In this edition of The Australian Arbor Age I was asked to test a model in the Morbark wood chipper range.
The Morbark wood chipper model we tested on the day was the 1415. The reason why it’s called 1415 is fairly simple and cuts out the confusion: the feed table throat opening is 14 by 15 inches. All the Morbark models will be named like this from now on.
This model is also available in a rubber tracked option.
The machine is typically well made as you would expect from a Morbark. It has 6-inch chassis rails that run right under the feed table and is powered by a 114hp CAT Diesel engine. The chipper weighs about 2.5 to 3 tonne, which is relatively light considering it’s so well made.
This particular model has a winch that packs a punch for a smaller machine. The representative was saying that this machine has a patented chambered air impeller system that not only increases the force and speed that it throws wood chip, but also – this is the bit I like – reduces blowback of dust and material back out the infeed hopper. Everyone has been behind a chipper on a hot day chipping something dead. It’s not pleasant to operate in a dust cloud, having all the dust sticking to you. Another feature I’m beginning to like is the addition of ChipSafe®. A couple of the crew members were sceptical bagging it out the first time we used one with ChipSafe®, but after a day using it, they changed their way of thinking. Your chipper functions like normal if there is nothing to set the sensors off, but I can personally see the value in wearing ChipSafe® as it’s very easy and quick to reset the sensor and start the rollers again.
The feed rollers on this chipper have got really good grip on anything you feed them, due to the design of the serrated teeth and knife bar combination as well. This model also comes with a hydraulic chute for left and right.
On the day we used the 1415 wood chipper, we were cleaning up storm-damaged trees and feeding this machine
with a loader. Both the crew and myself were extremely impressed at how well this chipper performed on the day. The chip hits the head board hard from these machines. The 1415 easily kept up with what we were throwing at it and didn’t have issues taking any kind of capacity logs.
One improvement I’d love to see is a ‘wind the chute up-and-down option’ from Morbark, as you can currently change the position of the chute but you need spanners.
In the past I used to prefer other brands of wood chippers but now I have to say that, after the last two machines I have tested from Morbark, if I had to buy a new machine tomorrow, this would definitely be one of the machines in the mix.