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Log splitter - rental vs purchase

Post in 'The Gear' started by BrianK, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    Hi folks,
    I just found a local equipment rental that has a 20 ton log splitter they rent for $60 per day. That seems a bit steep. I'm just wondering how much wood one could reasonably expect to split during a one day rental. Several cords?

    If so, its probably more economical for me to rent for the next year or two than buy.

    If not, I'm going to start searching CL and other local listings for a decent used splitter.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Brian

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Brian, many folks do find that rent is the best way to go. $60 is probably on the low end for rental as some charge up to $100.

    You can split many, many cords in a day with a 20 ton. We've done this many times and one time there were 3 of us working. Really made the wood fly that day! Our splitter is a 20 ton MTD and it is a real work horse. A 5 hp engine is all it has but has plenty of horses to get the job done. I don't even run it full throttle most of the time. If some hard splitters, then I'll open it up. It is plenty fast for me. I say rent it.
    BrianK likes this.
  3. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I rent my 30 ton for 50 per day plus 10 delivery. I say rent it. Tying up $8-900 in a piece of equipment that you only use 2xs per year is a waste. If you must split every piece of wood than maybe you should buy one.
  4. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    If you plan it right, you can split a LOT of wood. Get the wood blocked up before you rent the splitter, then have a splitting party. When I worked for the tree company I would bring loads of wood all summer, then spend a weekend with the in laws blocking it up and bring a splitter the next. One year we did almost 50 cords on a Sunday, Dad on the splitter valve, one positioning the blocks, one feeding blocks and one moving split wood.
  5. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    WOW!!!

    Excellent!

    That puts that subject to rest for me.
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    True that ^^^^^

    Pics or it didn't happen! ::-)

    If matters what kind of machine you have too. If your renting a splitter like most of us own then your probably not going to make 50 cords. I often see my machine at rental shops an I know with a two-man crew you can make 3-4 cords in a day without killing yourself. Of course renting a Timberwolf TW-5 or the like will boost your productivity, especially if you have lots of big rounds.
    ScotO likes this.
  7. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

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    1/2 a cord an hour, 1 cord if you are using an impact and have it all lined up.

    50 cords i an day would need a very large wood processor and mechanical handling, conveyor belts etc and then maybe.
  8. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    Something else to consider is that when you rent, you have to split continuously and then take the thing back. Even with a hydraulic splitter, processing wood is laborious and you may wish to plan on having a good supply of Aleve (and beer) on hand to deal with the inevitable aches and pains. I struggled with "rent vs buy" question for years, and after having spent about $300 or so on rentals, bit the bullet on a used Huskee 28 ton. I can now spend an hour here, two hours there, and split wood without killing my back. It's a comforting feeling to know it's there, and I've been able to arrange some neat swaps with people.....an auto mechanic did some serious work on my car in exchange for borrowing the splitter for a couple weeks.
  9. blujacket

    blujacket Minister of Fire

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    I love being able to pull the splitter out of the garage whenever I want. I'm a scrounger and when the wood is out you have to snatch it asap. Go in halves with a family member or friend if possible.
  10. seeyal8r

    seeyal8r Feeling the Heat

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    I went in with a buddy and bought a 22 ton splitter. $300 each. I've used it enough to justify the buy. Ive bought several equipment type items like this just splitting with a neighbor or friend. I bought a $200 yard sprayer for $100. I recommend that whenever possible.
  11. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    For whatever reason, splitters hold their value extremely well...around here at least. I bought a brand new 22 ton for $999. I bet I can use it for the next 5 years and turn around and sell it for at least $800. That's $40/year + a couple oil changes...and I don't have to haul it back and forth to the rental place.
  12. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Is that "dictionary" cords or face cords? Multi-way wedge?
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I work alone so I cannot say how much difference two more people would make but the cycle time would probably become the limiting factor. Me thinks those were not legal cords but rather "face cords".
  14. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Around here, rentals are a crap shoot. Most times when I rent equipment, I need to waste a bunch of time fixing it so it will work.

