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Splitter Question

Post in 'The Gear' started by scfa99, Jun 14, 2006.

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  1. scfa99

    scfa99 New Member

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    I'm thinking of getting a log splitter and splitting the cost with a buddy of mine. Between the two of us we use about 10-11 cords a year. I'm thinking of going with a 27 ton troy built with a 5.5 hp honda motor from lowes. Anyone have any experience with this? Will this be enough to do real knarly crotches? Do troy builts last?

    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=119598-270-24AF572B711

    I have a 20% off coupon from HD so I hope lowe's will honor it. That will knock the cost down close to a grand.

    The other thing were thinking about is renting it to friends. Alot of people burn by us and rent splitters. They go for 100-110 for 8 hours. We were thinking about renting it for 50 bucks a day and 75 for the weekend. Save our friends some money and also help pay off our initial outlay. My question is, how idiot proof are splitters? Do we need to worrry that people are going to do stupid things that could do damage to the splitter short and long term?

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    1. That size splitter will handle crotches. My twenty ton does it just fine.

    2. I thought about renting mine out and my attorney went nuts. Somebody hurts theirself and ends up owning your house.
  3. SeanD

    SeanD New Member

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    I have had this exact splitter for 2 years now. It has handled everything, even gnarly elm, with no problem. A couple things that you should know about it:
    1. Be careful towing it. It does not have an axle. The wheels are welded onto the hydraulic fluid reservoir. I would be concerned that hitting a pothole @ 45 mph would have disasterous results.
    2. The safety chains on mine are not long enough to reach the trailer hitch. Had to buy additional chain.
    3. Use it on level ground. If it is angled so the hydro fill opening is low the fluid will spurt out of the pressure relief opening.

    I also will no longer lend my good tools to even my best friend. No matter how careful they are, chit happens. Not worth ruining a friendship. If they do want to use it, I go with it.
  4. snowfreak

    snowfreak New Member

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    I've got the same model that you are considering buying also. I really don't have any other log splitters that I've used except for some home made jobs so I'll give some pro's and con's that I've noticed.

    Pro's: Wicked quiet with the honda engine, runs about an hour with the small tank, good cycle time, very powerfull but I have encountered knarly splits over 20" in diameter that required readusting to split all the way, love the log dislodger, love the auto return valve, like the horizontal/vertical feature its easy to change

    Con's: Mine came with the plastic fenders, don't drop a split on them the metal brackets that support the fender bend easily, the cradels on the side of the main beam are pretty light metal and again bend, I didn't care for the bent look so I had a friend beef them up and welded some additions metal to the bottom, last but not least and maybe this is common with all store bought splitters the splitting wedge leaves about 2-3 inches of log left at the end of the split, most times it's not that big of a deal unless its really stringy elm in there, I currently bring a small hatchet and finish the job with that but my plans are to weld two pieces of square tubing on both sides of the end piece so the wedge is flush at full exension and can finish the job on the stringy elm.

    I would most certainly purchase one of these splitters again even with the cons listed. This same splitter has about 3 different brand names Cub Cadet, Troy Built, and White Outdoors so it's not really Troy Built who builds these things its just their stickers on the hardware. Hopefully they last for a long time. Good luck with whatever splitter you chooose.
  5. scfa99

    scfa99 New Member

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    thanks for the feedback.

    went to lowes tonight, they had a 22 ton brave splitter (used) there, checked it out, never heard of the brand, has a 5.5 intek briggs motor. anyway they wheeled out the troy bilt and it looks like a toy next to the brave even though its a 27 ton. plastic fenders, much smaller metal and housing, just doesnt look like it'll hold up. mgr wasn't there so i couldn't get a price on the brave. going back tomorrow. my question is would i be better off going with the brave if i can get it cheaper than the troy bilt? is the briggs motor any good? has anyone ever heard of brave splitters? any help would be appreciated. thanks
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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  7. scfa99

    scfa99 New Member

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    BB you mentioned in another thread the HF offers additional coupons. i signed up for it but haven't recd anything. is 799 the best price or should i wait for a coupon on top of that?
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The coupons apply to sale prices too. An example is a tailgate lift I bought for my truck a couple of months ago. Regular price was $399, sale price $199. I dropped the current 20% off coupon on them and bought one for $159.
  9. scfa99

    scfa99 New Member

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    How do i get the 20% coupon? by signing up on their site? how often do they offer them?
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    You sign up on their website. About one coupon a week comes in email. Usually you get one for 10% off of total purchase, the next five bucks off of one item and then the next is for 20% on one item.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I just missed the last 10% coupon. Read online somewhere that they've stopped sending 20% off and the free shipping offers since Jan. due to high fuel prices. Can you confirm?
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I got my latest 20% off coupon last week.
  13. yukiginger

    yukiginger Member

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    Just a reminder that the HF 20% coupon is only good at their retail stores. Until recently mine did not carry a hydraulic splitter.

