Earthquake splitter and why you should spring for a higher quality piece of equipment

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Hearth Supporter
Oct 10, 2010
Southern, IL
I bought an earthquake 27 ton splitter last year. I was going to rent this one at a local hardware store but theirs was an old one without a tilt beam and I was using it on 36" wide hickory, so in a pinch I went to the local Rural King. Its a Big R however. Theyre a little different from a regular rural king. They are usually higher on their prices and dont have to price match what is on the rural king website. Plus on things like splitters, mowers etc, they usually carry different brands than the main chain does. That year they changed from Brave to Earthquake. I had never heard of them before but figured it was just like any other splitter. It has a B&S 1150 horizontal engine on it and the tank is metal and is part of the frame where the wheels are mounted on.
It was a couple hundred dollars cheaper than a 27 ton or 28 ton huskee. I had owned a 28 ton huskee with honda engine before and liked it. I paid for the splitter and 5 gallons of hydraulic fluid (It didnt even come with fluid). I poured gas in it, checked the oil etc. Started her up and let her run for a few minutes, cycling the ram back and forth a few times to make sure there were no bubbles. I started splitting the hickory. I dont think I had been running it 10 minutes til I heard a schpewwwwww and felt hydraulic fluid raining down on me. I immediately stopped the engine but had already lost a few gallons of fluid. I looked at it and they use cheesy looking hose clamps. Not the worm gear stainless like youd think but ones made out of steel wire. The hose had popped off on top of the hand valve where it returns to tank. I went back into town and bought another 5 gallons of fluid at $45 or so. Filled it back up and ran it and watched. On return strokes, sometimes the spool would lock in the return position and not detent to neutral when it returned home. I found it was because there was an oval piece of metal that the spool goes through and what holds it onto the valve body are two screws. One on each end. One was missing, the other loose. This caused the spool to lock in the return position and when it went back home and was still trying to apply more pressure the fluid had nowhere to go but the hose that goes to the tank. The pressure/flow was too much for the junky clamps on it, and thus the hose popped off.
I went back into town yet again and got all new worm gear stainless hose clamps and got stainless bolts and lock washers to replace the screws that hold that oval piece on. That was the end of that trouble
Fast forward to this year when I first start it up. The return hose I had so much trouble with last year was already dry rotted and cracking everywhere!! I look all over the hose for a manufacturer, diameter size, or model, marking and couldnt find anything. I replace it with a goodyear

I was at tractor supply a week or so later and am browsing the huskees and see all of them come with filters. As a matter of fact I remember most splitters I saw had a hydraulic filter assembly. Mine didnt. So I spent another $40 for a filter housing and filter. When I pulled the bottom drain plug to empty the fluid so I could plumb in the filter housing, they are using a magnet on the end of the drain plug as a filter! Not to mention I got a bunch of black stuff and particulates out of the tank. Could be foreign debris from when it was made, parts of the rotted hose, or even part of a seal from the cycliner or pump god forbid. I strain it all and put it back in when done.
Im using it the next week in the dark. The next day I go back to work splitting. When I get to the splitter I see it leaning funny. I touch the beam and it falls over from its upright position! They used bent hairpins to pin the Ibeam to the frame and one had rusted and broke off. I go and buy a big cotter pin to fit the hinge pin and I figure why not buy a universal kit of smaller cotters just in case I ever need them. Well I turn out to need them when I get home. While I was putting the big cotter on I see that the small cotter pin that holds the spring onto the rod you pull on to unlock the ibeam from its position is bent and almost broke in half. So I fix that and get back to work.
Now the latest issue I have is one of the tires doesnt hold air. That and there are pieces of angle iron welded to the wedge to make it wider at the top and theyre already bent

Unless you recognize these problems from the getgo and fix them youre better off buying a huskee or swisher or anything else. Ive got enough money in this thing that I could have bought a 28 ton huskee with a honda and I maybe have somewhere between 5 and 10 hours of run time on it so far. Im just wondering if the next thing is going to be a blown hydraulic hose or the seal in the cylinder or even the pump
I'm confused. Are you saying this splitter has hose clamps on the high pressure lines?
Wow. That sounds like a real nightmare. I'm curious why you went for that if you once had a Huskee? And what happened to the Huskee?
Stephen in SoKY said:
I'm confused. Are you saying this splitter has hose clamps on the high pressure lines?
The return/excess fluid hose is like an automotive heater hose. It had some cheesy looking clamps on it
Backwoods Savage said:
Wow. That sounds like a real nightmare. I'm curious why you went for that if you once had a Huskee? And what happened to the Huskee?
I ended up selling it. Didnt have a stove anymore at the time. I had never used another splitter besides that one. I figured it was pretty hard to screw up an engine, pump, and cylinder. I figured wrong
Was there no warranty on the Earthquake?
It has a 12 month warranty.
Wow, BigBadJohn86! That story makes me want to vomit. Spend good, hard earned cash on a splitter that keeps on splittin' your wallet. I'm surprised that you didn't take it back when the first issues started.
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