Dirty Hand Tools (DHT) 22 ton logsplitter problems

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I bought the Dirty Hand Tools (DHT) 22 ton logsplitter at Lowes over the Labor Day weekend. When I got it home, I checked all the bolts, checked hydraulic fluid, and added engine oil. I put fresh gas in it. After starting it up, the engine was surging (some call it hunting). The engine and whole splitter vibrated badly. Also, hyraulic fluid is leaking from both ends of the valve with the handle.

I called DHT and talked to Kyle (not a regular customer service rep, he was just helping out at the time). He suggested I call their listed service centers. Two service centers were close to me.

The first one I called did not work on Kohler engines and the second was less than sypathetic. The second service center said I would have to leave the splitter at his shop and he would get to it in 1 week or so. At the end on the conversation, he suggested I just take it back to Lowes.

Link to a video of the logsplitter running. Also, towards the end of the video you can see a drip of hydraulic fluid fall off the valve.


Currently, I have a 16 ton horizontal Ramsplitter with a 5.5 hp B&S Intek engine. I've had this splitter for 10 years, bought it new. Never had a problem with the engine or the logsplitter. Still starts on the first or second pull.

Anyway, has anybody heard a brand new engine run like this? What could be the cause? Based on my web searches, most people are very happy with their DHT splitters. Guess I just got a lemon...

So do I take it back? Do I take it back to the same Lowes store and hope they can assemble one that doesn't leak? Do I take it back and just get my money back?
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
Take it back. No need whatsoever to put yourself through the grief of trying to fix a new spliiter. Happened with my Husqvarna garden tractor and I took it back and they loaded the new one.

When you get the new one home go over it and tighten everything. Everything.
 

NE WOOD BURNER

Minister of Fire
Dec 30, 2012
754
When you buy stuff from a box store, the equipment is not prepped for sale. all equipment needs to be set up properly. I would return it and find a Mom and pop small equipment sales place near you.
 

Jutt77

Feeling the Heat
Dec 18, 2010
382
Evergreen, Colorado
I bought the Dirty Hand Tools (DHT) 22 ton logsplitter at Lowes over the Labor Day weekend. When I got it home, I checked all the bolts, checked hydraulic fluid, and added engine oil. I put fresh gas in it. After starting it up, the engine was surging (some call it hunting). The engine and whole splitter vibrated badly. Also, hyraulic fluid is leaking from both ends of the valve with the handle.

I called DHT and talked to Kyle (not a regular customer service rep, he was just helping out at the time). He suggested I call their listed service centers. Two service centers were close to me.

The first one I called did not work on Kohler engines and the second was less than sypathetic. The second service center said I would have to leave the splitter at his shop and he would get to it in 1 week or so. At the end on the conversation, he suggested I just take it back to Lowes.

Link to a video of the logsplitter running. Also, towards the end of the video you can see a drip of hydraulic fluid fall off the valve.


Currently, I have a 16 ton horizontal Ramsplitter with a 5.5 hp B&S Intek engine. I've had this splitter for 10 years, bought it new. Never had a problem with the engine or the logsplitter. Still starts on the first or second pull.

Anyway, has anybody heard a brand new engine run like this? What could be the cause? Based on my web searches, most people are very happy with their DHT splitters. Guess I just got a lemon...

So do I take it back? Do I take it back to the same Lowes store and hope they can assemble one that doesn't leak? Do I take it back and just get my money back?
Does it vibrate at WOT? My DHT 22 ton Kohler vibrates a bit at around half throttle but WOT is smooth.

I had to tighten the largest hydraulic fitting (screws directly into reservoir) due to a leak. Also had a leaky hose connection that required tightening. All is good now. To DHT's credit, they offered to replace the entire tank assembly if I could not fix the large fitting leak.
 

lindnova

Feeling the Heat
Nov 15, 2013
364
SE Minnesota
Does it vibrate at WOT? My DHT 22 ton Kohler vibrates a bit at around half throttle but WOT is smooth.

I had to tighten the largest hydraulic fitting (screws directly into reservoir) due to a leak. Also had a leaky hose connection that required tightening. All is good now. To DHT's credit, they offered to replace the entire tank assembly if I could not fix the large fitting leak.
I agree it doesn't sound like it is revved up all the way and others have mentioned vibration at partial throttle. Might be due to the higher volume pump than some other 22 tons as my Huskee doesn't vibrate like that ever. As far as leaks, I had one and fixed it myself, but taking it back is an option. Seems leaks are common on these. The one on the Lowes showroom was dripping oil when I was there last week.
 
