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Iron & Oak 26 ton Horizontal and Vertical Splitter (9HP Robin engine) review

Post in 'The Gear' started by GordonShumway, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. GordonShumway

    GordonShumway Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    102
    Loc:
    Nebraska
    Our new splitter arrived in our driveway yesterday. From time order was placed to delivery was 8 business days through buyacehardware.com. The delivery method was in question since we never received a call from I&O on arrangements. The splitter was shipped to R&L Carriers and at that point R&L called us to arrange for delivery the following day. My wife took the call from R&L and she inquired about the liftgate service, but lucky for us they informed her that a truck with a liftgate would already be making another delivery in the area and it wouldn't cost any extra for them to use the liftgate to deliver here. Here are some pics of how the splitter arrived.

    Attached Files:

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  2. GordonShumway

    GordonShumway Member

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    The assembly was off and on as I had time but all in all I would say it takes about 1 1/2 to assemble ( 1 hour if your familiar with assembling things). I was able to do this by myself. The heaviest part was of course lifting the i-beam on end. After that pretty easy. When connecting the beam to the axle assembly I took the bracket off the axle and bolted it onto the i-beam then just rolled the axle up to the bracket. You will only need two wrench sizes (1/2" and 3/4"), and it comes with a little tool to assist in that. One mistake I made was that I bolted the i-beam rest on the same side as the kick stand, causing the kick stand to hit the rest when it was put up. Easy fix tho. Other then that the assembly was straight forward and the manual detailed enough. Only thing had to add was that the engine was loosely bolted to frame and during shipping lost one of the nuts ( no biggie tho) so tightened that down. Only 3 things needed to get it running and that is of course 9.5 gallons of atf or hydraulic fluid, gas and motor oil. Didn't have any atf so picked some up today and will be going out to add that and fire it up. Will add to review once I get it running and split some wood.
  3. iskiatomic

    iskiatomic Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    725
    Loc:
    Central CT
    I used an I&O splitter last fall at a friends in VT. Very nice unit, very smooth and lots of punch.

    Enjoy, KC
  4. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Sep 22, 2010
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    2,027
    Loc:
    Western PA
    Eight looong business days, I'm sure! Looks good. Enjoy your new toy, er, um, tool. :)
  5. pyronut

    pyronut Member

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    Apr 5, 2011
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    139
    Loc:
    El paso, TX
    Looks great!!! Let us know how it splits. Thanks for the update.
  6. GordonShumway

    GordonShumway Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Nebraska
    Went out and added the various fluids. Was approx. 2 qts shy on the atf, but went ahead and tried it out. I added gas, pulled once, and it fired right up. Took me a bit to find the throttle (kept mistaking it for the choke), suppose if I would've read the manual a little more I would have been able to find it. The engine is fairly quiet, but I think I will wear the ear protection to be on the safe side. I operated the ram a couple of times and turned it back off. To my surprise the unit is very well balanced, so when I went to move it I was able to just walk it around the yard myself. Headed to the wood pile (which has obviously been neglected to weeds), and set the splitter in the vertical position. After firing it up I let it idle for a few minutes because it had a rattle to it that I will admit was annoying. After some searching found it to be the pin that is the joint between the axle and the i-beam. It fits loosely in the hole and so sits there and vibrates until it is under a load. The 1st piece i split was maple (after that I have no idea the type of wood). It of course split it without hesitation. After that I tried some various knotty green pieces. The first 2 had some initial hesitation, but then split right on through. The 4th piece was a different story. It stopped the ram for a couple of seconds but then ripped it apart. I have some bigger stumps but was unable to try those because they are buried in the pile. So after a couple of pieces I got a good idea what it could handle, although I should mention I was only at 1/2 throttle.

    Attached Files:

  7. GordonShumway

    GordonShumway Member

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    Loc:
    Nebraska
    On a side note, there was a small filter screen looking device in the bag of parts. The manual says nothing about it that I could find, but it goes over the exhaust port to redirect it if you wish.

    Attached Files:

  8. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest


    The screen is a "Spark Arrestor". Should be used if working in a dry environment. (fall, leaves, etc) Smokey the Bear says "Only you can prevent Forest Fires".
  9. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Western PA
    In some areas, the spark arrestor is not just recommended, it's required by law.
  10. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Absolutley.... An ATV must have one here in Ohio, when riding through any state park. Better to be safe than sorry.
  11. GordonShumway

    GordonShumway Member

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    Loc:
    Nebraska
    That's good to know about the spark arrestor. I never would've guessed nor known. Makes good sense tho. Thanks for the info.
  12. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Peru, MA
    Very nice, but it ought to be at that price point.

