same money as a stand-alone and you need your tractor to split wood.
  5. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

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    Did you happen to see this thread? http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/62689/
    Some info there if you havent read it. I've been looking at small tractors and holding out for one with hydraulic ports, want something like an old 8N or a Farmall A but of course those dont have rear hydraulics so have to go newer. Then again lots a reasons to go to self contained unit as well. For now I split by hand. Bigger ones I can't split go into a stack. When the stack gets big and if I also happen to have a truckload or two of recently bucked wood then I might rent a splitter. $60 and a day and I'm all caught back up. Will take a long time to make buying one cheaper, but if I had one I'd use it A LOT more and whenever I wanted.
  6. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    self powered, agree with all of the above
  7. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

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    Well my friend Gerald said I would be not to have a 3pt splitter. He said "Why would you want something with a engine on it that you only use 20 hrs a year" For him it works out great. But they cut and split all their wood in about 2 weeks. But I am going to make a selfpowered splitter even though I was thinking a 3pt for a while. For me a self powered splitter makes sense as cut what comes down when it does and clean it up and I can do a little or lot at one time when ever I have wood and not have to worry about hooking up to a tractor or tying it up.

    But I did use his last year and it really made short work of my wood. I had it on a 65 hp Massy and nothing stopped it. But it was also heavy and probally would have picked up the front end on a lighter tractor. A pto pump is a must on one for the flow capacity and because it put a lot of heat into the tractor hyd system.


    Here's Gerald's splitter

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It has a six way blade on a hyd cylinder so you can lift it out of the way for small stuff.

    [​IMG]

    Billy
  8. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Billy, how happy is Gerald with his wedge and what's the third lever for?
  9. djblech

    djblech Feeling the Heat

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    I have gone round and round with this topic also. I finally decided to get the 3-pt for a number of reasons. I really do not need another small engine around that only see's minimal usage. I end up with gas and carb problems. My tractor is 45hp diesel with 14 gpm pump speeds, should idle and split. I already have hydraulic ports installed at the rear of the machine. I like the idea of raising and lowering the 3pt to adjust the height of the splitter. Bottom line is it is $300-$400 cheaper, and if I really don't like it I could make/add a pump+motor, or sell it. I have looked at a lot of self powered splitters and I only seem to like the ones that cost an arm and a leg. I hope to pick one up in the next couple of months, so I will keep you posted.
    Doug
  10. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    The way I look at it is my tractor is worth $70/hr if I man it out. If I run it 20 hours to split my winters wood I midas well burn propane and save the time for doin something I wanna do. No figgin way you'd catch me wearing out a $60,000 machine to split wood when a $1000 machine will work just fine.
    Maintenance on another motor,,,, blah ,blah ,blah. I can change the oil on another small engine in less than 5 minutes.
  11. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    +1.
  12. Splitter77

    Splitter77 Member

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    This is a question we get on a daily basis and the truth is there is no right answer. Most people have their mind made up but they still want to hear other opinions. If you do have the rear ports and a decent pump and you are just splitting for your self and not dozens of cord of wood then you could save quite a bit of money buying a 3 PT splitter over a regular splitter. Again no right answer I dont think, just depends on how you look at what equipment is used for or how you want it used..
  13. dirttracker

    dirttracker Member

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    I have something in between - a 3pt splitter with it's own engine. I did not figure my old tractors would have enough output and the others are right, by the time you get a PTO pump and reservoir, etc you have the cost of a powered splitter. In my case, the engine was free, I only had to buy a 16 GPM 2 stage pump, a tank, and some misc fittings and hydro lines. In my situation, I have found the following "pros"
    -I can get the splitter to just about anywhere on my property easier than a tow behind
    -I can set the beam on the splitter to just about any height - on the ground for heavy stuff, at truck height for taking care of the smaller stuff. It's nice to be able to stand comfortably while splitting
    -It does not put hours on the tractor to use the splitter
    "cons"
    -The tractor is tied to the splitter and can't be used for moving wood (IMO, my old 8n is not worth much for moving wood anyway)
    -It's difficult to take the splitter off property (or maybe that's a pro if someone wants to borrow it)
    -It would have been cost prohibitive if I did not already have the engine for free

    This works for me in my situation, yours may be different. With my ancient tractors I would not consider running the splitter off the hydros. My Super M has rear hydros, but with such a small pump it seems silly to run a 50 HP tractor for a few GPM of hydraulics. The newer tractors are probably better, but do they have enough fluid capacity to spend an extended time splitting wood without overheating the hydro fluid? If you wear out your pump, what is the cost? You can but a 16 GPM 2 stage pump for ~$175, the pump on my SM is at least $500.
  14. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

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    when I built mine it was with the intent of running off the tractor. lasted about one and a half years. Now it is built right. Stand alone and towable with my quad. And I can use the FEL to move wood or anything else. Splitter sits most of the year out by the wood pile and I split when I have time. Tractor always seems to be busy, too busy to be tied to a splitter.
  15. djblech

    djblech Feeling the Heat

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    In my case, I usually only put around 75 hrs on my tractor per year. The extra 10-20 hrs I would run the tractor for splitting shouldn't hurt the tractor. Probably better for it than just sitting around IMHO. My BIL owns a used car lot, anything that sits for over 30 days can get what he calls lot rot. Things just start to going wrong.
    Doug
  16. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    The thing that gets missed in these discussions is why I bought my 3 pt. They are simple, easy to store and cheap. I bought mine off CL for $125, split a lot of wood with it (personal not business) and can sell it for at least what I paid for it. The 40 or 50 hours I put on my tractor are not going to make a difference and a small diesel just doesn't consume that much fuel.

    So, if cash is more important than cycle time and you have a small tractor with enough flow, I see where it can make a lot of sense.
  17. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

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    The third valve is for a log lift that didn't get built yet. He loves it. And it did great for me too. I split 10 or more cords in two days it took me longer to stack it than to split it and I doubt I used more than 5 gal of fuel. If I had a tractor that was quieter and I did my wood all at one time I would go that way. But I have a super quiet 14hp two cylinder perkins diesel. I have a electric V belt clutch for a big air compressor I am going to build onto it. It has a 60 amp alternator and I have a 3500 watt power inverter that will go on it too. So I will end up with super quiet logsplitter and portable air compressor with 3500 watts of 110v. I can plug in my sirius radio boom box and jam out while I split and have a mini fridge. It will get used a lot more than just a log splitter but with a diesel I don't have to worry about the fuel going bad. And since I am off grid I would have to fire up a generator anyways to run a air compressor.

    Billy
  18. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Well... new ones are really not that much cheaper than many of the tow-ables. My tow-able is very easy to store... I can wheel it into the tightest of spaces. Can't see myself wrestling a 3-PT model into the same tight corner.
  19. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I can't see buying a new one either. But my $125 CL special has split a lot of wood and has a bigger beam and cylinder than the $1000 machines. And the risk of buying used is a lot lower when the only components are a beam, cylinder and valve. That said, it has not been used since I got the horizontal electric setup together because it is dog slow even turning 2K and only vertical.

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