Why I did not upgrade to a better splitter

   / Why I did not upgrade to a better splitter #1  

shooterdon

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2012
Messages
4,020
Location
Near Johannesburg MI but in the middle of nowhere
Tractor
2019 LS XR4140 HST Cab; 2020 Kawasaki Mule SX; 2021 Bad Boy 54" ZT Elite
A while back I started a thread on upgrading my DR Dual Action splitter. I wanted less than a 10 second cycle. Prices were high for a quality unit. There was no way I was spending $4000 to work my butt off and split wood!!!

Part of the rationale was that I am getting old...70 in a few months. Bucking logs, handling rounds and the work was more than I wanted to do now and what about in 10 years???

So, I decided to try out a processor. My fiancé and I picked up a diesel Dyna 14 this week. It retails for over $40,000. Rental cost was $450 for 16 hours. Below is a picture of what we processed in 15 hours. The unit rated for 10 cords per 8 hours but we did 12 loggers cords in 16 hours. That should yield about 10 full cords of splits.

Firewood processing.jpg

Some observations:
- Cycle time was 7 seconds. Max log dia. is 14".
- Changing the chain was a bit of a PITA and took about 15-20 minutes. Worst part is the tensioning bolt is in an awkward place.
- Moving the unit from pile to pile took about 20 minutes
- The last cut on the log is another PITA. You either have to hold up the outfeed side or try to use the log clamp to hold the back of the log as you inch the log forward.
- Unit came with three sets of chains so no sharpening needed.
- Twisted logs can be a PITA but we were able to process every log we had.
- The wedge design sucks. It is a slip on and the horizontal piece gets raised by splits and debris under the wedge. A solidly mounted four way would be preferred for the logs we get.

Economics/Productivity
- The big factor in productivity is log size. It takes just as much time to cycle a 5" dia. log (split in two) as a 10' dia. log split in quarters. But if you have 10" logs you are splitting 4 times more wood. We had a lot of logs under 6" so it affected our output. This is the same with a conventional splitter that has a four way wedge.
- Fuel usage was less than 10 gallons for 15 hours for the processor. Tractor took 4 gallons.
- Bucking 12 loggers cords of wood would have taken at least 12 hours. and splitting another 15 hours. For about 27 hours of heavy work. We did the job in 15 hours with much less effort but had to have a tractor. With larger logs we would have been more productive Safe to assume the processor cuts our time half and effort by 75%.
- We should net 10 cords with a cost of $1100 ($600 for wood, $450 for processor, under $50 for fuel). $110/cord. That is a saving of about $70-90/cord for delivered hardwood. 10 cords will save us about $800 in propane at our current price ($1.40/gal) of propane.

Conclusions
- When buying logs, bigger is better. We had some small stuff and it really slows things down.
- Next time I will pick out everything under 5 inches and use a log cutting rack. Dumb to process logs that do not need to be split.
- Nice not to make the investment in more equipment that needs service and storage space.
- Much safer operation
- Easy enough that we should be able to burn wood longer than conventional bucking and splitting.
- We were pleased with our first attempt and will rent again next spring.
- We will be looking at the Brute Force processor to see if it addresses some of the shortcomings of the Dyna unit.

Sorry picture is upside down.
 
   / Why I did not upgrade to a better splitter #2  
"invalid attachment", but what you wrote is interesting. For your use it figured out to about 45 $/cd. I understand what you're saying about getting older... I always enjoyed splitting wood by hand but I now have my father's old splitter and won't go back to doing it by hand. For one thing it's a real time saver, no matter what some guys on TV claim who claim "My monster maul will beat a splitter" yet only split clean, straight grained wood.
 
   / Why I did not upgrade to a better splitter #3  
Funny, picture corrects itself at this end anyway.
 
   / Why I did not upgrade to a better splitter #4  
Part of the rationale was that I am getting old...70 in a few months. Bucking logs, handling rounds and the work was more than I wanted to do now and what about in 10 years???

So, I decided to try out a processor. My fiancé and I picked up a diesel Dyna 14 this week.



Listen bucking logs , wrestling rounds , the other work AND a fiancé at 70 ? I'am more impressed by you than the Dyna 14 !
Dang it bless Ya ! Then they call the other guy SuperMan ? IMO the man of steel got nothin on you Don ! :laughing:
 
   / Why I did not upgrade to a better splitter #5  
Now I can see the picture and by saving it to my hard drive was able to turn it over. Yet nothing I've tried will post it right side up, so people will just have to stand on their heads to view it.
 
   / Why I did not upgrade to a better splitter #6  
I'm 78 and gave up "handling" firewood over 30 years ago. I AM impressed with your effort and results Don. BTW - the pic flips 180 degrees for me.
 
   / Why I did not upgrade to a better splitter #7  
Listen bucking logs , wrestling rounds , the other work AND a fiancé at 70 ? I'am more impressed by you than the Dyna 14 !
Dang it bless Ya ! Then they call the other guy SuperMan ? IMO the man of steel got nothin on you Don ! :laughing:

At nearly 70, I think I would call "shooterdon" a ....cradle robber!
And....why not ????
 
   / Why I did not upgrade to a better splitter #8  
That's a great analysis. Thanks for thinking it through and posting it.
The other nice thing about renting this is not having yet another piece of equipment sitting around the rest of the time. Every inch of shed space is important.
 
   / Why I did not upgrade to a better splitter #9  
If i burned lots of wood i would definately like a different, faster splitter than the one i have now. Mine is a 3 point hitch style. Slow moving but i dont full cycle it between logs. I still have all my fingers after 20 years using it so i feel glad i stuck with it.

I made my own after a few years of renting a unit with self contained motor as i had to run it nonstop to finish my wood and return it so as not to add another day of rental time. Now i only split for an hour or 3 any time i feel like it in the cool of the morning until my pile is done.

I sm just now starting a new pile of wood for use in a few years time. My back hurts everytime i look at pile.AFFBE3F2-9D57-4099-83E7-E3B9ECCE416A.jpeg
 
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   / Why I did not upgrade to a better splitter #10  
I understand what you're saying about getting older... I always enjoyed splitting wood by hand but I now have my father's old splitter and won't go back to doing it by hand. For one thing it's a real time saver, no matter what some guys on TV claim who claim "My monster maul will beat a splitter" yet only split clean, straight grained wood.

I hear ya. I bought a secondhand splitter about 10 years ago and never looked back. Now if they can only come up with a way to automate stacking it!

The unit rated for 10 cords per 8 hours but we did 12 loggers cords in 16 hours. That should yield about 10 full cords of splits.

Curiously, is "logger's cord" a local term? Never heard it before.

How many years' worth of wood is 10 cords for you? I know some people who go thru 7+ a year...a rig like that would be a big help for them. I use somewhere between 3 & 4, and it probably wouldn't be worth the expense for me. Don't really mind the bending and lifting (yet...I'm about the same age as you so that day will come eventually!)...I'll just do it in cool weather.

BTW, the picture came out just fine here, though the thumbnail was upside down.
 
 
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