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Author Topic: Kinetic splitters and production  (Read 1948 times)

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Offline Upstatewoodchuc

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Kinetic splitters and production
« on: March 09, 2021, 10:17:08 AM »
Hello again forestry guys and gals, havent been on in a long time due to being busy but I had some questions again. So long story long lol, I've been selling firewood for the last 10 years, when I started it was with a pickup with an 8ft bed, a maul and an ms310 (yuck). Obviously this setup was painfully slow, I improved by buying an older dieder splitter but a pickup takes 2 trips to deliver a real cord so next I got a 68 c50 dump truck that could take a cord in one shot. Now my bottle neck was loading so I got a ford 8n with a loader which helped somewhat but was still slow. Next I improved the splitting time somewhat by building a 4 way wedge and putting a 6.5hp Chonda motor on. So here we are today 10 years later and I have a 1988 tandem axle international dump truck, a michigan 85 wheel loader (24,000 lbs ish) with 3 yard 4 in 1 bucket, so I have loading and delivery pretty much optimized, cutting is relatively efficient cycling between a 365, 394xp and 3120xp so I don't have to sharpen until night. My current holdup is again splitting, if I have perfect 12-18" logs delivered which is almost never, I can split a cord in 2 hours, thats too slow. On one hand a firewood processor seems like they would be the answer, but my current source for wood is always big ugly pieces sometimes 40" across so from my limited experience with a bell 4000 processor I know that wouldn't work and I dont really want to find a new wood source because I currently get it at half the average market rate around here for tri axle log truck loads. How do I go about improving production? Would a kinetic splitter work effectively with this scenario? And how much do they improve production vs traditional? I figure a super splitter would run $4000 to my door the way I want it, is it worth it? Would could production look like with me running the kinetic splitter and help running the traditional with a 4 way wedge side by side? Any input and other advice is really welcome, thanks guys. -Pat
Current collection: Husky 3120xp,  372xp, 365, husky 55, homelite xl12. Michigan 85 wheel loader, Ford 8n with loader and forks. Farmall super C, 1988 international dump truck, John Deere 440ICD dozer, 19ft equipment trailer, 40 ton TSC splitter, modified dieder splitter with 4 way.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2021, 11:20:40 AM »
for wood that big i think a box wedge with a drag back and a manual crane (winch and tongs, not hydraulic grapple-too expensive) feeding into a conveyor up into the truck.. not that its as fast as a kinetic, but for the money, i see this taking the most labor off your body and to me thats a paycheck in itself on saved rotator cuff and disc surgeries. 



your clam loader can bring the logs over and hold them up to buck rounds off in reach of the tongs while standing up straight. a hydraulic log lift is nice but then you have to 100% manually stand up and roll every one of these hunks over to the only spot it will grab.. and then counteract them from flopping as they walk onto the table.. thats all your spine making fast movements that are known to make young men old.  without a crane, you've got to sometimes manually roll these big pucks over on the table if you want to split around rot, ants, crotches or maybe just eject the piece.  with a crane and tongs on a winch cable you can reach out in every direction to load a puck, as long as the base unit is stabilized.  you can put stuff on the splitting deck with the tongs,  lift stuff off, or chomp the tongs on an offset and let a $100 chicom winch sacrifice itself instead of you ruining your own joints.  firewood is a terrible way to die.


i think 40" rounds is too big for a kinetic so any speed gains from those fast splits are nullified by the time, labor and maybe fuel spent manually quartering a big puck down to kinetic manageable size.  I've never run one, but i think a kinetic is the race horse of 12" diameter young cull wood. not old horrible twisty big stuff.  just an educated guess, maybe I'm wrong. 
Psalm 37:16

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2021, 11:24:56 AM »



  i think this is a great dragback box design ...much cleaner mounting the wedges below the knife.  No trash sitting ontop the deck and no arm in the way.  Little chance of junk flying up at your either.
Psalm 37:16

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2021, 11:33:50 AM »
GorillaBac is basically what i had in mind for the crane.. And that screw in handwheel is probably quite a bit more reliable than tongs in terms of falling off.




But note how in the crane vid that the conventional style splitter still leaves much more manual labor to do than a box.  The guy running the box looks to be doing nothing but he has to wrestle the wood onto the lift which they dont show.. Thats all bent over work thats bad for your lumbar spine.