    Glad you like it.
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Anderson, Indiana
    Looks Great!
  14. wannabegreener

    wannabegreener Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
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    Loc:
    Southern NH
    just ordered mine. Can't wait to get it. Thanks for your review and pictures.
  15. pyronut

    pyronut Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
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    139
    Loc:
    El paso, TX
    Let us know when it arrives. I ordered mine this past Friday and now it comes down to the waiting game. I will update when it arrives. Happy Splitting To All !!!
  16. wannabegreener

    wannabegreener Member

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    Southern NH
    Any idea where it is coming from. I know the HQ is in Illinois, but not sure if that is where it is shipped.
  17. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I've been splitting with this unit for three seasons now and loving it. A few pointers: Quality oil makes a difference, the hydraulics tend to get VERY warm unless you only split in freezing weather. I am often splitting in 80 degree + weather. About that annoying rattle; jam a thin chip of wood in between the pivot bracket and the frame to keep it quiet. I'm going to look for nylon washers for mine. Finally, BE CAREFUL splitting heavy logs in the horizontal position. The unit is well balanced making it easy to push around but it will tend to tip forward during the splitting cycle if the log on it is heavy. Found that out because I was too lazy to switch between horizontal and vertical modes, lol.

    As a small engine pro, kudos on picking the Robin! IMO the Honda's are great but not worth the x-tra money and Briggs is a crapshoot unless it's a Vangaurd and even then there are issues.

    P.S. The Log Dislodger attachment is well worth the cash but the log table is somewhat flawed and you can fab your own for less money. Mine tends to catch knots/edges on the wood when in the flat position and the wedge pushes the wood into the table, bending the brackets that hold it to the beam.

    I brought this product line into the dealership I used to work for and there isn't a better price/performace ratio with any other machine. Sure Timberwolf builds some badass splitters but they're twice the price and certainly not bulletproof. MTD and it's cousin's build splitters that split just fine but look closer at pumps/engines and they certainly were designed to be replaced inexpensively rather than last a lifetime.

    Happy Splitting!
  18. pyronut

    pyronut Member

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    139
    Loc:
    El paso, TX
    Any idea where it is coming from. I know the HQ is in Illinois, but not sure if that is where it is shipped.[/quote]

    I am not sure where it is shipping from. If I find out I will update. Have a good one.
  19. GordonShumway

    GordonShumway Member

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    Loc:
    Nebraska
    Mastermech-Thanks for adding your experience. Will also try some washers on the pivot pin. I was just shoving a rag in the pivot bracket but would work loose after 15 mins or so. I am curious, did you go with atf or hydraulic fluid?

    Also, if I remember right, the shipper papers said it came from their HQ in illinois.
  20. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I went with hydraulic fluid, although either will be fine. ATF may have been a better choice and that is I & O's preferred fluid. I will probably be swapping my fluid out this fall for a HQ synthetic as my machine gets so hot after 4 hours of splitting that you can't touch the cylinder/tank.
  21. wannabegreener

    wannabegreener Member

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    Loc:
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    Is there a reason atf would be better then hydraulic fluid? I want to get what I need before it shows up so once it is together,I can get it running. If it takes 8 working days to get here, I'll be splitting around the 11th or 12th.

    I have 99 rounds on my driveway that I can't lift so the vertical will be nice. I'll be singing

    99 rounds on the driveway to split
    99 rounds to split
    slide one over and split it to pieces
    98 rounds on the driveway to split

    For my grapple load to be up to the 6 cords they promised, I need these 99 rounds to be 3.25 cords. Hopefully I will know by that weekend if I have 3.25 cords there. I already have split and stacked about 2.75 cords.
  22. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    ATF may be designed for higher temp operation but other than that I can't see any advantage. I'm prob. switching out to AMSOIL's Multi-Visc Synthetic Hyd Fluid. Stuff is WICKED EXPENSIVE ($140 for 5 gallon pail) but a deal when you consider OEM fluids from Deere/Kubota/Cat are also over $100 a bucket for dinosaur oil.
  23. GordonShumway

    GordonShumway Member

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    I thought that I saw a chart some where or something of the sort, that hydraulic was good down to a certain temp. just below freezing, while atf was best to use if you split in colder temps. along with warmer temps. Now that I mention that, I can't seem to find out where I heard that.
  24. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Here is what a current I&O manual says:

    [​IMG]


    Here's what a current SpeeCo/Huskee manual says:


    [​IMG]


    My understanding is that ATF will work fine but is thinner than SAE20 oil, so it's better for colder operations. With that being the case, you might want to consider 10W-20 hydraulic oil if you'll be operating in both hot and cold temperatures. Note that ISO46 may be used in splitters that call for SAE20.

    The bottom line is that splitters aren't as particular as tractors or excavators, so the inexpensive hydraulic oil or ATF from the local farm store should do just fine if you get the right weight for your operating temperatures.

    My personal experience has been using SAE20 and more recently ISO46 hydraulic oil in Huskee splitters. I've split from 20-90*F and have had no issues with either hydraulic oil. I do keep my splitter in a heated garage (never below 50*F) in winter months.
  25. GordonShumway

    GordonShumway Member

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    102
    Loc:
    Nebraska
    Thanks Treepointer. I thought I had read that somewhere. But perhaps I would have been better off with the hydro oil. I don't have a heated shed, so not sure if sae20 would've work if splitting in 20 degrees.

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