The video was shot at WOT. The vibration seems to have gotten worse during the short time I ran it.

I talked to a Lowes employee who mentioned that Troy Bilt came basically assembled, they just put the tires and tongue on. But the DHT is basically a complete assembly. That makes DHT very dependent upon the Lowes employee to put their product together correctly.
 

Jutt77

Feeling the Heat
Dec 18, 2010
382
Evergreen, Colorado
The video was shot at WOT. The vibration seems to have gotten worse during the short time I ran it.

I talked to a Lowes employee who mentioned that Troy Bilt came basically assembled, they just put the tires and tongue on. But the DHT is basically a complete assembly. That makes DHT very dependent upon the Lowes employee to put their product together correctly.
Wow, yeah that vibration is pretty bad. I purchased mine directly from DHT (discounted due to hydraulic fluid leaking in crate), picked it up in Louisville and assembled it myself. The assembly process doesn't involve mounting the engine or any pump related parts so engine vibration would be something introduced at the factory unless it got banged around by Lowes.

I would take it back and try another. I'm very happy with mine after splitting 4 cords (Elm, Honey Locust, etc.) and know of many other folks on other forums that are as well.

EDIT: Just curious, does the pump shaft/engine shaft look aligned properly? Do you see any wobble from the couplers? That may be the cause of the vibration.
 
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NE WOOD BURNER

Minister of Fire
Dec 30, 2012
754
I am guessing that the key way on flywheel is sheered off or bent. common especially on box store engines, since they get shipped dry and pulled over often when on display.
 

TreePointer

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2010
3,086
PA
+1 on taking it back to store.

Issues during warranty period, and especially during the first month, are not your problem. Keep it simple.

As for getting to it in one week at the small engine shop, that's not too bad around these parts and especially for something that you didn't purchase at that shop.
 
If I take it back, I'm not sure whether to exchange it or just get my money back. Lowes was rather annoyed when I ordered it that I wouldn't take the floor model. I ordered the splitter on 8-29 and it wasn't ready until 9-4. In fact the pipe dope they used was still wet at 11am at the time I picked it up. I'm not sure they will be happy to put another one together.

This is frustrating because it seems other people are having good experiences with this splitter.
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
They were annoyed exchanging my tractor too. And I did not care. Nobody seemed annoyed taking the money.
 

Butcher

Minister of Fire
Nov 2, 2011
530
N. central Ia.
If you want to buy a big box go to a big box store. If you want service and customer satisfaction go to a dealer. Save you some time and it will probably not cost more in my experience.
 
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TMonter

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2007
1,526
Hayden, ID
They were annoyed exchanging my tractor too. And I did not care. Nobody seemed annoyed taking the money.
I agree BB, when you buy a new piece of equipment it better run properly first time or I don't want it. No-one wants to deal with a problem piece of equipment over the next few years. This is why I tend to buy things with my credit card, additional insurance should I have issues.

That being said this is the first black eye I've seen on a DHT splitter, hopefully you can get Lowes to make it right.
 
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NE WOOD BURNER

Minister of Fire
Dec 30, 2012
754
I talked to a Lowes employee who mentioned that Troy Bilt came basically assembled, they just put the tires and tongue on.
There is more to setting things up correctly than just this.
Just return it go back in a week and buy it back at discounted rate as a return and bring it to your service shop to do the proper set up. half the price for the aggravation!
 

El Finko

Member
Aug 22, 2012
161
Mason Dixon Line
Wrangler- not sure if the employee you spoke with was mixed up but my DHT22 came in the crate assembled, except for the wheels, the tongue and the splitter beam. All hoses were connected and the motor was mounted. The tank was full of hydro and the motor was full of oil.
Sticker on the crate clearly says "Assembled in China."
 
That is iinteresting. My engine had no oil in it. The pipe dope on the hoses was still fresh and wet to the touch. I picked mine up at 11am and I got the feeling they had just finished the assembly. They used alot of pipe dope. It was on the log splitter in several places after the Lowes employees got it on their hands and continued assembling the splitter. Even the manual I have states the full assembly except the motor is already attached. El Finko where did you buy yours? Has DHT made some changes and Lowes is getting different inventory? Just wondering out loud...
 