  Put that splitter, with this crane and feed it into a conveyor into a dump truck... youre hardly working. Thats the way to do it.  Nothing hard about building a box splitter if you have basic fab skills, a welder and a torch.
Psalm 37:16

Offline hedgerow

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2021, 02:02:41 PM »
I had a Kinectic splitter for a number of years and with the right wood and help you can make a lot of firewood in short order. We were doing a fair amount of ash on my farm clean up at the time.
The Kinectic really worked well with the ash. Got threw the ash went to big locust and hedge and the Kinectic just sit in the shed for three years so I sold it. Doesn't sound like you have the wood a kinectic would be happy with. Put the four grand down on a splitter that will do the big nasty wood. 

Offline Upstatewoodchuc

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2021, 02:18:35 PM »
Thank you guys, had never thought of or seen manual cranes like that! Keep the good info coming! I should clarify, te wood is tree service wood that is all over the place in size, some pieces are up to 40", the majority is between 18" and 30" id say. -Pat
Current collection: Husky 3120xp,  372xp, 365, husky 55, homelite xl12. Michigan 85 wheel loader, Ford 8n with loader and forks. Farmall super C, 1988 international dump truck, John Deere 440ICD dozer, 19ft equipment trailer, 40 ton TSC splitter, modified dieder splitter with 4 way.

Online Hilltop366

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2021, 02:57:30 PM »
I thought this one looked well made.



I split for my own boiler so it would be too fine a split for me. Another option is a vertical splitter, I've never used one but they look like a lot less wrestling of the block (no balancing) and no reloading or chasing the too big split pieces, good for any size block and to make any size finished product.


Offline mike_belben

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2021, 04:21:20 PM »
I'm sure the easton is made well but the picture at 8mins in tells the story.  the best machine is the one thats gonna let you spend most of the day with your butt parked on a padded stool. 
Psalm 37:16

Offline Upstatewoodchuc

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2021, 08:18:22 PM »
Man, that vertical splitter does seem to take alot of the crappy parts of splitting out, but I also agree with Mike, the problem then becomes getting big rounds over to the ramp/lift, still alot of bending over, but much better than my current situation, the question is is it worth $7k?
Current collection: Husky 3120xp,  372xp, 365, husky 55, homelite xl12. Michigan 85 wheel loader, Ford 8n with loader and forks. Farmall super C, 1988 international dump truck, John Deere 440ICD dozer, 19ft equipment trailer, 40 ton TSC splitter, modified dieder splitter with 4 way.

Online Hilltop366

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2021, 07:36:24 AM »
the question is is it worth $7k?


That I could not say, If a lift boom was added to it it would be complete. I see that they are available with a conveyer as well.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2021, 10:39:20 AM »
For the average fire wooder I just can't see heavy built horizontal splitters .In my opinion a well built tip up would better suffice than using a hoist to place a big round in the splitter that once split still could have chunks that weigh 80 to 100 pounds .You know you can roll rounds a lot more simply than lifting them .Just an opinion no more no less .As far as flywheel kinetics ,they kind of scare me . :o

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2021, 04:44:09 PM »
If you have mostly big ugly blocks: Eastonmade with the box wedge and log lift is the way to go. A kinetic in good wood will run right with it but not in the oversize stuff.

Production wise you can split the claimed 2+ cords per hour but not if you have cut and move the blocks. One man show starting with a log pile and a saw 4 cords in 8 hour a day would be a lot closer to reality.


 

Offline Upstatewoodchuc

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2021, 08:45:48 PM »
Fair enough, it does seem as if the stuff between a well made vertical /horizontal unit that flips and a full blown high end processor is almost not worth it. Im looking locally at whats out there in the world of heavy duty flipable sitters. One local dealer has "american" splitters, and one has speeco's
Current collection: Husky 3120xp,  372xp, 365, husky 55, homelite xl12. Michigan 85 wheel loader, Ford 8n with loader and forks. Farmall super C, 1988 international dump truck, John Deere 440ICD dozer, 19ft equipment trailer, 40 ton TSC splitter, modified dieder splitter with 4 way.

Offline thriceor

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2021, 10:18:27 PM »
for wood that big i think a box wedge with a drag back and a manual crane (winch and tongs, not hydraulic grapple-too expensive) feeding into a conveyor up into the truck.. not that its as fast as a kinetic, but for the money, i see this taking the most labor off your body and to me thats a paycheck in itself on saved rotator cuff and disc surgeries.



your clam loader can bring the logs over and hold them up to buck rounds off in reach of the tongs while standing up straight. a hydraulic log lift is nice but then you have to 100% manually stand up and roll every one of these hunks over to the only spot it will grab.. and then counteract them from flopping as they walk onto the table.. thats all your spine making fast movements that are known to make young men old.  without a crane, you've got to sometimes manually roll these big pucks over on the table if you want to split around rot, ants, crotches or maybe just eject the piece.  with a crane and tongs on a winch cable you can reach out in every direction to load a puck, as long as the base unit is stabilized.  you can put stuff on the splitting deck with the tongs,  lift stuff off, or chomp the tongs on an offset and let a $100 chicom winch sacrifice itself instead of you ruining your own joints.  firewood is a terrible way to die.