    I bought the HF 22 ton splitter about 6 months ago. I just recently encountered problems with it. Here are some posts I made on another site when seeking advice:

    ***********

    I pulled the pump on my splitter last week because I thought that it had failed and had ordered a new one. Turns out that once I was able to remove it I found the jaws on the couplings had been damaged and the spider between them was almost totally destroyed. I ordered replacement parts from Harbor Freight, where I bought the splitter 6 months ago as a reconditioned item. My neighbors and I have split about 20 full cords with it.

    My question is what would cause such early failure in the spider and the "lovejoy" couplings. I would like to avoid future problems, and I am hopeful that my pump is not done.

    Thanks for any advice.

    MarkG


    ***************
    But for this problem I and my 3 neighbors have been very satisfied with this splitter - the 22 ton model with the Briggs 5.5 hp engine. I bought it as a reconditioned model, for $600 plus $40 shipping. In my opinion there aren't that many moving parts to these splitters so generally if they have a quality engine, pump, cylinder, and valve you should be okay. Mine has the Briggs Intek engine.

    I am dissappointed at this point with this breakage, and unfortunately I only had a 90 day warranty because it was reconditioned. New ones come with a 2 yr. warranty I was told by a customer service rep. That strikes me as really good.

    My splitter will split 25" long rounds, and I have split many large rounds of 28-36" in diameter with it. Much of my wood has come from cleaning up for a logger, so I get butts and other odd pieces once he cuts to length. I have split cherry, honey locust, soft maple, hard maple, ash, and white oak primarily with many crotch sections and rounds with large limbs coming in. Yes, the splitter slows down as it is designed to when it encounters a tough one, but she powers through. We've all been very happy with its performance. My one neighbor was planning to buy the Troy-bilt 35 ton model and just recently he told me that he would not have bought my splitter but now that he has used it he would. (I charge my 3 neighbors $40 a year to use the splitter as a way to offset maintenance.)

    I think the Harbor Freight splitters offer a tremendous value (unless you have problems as I've had), but with a 2 yr. warranty you can hardly go wrong. My model is currently on sale for $800. If I did it over again I would try to get the Robin engine which they offer on the 24 ton and sometimes their 30 ton. I see that you are outside Houston with a Harbor Freight store. Call them and see what they have. If you have an Entertainment book check it for a coupon or sign up at HF's website for their emails. Almost every week I receive by email a coupon for 20% off any item at their retail store. My local store just recently started carrying the 22 ton splitter. Do you know what $800- 20% comes to? - a great deal on a log splitter!!! (Be sure to print out the web price, though, as the stores don't always communicate well with corporate, but they will honor the web price.)

    MarkG

    **************


    Most advice suggested that the shafts were misaligned. After I received the replacement flex couplings and spider from Harbor Freight I found that there was play - they didn't mesh up properly. I went to Tractor Supply Company yesterday and the spiders they carry are a better material (BUNA-N, I think?) AND it fits properly. I am now very confident that the spider HF uses is the wrong one, not properly fit for the jaws. All I can tell you is that if you buy a splitter from HF make sure to check this spider frequently (which, is almost impossible to see but you might be able to feel it) and plan on replacing it at the first sign of wear. Otherwise your couplings will also be toast.


    Hope this helps.

    MarkG
  14. scfa99

    scfa99 New Member

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    Unfortunately, i've called 4 local stores and none of them carry gas splitters. i called the website and the coupons are not accepted, so not only will have not be able to use 20% off I will also have to pay for shipping, 80 bucks. URGH

    The best i can do in my area is a huskee 22ton with a 5.5 for $1000. about 300 more than the HF deal. if anyone knows of any HF stores in the NJ/PA area that has gas splitters let me know, i've called allentown, brick, philly and corporate.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    MarkG - Thanks for the informative review. Where is the coupler that is mentioned? Between the engine and the pump?