    The year I bought my splitter, I tried finding a rental but there were none to be had. I'd rather have one and not need it than need one and not have it. It has not yet paid for itself but it sure is nice not to have to pick up a rental, bust my ass doing the marathon splitting, and then have to return it on time.

    Also, since I own it, I can pimp it out.:p
    cmurf70, MasterMech and BrianK like this.
  15. Brogan007

    Brogan007 Member

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    I guess it all comes down to how you see value on. Arranging for 2-3 helpers, setting a full day aside to do it...and then killing yourselves for 8-12 hrs...might not be worth the perceived savings. After all, depreciation on a splitter is what? $100 a year? You rent for 2 days/yr @ $60...??? You make 1% interest on your CD. Do the math.
    Park $1000 in a splitter, save on the imported labor, split when you feel like...for a couple hours at a time....sell the thing 5+ yrs later if you want to.
    Of course, all this assumes you have $1000 in a CD.....40% of Americans have nothing in savings. Scary!
  16. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Pretty sure he meant face cords. My processor runnin' head down/bawlz out will make 3.5 full cord/hour.
    smokinj likes this.
  17. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Even then, 16 cord in one day is humpin' it. I might even go so far as to say too tired to drink a beer at the end of that day....wait...I take that back.
    Gasifier and smokinj like this.
  18. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    16 cords in a day would be 16 perfect hours. Not happen at my place! :oops:
  19. mecreature

    mecreature Minister of Fire

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    I rented one last sunday. 30 bucks for 3 hours, 48 bucks for 6 hours and 60 bucks for the day.
    I ran it for 2 hours straight twice with an hour break for lunch.
    I was working by myself. It is now 3 in the afternoon.
    I figure if I am going to get any more split I had better get on it.

    I go out and fire it up and poof, It started blowing smoke bad.
    shut off fired back up same thing.

    Hooked it up, took it back told them sorry time got away from me,
    He said no worries he would only charge me for 4 hours... sweet

    I sure am glad that was not my splitter.

    4 hours by myself running straight I got 2 and 1/3 cord split.
    It would have been more then double that with another worker. I was sore as a dog the next day
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  20. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    One thing about splitters is that they don't really take too well to being towed any distance at highway speed. Maybe it's OK if you are Mr. Urban Dweller and the rental place is nearby, but I would not want to tow one for miles along the Trans-Canada Highway.

    For some stupid reason, MTD chose not to put a gas shutoff valve on mine so I would have to run it out of gas before towing it some distance so that it doesn't flood.
  21. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Is there anybody out there who owns a splitter that wishes they had stuck with renting? ;)

    The only times renting makes a lot of sense to me is:

    1.) You just plain can't afford to buy the thing outright.

    2.) You can and want to rent a machine that is far more productive than what you could afford to buy.

    3.) You're "test-driving" equipment you may or may not decide to buy or you know this is a one-time deal.

    Otherwise you're gonna face:

    1.) Fixing up the rental shop's machine on your dime because you already set aside time today to do the task you needed the machine for in the first place.

    2.) Not being able to get a machine when you need it. Especially at peak season.

    3.) Being on a deadline to get every thing done in the time allotted or else facing additional rental fees.


    Rent the big, expensive stuff for sure! But a $1000 splitter doesn't really qualify as "big". Many will happily spend well over that for a TV. I see owning the splitter as kinda like owning your own washer/dryer. And nobody I know will argue the laundromat to be a good value.


    Going in halves may work for some but I do not share well with others. They're MY toys. MINE! ::-)
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  22. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Owning has the benefit of doing the work on your time and not the rental companies availability of the machine. 20 minute of splitting here and there adds up over time.
    mecreature likes this.
  23. mecreature

    mecreature Minister of Fire

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    that is exactly what I was saying at the end of the day hustling to get that splitter back before they closed.
  24. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Let me put it a different way . . .

    Splitting 50 cord with 4 people and one splitter in 24 hours. . . . Bull chit
    smokinj likes this.
  25. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    ;lol Good decision.;lol

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