i think 40" rounds is too big for a kinetic so any speed gains from those fast splits are nullified by the time, labor and maybe fuel spent manually quartering a big puck down to kinetic manageable size.  I've never run one, but i think a kinetic is the race horse of 12" diameter young cull wood. not old horrible twisty big stuff.  just an educated guess, maybe I'm wrong.
Mike, you are absolutely right.  Much better to spend a few dollars on some machinery than your back or shoulder (had my shoulder done in 2016 - luckily a full recovery 😊).
...I'd rather trust a man who works with his hands,
He looks at you once, you know he understands...

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Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2021, 04:42:02 AM »
There are several drawbacks to the horizontal/vertical splitters. First is getting the blocks positioned(manual), second the splits have to moved by hand before you can get the next round up to the splitter. If you don't have a conveyor at least running horizontal you can split into a bucket....if you have a better grade splitter that has the wedge stationary and a push plate on the cylinder you can use the splitter to keep the split material pushed out the way. Re-handling wears out your joints and pays nothing. Good equipment pays for itself; especially something like a commercial splitter. Yes they are spendy but not compared to what you already invested in a loader and truck. The splitter "is" always the choke point and the best place to focus. Increase your production by 2 cords a day and extend the "life" of your back and elbows. The math works out just fine for someone proven to have stuck to it like yourself. A self loading splitter is a must. If you need uniform splits the vertical Timber Devil design is hard to beat. The horizontal box wedge type with drag back and autocycle is even less handling but you will have more waste and trash.




Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2021, 06:50:15 AM »
I'm real happy with my Timberdevil splitter.
I would not be happy splitting 40'' gnarly rounds !

Before the conversion to self-propelled



 

After

 
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2021, 07:21:34 AM »
I'm with Al on splitting a big round 3 feet across in half up in the air 2 feet!!!  :o 
Now that 47sawdust guy has the set up for that. The big half round can not fall off on both sides.
I know the OP is not just a homeowner splitter, that is what I have. I tip my cheapy splitter up, and split though big ones on the ground. I get them in usable size and have to re-split and re-handle them again.  :o  Kinda like sawing a BIG log on your sawmill, it's a bother to do, and seems like you spend more time on a big one than a smaller one too. 
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2021, 07:21:39 AM »
Williams tree service in Flint Hill VA uses two super splitter kinetics and does thousands of cords a year.  Very much an assembly line process that never stops, 4-6 guys.   Two guys buck logs into rounds, then quarter if required.  They fill a rack with rounds, the rack is moved by skidsteer to the splitter, the splitter output is dropped into a long conveyor where it will eventually fill a football field sized pile, about 20' high.  Then they start another pile.  All the splitting is super splitters.  

He faced the exact same issue you face, cheap wood is ugly.  For him, owning a tree service, much of it is yard tree material.  He'll buy specialty stuff like hickory that he can't get free but he doesn't like to spend money :D.  

Anyway, I was fairly amazed to see this process working.  Different sorts for different buyers, everything from bagged romance wood, to hickory for pizza ovens, to outdoor boiler woods.  Quite an operation.  

I guess my point here is that if you are keen on keeping the cheap wood supply than a super splitter may work but be prepared to really think about the process and keep machine use to a max and your wear and tear on your body to a min.  Maybe I can swing by and take a pic Friday.  We'll try.
Liking Walnut

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2021, 07:24:15 AM »
  eventually fill a football field sized pile, about 20' high.      

 
I would like to see that field.   :o   That is some firewood!!!!
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Offline Upstatewoodchuc

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Re: Kinetic splitters and production
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2021, 08:03:10 AM »
I really appreciate all the insight guys! That timberedevil sure is interesting, what does something like that go for in US dollars? I also just stumbled across Wolfe Ridge splitters who actually aren't that far from me, they make some splitters between 5 and 9 grand that have everything from hydraulic log lifts to wedges between single, 4, 6 and 12 way. That sure would save the back, but again alot of these splitters have a slow cycle time, almost makes me wonder if halving the big pieces with a saw and a super split would be better.
Current collection: Husky 3120xp,  372xp, 365, husky 55, homelite xl12. Michigan 85 wheel loader, Ford 8n with loader and forks. Farmall super C, 1988 international dump truck, John Deere 440ICD dozer, 19ft equipment trailer, 40 ton TSC splitter, modified dieder splitter with 4 way.


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