    I don't have any Tractor Supply branches in our state. Did you look at the 22ton model sold by Tractor supply? TSC # 2153613? Anyone know what it is going for?
  16. scfa99

    scfa99 New Member

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    Yeah the 22ton at TC is 1000, also the hitch bar and stand seem a lot thinner than the HF version. Anyone know if TC will accept coupons from other places like HD or lowes or if they will negotiate?
  17. yukiginger

    yukiginger Member

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    BeGreen,

    The shafts on the engine and pump are basically joined together by these couplings. On the HF models they are fairly well protected from the top in a housing. While at Tractor Supply yesterday I checked out the couplings on the Huskee splitters. They had the medium (24 or 27 ton) and the large 35 ton models. Nice looking machines, do doubt. One of the reasons I wouldn't go with the large model, or a similar one, is the weight difference. My two neighbors and I do not have lawn tractors to easily move around the splitter on our properties. We do have hitches on our vehicles, but we sometimes need to move the splitter into tighter spots. My 22 ton weighs about 500 lbs., and it is about the limit to handle by one person, I think. This includes lifting up the beam to go vertical.The larger splitters are another hundred pounds or so. I also have a trailer dolly that helps to move it around although it is very tongue heavy and is hard on the dolly wheels.

    MarkG
  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Thank you for the idea Mark. I have jackassed my splitter from place to place rather than mess with going and getting the tractor and hooking it up for years. Trailer dolley here I come!
  19. yukiginger

    yukiginger Member

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    BB, glad that one of my comments might actually help someone! I think my dolly is not the heavy duty one, so rated at 250 lbs. or so tongue weight. Like I said, my splitter has wreaked havoc on it, bending the cheap wheels, but it is still working. Basically the ball would need to sit a foot higher (and thus require redesign of the entire dolly) for it to work really well with my splitter. Still, it is a safer way than by hand to move it around.

    MarkG
  20. scfa99

    scfa99 New Member

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    Picked up the 22 ton, 6.5 hp briggs from Tractor Supply. All their splitters come filled with motor oil and hydralic fluid (nice touch).

    So i split about a cord last night, went thru everything i could throw at it including some really long knarly crotches, some huge 36" wide, 24" inch long black walnut rounds. All in all it slowed down on the big stuff but plodded through it. The other nice feature is that it has the bar on the return that dislodges the wood when it retracts, the other splitter I looked at didn't have this feature. The horizontal to vertical is one pin and converts in seconds. The only thing I didn't like is that there doesn't seem to be a way to lock it in place when splitting in the vertical setting, seems dangerous when the unit bears down on large rounds. Also the fuel tank is very small.
  21. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Since the force is all between the wedge and the base it is ok. Just be sure that anytime the splitter "bears down" that you are standing back beside it instead of in front of the ram. Many times when it finally splits the tough stuff the pieces will pop out and that is not the time that you want to be sitting in front of it.

    Another thing to watch out for is pieces that touch the ground beside the base plate. If force is transmitted to the ground instead of the plate the whole splitter will move.
  22. scfa99

    scfa99 New Member

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    BB, thanks for the tips. yeah thats exactly when the whole splitter moved, when I was splitting the huge rounds that rest on the ground. i blocked the wheels of the splitter to keep it in place and that helped. any other work arounds for the big stuff?

    Any other safety tips that are not obvious? Bascially wear protection, dont stick hands in while running, and don't stand in front of splitter in the vertical position when splitting tough peices. Anything i'm missing?
  23. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Not a safety tip but will make life easier. Gasoline will get stale the tank or containers it is kept in also condensate. If yuing your car lawn mower or splitter frequently and adding new gas all is well. What happens to most is they let gas sit in the engine and carberator for long periods of time. Gas will form a varnish like substance and clogg fuel lines and carberator jets.
    My suggetstion are
    #1 run the tank dry when you know it will not be used for an extended period of time

    #2 In the fall I add gas stablizer into my gas can which helps preventing staleness and varnishing. It I treat the gas can then all small engines I fill up get treated. This is a stop gap measure not a permanent solution. It is best to run the fuel dry

    #3 third preventive maintance measure for prolong storage, is to pull the spark plug and add a cap full of oil in the spark plug hole. Then shoot a healthy spray of wd40 in the carberator. Finally turn the engine over a couple of times. this will lubricate the cylinders and help prolong seals. The wd will diluter any leftover gas still in the system and lubricate the carberator moving parts and again good for your seals and diaphram. Come spring you will find an engine much easier to start and not needing a carberator rebuild, to get the crud out
  24. CK-1

    CK-1 Feeling the Heat

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    Not to knowledgable about splitters, except the axe version.. This was very informative...

    Does the splitter from HF (22-24 Ton) use a standard 2,3 or 4-way wedge?.. If not, could it be converted to use one?..




  25. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The wedges on most consumer splitters are just a single wedge that splits the stuff into two pieces. And that is all that is practical. There isn't enough space between the ram and the beam to get whole, large logs under them far enough to bring the wedge down in the center. Logs that are small enough to get centered under the wedge only need to be split in two or otherwise you are just making kindling out of them. For the big boys you push it as far in as you can and usually they will split in half and you then make smaller splits out of the big ones.
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