Jutt77

Feeling the Heat
Dec 18, 2010
382
Evergreen, Colorado
Wrangler- not sure if the employee you spoke with was mixed up but my DHT22 came in the crate assembled, except for the wheels, the tongue and the splitter beam. All hoses were connected and the motor was mounted. The tank was full of hydro and the motor was full of oil.
Sticker on the crate clearly says "Assembled in China."
The crated one I purchased directly from DHT didn't come with engine oil but the hydraulic tank was full. I also had to connect the hoses to the detent valve per page 21: http://dirtyhandtools.com/Log Splitter Op Man.pdf

I had to follow the assembly process verbatim with what is in the manual. DHT may be doing some further assembly and filling the motor with oil now.
 

Jutt77

Feeling the Heat
Dec 18, 2010
382
Evergreen, Colorado
That is iinteresting. My engine had no oil in it. The pipe dope on the hoses was still fresh and wet to the touch. I picked mine up at 11am and I got the feeling they had just finished the assembly. They used alot of pipe dope. It was on the log splitter in several places after the Lowes employees got it on their hands and continued assembling the splitter. Even the manual I have states the full assembly except the motor is already attached. El Finko where did you buy yours? Has DHT made some changes and Lowes is getting different inventory? Just wondering out loud...
Return yours and demand that they sell you an unopened crated one at a discount for your trouble. Then you're in control of the assembly process vs a HD kid that doesn't give a ****. It's a really simple thing to assemble just go over and re-tighten all the hydro fittings.
 

El Finko

Member
Aug 22, 2012
161
Mason Dixon Line
Now that you mention it, I do remember attaching the two hoses, because I remember digging for my teflon tape. Not sure about the motor oil now. We filled it per the instructions and a bunch came running back out as soon as we took the funnel out. I assumed that happened because there was already oil in the motor, but, in retrospect, it may have been that my "assistant" poured too much oil in to begin with. I did not measure how much flowed back out.
So it's quite possible, and I'd say likely, that our machines were the same. Sorry if I created confusion.
 

TMonter

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2007
1,526
Hayden, ID
Return yours and demand that they sell you an unopened crated one at a discount for your trouble. Then you're in control of the assembly process vs a HD kid that doesn't give a ****. It's a really simple thing to assemble just go over and re-tighten all the hydro fittings.
I'm a bit surprised the DHT rep hasn't helped you out yet, they seem to be generally pretty good with their equipment.
 

TreePointer

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2010
3,086
PA
If you have to attach some hoses, forget teflon tape and regular pipe dope. Use thread sealant designed to withstand high temps, vibrations, and hydraulic fluids/oils.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/permatex174;-high-temperature-thread-sealant

Note that some hydraulic fittings take no thread sealant whatsoever. These hydraulic fittings (not common pipe fittings) are designed to have a metal-metal seal . That's what makes them so darn expensive! Whether to use sealant should be outlined in an owners manual or assembly manual for the splitter.
 
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Gareth96

Burning Hunk
Feb 8, 2014
240
SW Ohio
CordWrangler - so, what happened with this? I'm considering getting a DHT...
 

Frank625

Burning Hunk
If you have to attach some hoses, forget teflon tape and regular pipe dope. Use thread sealant designed to withstand high temps, vibrations, and hydraulic fluids/oils.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/permatex174;-high-temperature-thread-sealant

Note that some hydraulic fittings take no thread sealant whatsoever. These hydraulic fittings (not common pipe fittings) are designed to have a metal-metal seal . That's what makes them so darn expensive! Whether to use sealant should be outlined in an owners manual or assembly manual for the splitter.

It's very important to understand which fittings can use a sealer or Teflon tape and which one are made to seal metal to metal. Good Point. I would just take it back and look for another brand or higher quality used splitter with a Honda Commercial motor. Try to stay away from the Chinese built stuff. Maybe you can find a used Timberwolf, they are nice from what I have seen, although the home made one I found on craigslist is just as good but it took a long time to find.
 
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I'm sorry this has taken so long to post. I took the log splitter back to Lowes. After taking alot of 'crap' from the person in customer service, I got a refund. I asked about a replacement and cs person said I had to talk to someone in Seasonal.

Later when we were processing the replacement purchase with the same cs person, she gave me 'crap' about bringing it back used. I was standing next to the 'Seasonal' guy and he just rolled his eyes. I probably would have left without a replacement if it wasn't for the 'Seasonal' guy who was very helpful and even expedited the assembly.

Anyway, the bottom line is that the replacement runs fine. The motor runs smooth and is quieter compared to my other splitter (Ramsplitter with 10 yr old 5.5hp B&S). There are no leaks this time.

There does seem a bit of 'rattle' to this splitter. The pins and cotter keys seem to spin and rattle when running. Is that normal for a v/h? My other splitter is a Ramsplitter horizontal and it does not rattle at all.
 
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