Using a Wood Chipper: Some Safety Tips to Keep In Mind

Summer storms can cause a lot of problems for the dedicated landscaper. When you go out to survey the lawn after some of the more windy and damaging storms you will often find a lot of debris scattered around the lawn that needs cleaned up. Sometimes the fallen branches are quite large and it can help to have a wood chipper to get them cleaned up.

There are quite a few different sizes of wood chippers on the market ranging from small hand-portable units to the very powerful units that must be pulled behind a truck and are powered by medium sized diesel engines from Caterpillar or Cummins.

As a homeowner it isn’t likely that you need one of the more powerful models so if you are looking for information on wood chippers you probably want to focus on the smaller and more affordable units. Whether you intend to buy or rent a wood chipper you will probably be saving money by only getting a unit that fits within the needs of your project based on the size of branches and sticks you will need to run through the machine.

If you are going to buy a wood shredder or use a wood chipper rental you may also need to take into consideration how you will transport it to your property and between locations if you own multiple properties. We already mentioned that some of the larger units need to be towed by a truck but if you have a small pickup, a van or even a car with a small trailer you can easily transport the small wood chipper models without trouble.

Once you have the chipper at your home you’ll want to make sure you take the appropriate safety precautions before beginning your project. Wood chippers can be dangerous in a number of different ways so it pays to be careful. Obviously there is the cutting head that is quite capable of doing damage to hands so make sure the chipper is off and the header unit is completely stopped before trying to do any repair work or clear any jams from the unit.

You may also want to get some hearing protection so that you don’t damage your eardrums from continuous work around a chipper. Smaller units might not be as bad as larger ones but they can all be hard on the ears and you are typically going to be using other loud equipment like chainsaws at the same time.

Another safety measure that is super important is the use of safety goggles. By nature a wood chipper is pretty dangerous to the eyes since it flings the chipped wood debris out at high velocity and there is also the risk of material reversing out of the cutting head area at high speeds. Safety glasses aren’t too expensive and there are many comfortable models available so be sure to pick some up before cleaning up your yard if you don’t have any already.

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