This month I have been asked to have a look at the Bandit Model 21XP Drum Chipper and see what I thought.
I have been lucky enough to work with one of the older versions of this machine when I worked for Active Tree Service back in the days when Bandit called it the Model 1990XP. I wanted to give it a proper workout and lined up a 24 inch diameter dead Mexican pine which was perfect to try the Bandit 21XP on a max capacity log.
One thing I noticed straightaway was the size of the discharge chute. Jake from Bandit Tree Equipment told me that they call this their Forestry Discharge and that it is now standard on all 21XPs supplied into Australia. The chips flow off the drum freely without having to be forced through a small diameter opening and a tight bend like with a typical discharge chute. Jake says that this means there is more horsepower used for cutting wood and less used for throwing chips; makes sense to me. The 21XP did not look like blocking up and absolutely smashed the chips into my truck.
This chipper is built very heavy duty all the way around. I suppose it has to be if it’s constantly chipping big diameter wood, day in day out. If it wasn’t built like this it would vibrate to bits. I’ve seen quite a few of these getting around with well over 5,000 hours on them and they show very few signs of metal cracks.
The Bandit 21XP has a 250hp CAT turbo diesel engine which is known for its power, reliability and great backup from CAT. Some of the other big chippers on the market have huge rollers but the actual infeed throat tapers right down making it confusing as to what is going to fit, until you become more familiar with the machine. With the 21XP the infeed throat barely tapers in by comparison. The infeed throat is 24.5 inches wide and 26 inches high. The feed rollers are both 32 inches wide; the top roller is a monster and is chain driven to gear up it’s torque and pulling power. The machine itself is 6.1 meters long and weighs in at approximately 6.5 tonne on air brakes. Every bit of it was making my truck look smaller than usual. a self-propelled rubber or steel tracked undercarriage. You can also purchase it with a loader option – I’d love to see either option in action.
We pulled the machine into place and set up to see if we could winch in the whole tree. The tree was twenty meters away and sitting sideways to the chipper but to my surprise we managed to winch the tree around and get it onto the infeed table, no worries. After nipping a few of the fatter branches we pulled the tree into the rollers. I was ready and half expecting to do a little cutting to help the base fit but, to my surprise, it swallowed a 24 inch log, no cutting! As expected, we did have to cut some of the larger branch forks but you would have to do that on any machine, given the length and angle of the dead branches. The Bandit 21XP processes barrel very well and would have filled the truck quite quickly, if we had a few more trees lined up.
This is a great machine that is well made, chips very fast and efficiently and would be an asset to any company that does a lot of clearing. I would be looking at a truck of 300hp or more to tow the Bandit 21XP around loaded if I were buying one. One thing that makes Bandit stand out from the rest and I like about them is the parts and service support they provide. If you need something, they are straight onto it. I have seen this first hand over the years myself and working for companies that own their gear.
For more information visit http://banditchippers.com.au