If you are in the market for a firewood processor, this isn’t your first time around the woodyard.
While plenty of firewood sellers operate with only a log splitter, firewood processors are standard for large operations that require a minimum of 2 cords per hour.
Machines with such large cord outputs come at a price, so here are some tips before breaking the bank on a firewood processor.
1. Know Your Product
Yes, you sell firewood, but what species? What sizes? What quantities do you sell? How do customers use your firewood? These questions are all important to consider when purchasing a wood processor.
If you produce and sell cord-sized hardwood, you will want to look for a processor with a 5” cylinder driving the push block, so you have the power to split large logs cleanly and consistently.
You may also consider the pole logs you work with; do you have long and straight logs or crooked logs? If you work with crooked logs you may opt for a 5-strand live deck with additional points of contact for crooked logs.
2. Know Where You Will Be Processing Firewood
All firewood processors on the market are equipped with a ball hitch coupler, but not all of them are necessarily mobile.
For instance, Timberwolf’s Pro-MP is a truly mobile processor. The wood processor weighs 5,500 pounds and is easily towable by a half-ton truck.
If you plan on processing firewood in one area, then it may be beneficial to go with a larger model, like the Pro-HD XL. This log processor weighs 9,200 pounds, so it is not as easy to move, but it is equipped with heavy-duty functionality that will output a greater quantity of logs.
3. Focus On Ease of Operation
New and innovative hydraulic functions can be exciting, but they can often get in the way of the tried and true functions a firewood processor must have.
So, don’t throw your wallet down just because a processor has a joystick instead of a spool valve - they all do the same thing.
What is most important is that you are comfortable with the operation of your prospective processor before you have even bought it. A company with an informative website and helpful salespeople should help you get familiar with the operation of the machine you are interested in.
4. Look For Lifespan-Extending Features
Yes, power and speed are very important when considering firewood processors, but with numerous commercial wood processors on the market that offer similar speed and force, it can be the less appealing features that make all the difference.
These small features may be a chain oiler, wedge lift, back roller, or something else.
For instance, Timberwolf’s firewood processors all feature a patented top roll clamping system that applies 1,000 pounds of downward pressure on forward-moving logs. This allows Timberwolf’s processors to handle long logs and adjust them easily on the feed trough.
Just remember, no feature or function is too small to consider when choosing a firewood processor.
5. Focus On Respected Manufacturers
While searching for a firewood processor, a $12,000 machine on Alibaba.com might catch your eye. Disregard these machines.
They look like a processor and they will process firewood, but for someone looking to sell firewood, you would be better off with a commercial log splitter compared to a Chinese box store processor.
The issue with these processors is that they are constructed from low-quality and cost-effective materials. This results in a faulty machine, sure to have constant issues, and most likely, a poor investment.
North American manufacturers that specialize in firewood processing equipment, like Timberwolf, are your best bet for a reliable wood processor that can output a profitable amount of firewood.
Once you have found the manufacturer of your choice, consider the other tips listed above when choosing a specific model.
Next, you must consider the size of each model. If you plan on processing logs in different locations, the Pro-MP will be the right choice because of its lightweight and easily towable frame.
If you are interested in a stationary beast of a machine, the 74 HP Pro-HD XL will offer everything you need and more.
No matter what firewood processor you end up going with, make sure it fits your needs first and foremost.