Outstanding and awesome are the two words that summarise our test driver experience with the Vermeer BC2100XL brush chipper. Shane Duck tells us all about it.

This month we have been test driving the Vermeer BC2100XL brush chipper. Brush? This thing is a barrel destroyer. It’s a 275hp Cummins, which is a fair bit of grunt and, wholly molly, can it process trees at a fast pace! When you first see it in action it’s impressive, but it’s not until you feed it and it’s sitting there, taking it as quick as you are picking it up and almost saying “Is that all you got?”… That’s when you get an understanding of how efficient it is! This is one timber hungry machine! The BC2100XL brush chipper comes with airbag suspension and hydraulic stabilisers to prolong the life of the suspension. The stabilisers also help when winching sideways. The winch system on this chipper is excellent. It has a swivel head to winch in any direction without excess tension or abrasion on the winching cable. It can take approximately 50m of rope and pull two tonne approximately.

The other cool feature is the winches hydraulic up and down. The winch is on a ram, so you can lift the housing straight out of the way to machine feed the chipper. The mulch! The mulch quality was awesome. I understand there are a lot of variables that can affect mulch quality and this machine is brand new, however the chips were so uniform in size it was outstanding. It’s easy to see this machine is really designed for land clearing and machine feeding. It’s set up so you can hand feed it, but the features it comes with really take away the need for someone constantly standing by the machine. For example, let’s talk about the SmartCrush. The BC2100XL has a bottom roller offset from the top roller and sits forward by 11 inches. These rollers are equipped with sensors, so when the first roller senses a load from the weight of a barrel or limb, the top roller will open and climb up onto the woody section without applying any force into the top roller. This takes away the need for an operator to stand there on a lift and crush.

After four seconds the top roller will automatically increase the downward pressure, as if someone is standing there on the lift and crush. This gives maximum pulling force even if you are feeding branches or a barrel. You don’t even need to touch the remote. The SmartFeed feature monitors engine revs and works like an autofeed, but is accurate, and the machine never seems to bog down – which is probably why it is productive. Another thing you won’t find on the brochure of this beast is the lack of a clutch. That’s what I said! It has a spring tensioning system on the belts. I haven’t come across this before to be honest, but I am guessing it’s something that would be less maintenance than a clutch and that’s the way it was explained. You have a lever, the same as a clutch and just have to engage it in the same way.

It’s got all the cool hydraulics on the chute for maximum control of where you put the mulch and the machine weighs about eight tonnes. The BC2100XL has a remote that enables you to check all gauges and engine diagnostics from the cab of your machine. You can operate everything, except the winch for safety reasons, and you can’t engage the drum obviously. You can move the chute and even program revs at which the roller backs off. Awesome. I wish I had at least 20 trees to knock over and feed them through with an excavator on the day and see how fast we could process them. The BC2100XL is purpose built for this kind of work and absolutely up to the task. It would be ideal on any crane job too. I imagine any big company would gain a competitive advantage with a machine like this BC2100XL Brush chipper.

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