Advice on buying a mulcher

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by darrenhatina, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. darrenhatina

    darrenhatina Junior Member

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    Mulcher that works

    Hey all,

    Success! I am now the proud owner of a GMC 2400 Mulcher bought at Bunnings for $299 that has been in successful operation for over 30 days and has created a right mountain of mulch. Finally something that works, and it still has a 2 year manufacturers warranty.

    The machine is eerily similar to the Ozito silent shredder, using the exact same components, but with a different cover which magically doesn't crack when you move the machine. Imagine that. It's doing a great job on the palm fronds, even cabbage palm with a bit of trimming, but I haven't figured out what to do with the scoopy bit(lots of tough fibers in them). The mulch goes onto the garden, paths, or into the compost for further breakdown. The bigger stuff gets put in the woodpile(in preparation for either the apocalypse or a BBQ) and used for terracing slopes or as garden edging. No more trips to the tip or crammed wheelie bins and it truly amazes the neighbours.

    Happy mulching,
    Darren
     
  2. jnel

    jnel New Member

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    Eletric mulcher

    Hello All

    If you are looking for a powerful good quality electric mulcher go to this web site and contact them. https://www.mogatec.com.au
    I know they will have mulchers available soon and they will send you the specifications, the units will be in the $300 - $350 price range
    This is a new brand of equipment available to Australia from Germany it comes with a 2 year full replacement gaurantee even for comercial use so it must be built tough. I have personally seen a demonstration one of these mulchers in action and it works extremely well, even on palm fronds. The prices on their other equipment are also pretty sharp so check it out.

    kind regards
     
  3. Dalrymple

    Dalrymple Junior Member

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    Re: Advice on buying a mulcher

    Hi everyone

    I live at Pinakarri community in Hamilton Hill WA and we need a mulcher for our small prunings to make compost with. We are not so concerned with the big stuff, we can burn that.

    I have read that the Cox Mulcher/chipper is sturdy and reliable. Haven't been able to get any info from the retail outlets about price etc yet.

    Also looking at the Echo 2HP chipper as we really wanted an electric one as we thought it would be easier to manage.

    Also looking at the Echo 5.5hp Shredder.

    If anyone has specific information on these I would really appreciate hearing about it. Our budget was originally around $500.

    Many thanks
    Sandra
     
  4. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Advice on buying a mulcher

    g'day sandra,

    this is an old thread hey? for you it may ahve been more beneficial to start a new thread though this sort of discussion on mulchers/shredders has all happened before.

    if you hark back in this thread you may read some recommendations? mine is the greenfield piecemaker simply can't be beat(one of the rare machines that will do fibrous stuff like palm fronds etc.,.) aussie made. might also be that even for your group it could be far more expediant to have a working bee on particualr days and hire a shredder for that day, this way there is no outlay for capital machinery and no maintenance etc., to bother with. just read somewhere someones local council even hires one out.

    len
     
  5. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    Re: Advice on buying a mulcher

    I bought a 6.5 horsepower chipper mulcher, and am really happy with it, though would buy one with a bigger motor next time.. it struggles a bit on timber bigger than ~60mm diameter.
     
  6. Hamishmac

    Hamishmac Junior Member

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    Re: Advice on buying a mulcher

    We bought an electric Al-ko model [color=#000080]https://www.alko.com.au/garden/p_shredders_04.html[/color] for several hundred dollars when first moved onto overgrown 2 acre block. Easy to use, and quiet as advertised compared with petrol, but quite time consuming to feed in prunings. Handles up to 40mm, struggles with dry fallen wood and knobbly bits where limbs branch off. No blades to sharpen as it works more like a cane crusher. 24kg so can be pulled around on wheels by one person. Needed repair under warranty as heavy electrical load caused a (cheap) extension cord end to melt onto the plug pins.
    Eventually found less & less use for it as we found it more efficient time-wise for smaller green stuff to go straight onto compost heap uncut, or roughly trimmed into bits with shears, and bigger stuff found its way dumped on a firewood kindling pile to dry, or round the base of trees directly as mulch to break down there. Oh, and yeah, I got a chainsaw which is much better at relieving stress!
    Would I buy it again? Not sure. Did the job, but we found other ways of avoiding the job altogether.

    Hamish
     
  7. Hoveagreen

    Hoveagreen New Member

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    Re: Mulcher

    Hi Darren
    Has anybody had experience with Ryobi- seems to be robust, easier to move than the Ozito. similar action and warranty but $30 more, any opinions?
    Are Mogatec units still available, local chap gone , a shame for unit very quiet and mulched well when demostrated at an Ag. Dept show , reasonably priced at the time.
    what you get for what you pay is so true so to buy well is the object , hope to hear from a dedicated mulcher.
    regards
    Geoff [/quote]quote="Andy"]Hi Darren,

    I can offer my experience buying a lower-end cheapie. I'm on a suburban block and wanted something that could deal with current mulching needs (making room for a couple of fruit trees) with the view to take it with me when I make the move to acreage.

    Checked out the second hand market and like Snake, found most of them to be still pretty expensive and worst for wear. Exception might be decent electric models (Alko etc.) that haven't had a hard life.

    I also checked out the locally made Rover offerings https://www.rovermowers.com.au & while they looked great I just couldn't justify the $1000+ price for a couple of misplaced Pittosporums!

    I ended buying a GMC 2400 Watt electric shredder for around $150.00. Of course after all my deliberation the already cut trees had dried out and like Len said none of them like really dry stuff.

    The thing's very noisy and kinda looks to me like the brief to the Chinese manufacturer was "Give it a steel frame, wack a big motor in it and keep the price low"

    In hindsight I should have hired a decent unit (would have saved me a day or so of very slow progress) and put the change towards a new locally manufactured 5hp B&S powered unit.

    Cheers,
    Andy.[/quote]
     
  8. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Advice on buying a mulcher

    yep darren,

    you either buy decent machinery like a greenfield or hire a good model on those one or 2 occassions in the year when you could do all the pruning at once, my prunning just get dropped at the base of the tree and mulched over.

    all discounter models built down to a price.

    len
     
  9. Dalrymple

    Dalrymple Junior Member

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    Re: Advice on buying a mulcher

    Hi Len

    I am getting very boggled with the choices around Mulchers. It seems that the petrol ones have more grunt than the electric models. I can see that the Bunnings cheapies are probably to be avoided. My community of 14 households warrants having a mulcher on site as we will use it pretty often to shred to make our own compost and deal with general cuttings. We could also use a good one for shredding cardboard and reasonable thick branches at times although the big stuff will be burnt.

    There has been a request from some members of our community for an electric one. I haven't found one that looks ok except the Recycler 2000 Mulchers/chipper from Mulchers and mowers in WA (they will send out a DVD demonstrating models) This is still $1299 anyway so not exactly cheap. I hear that the Alko is difficult to feed, something I am definitely not interested in. Also hear the GMC is noisy, can't do dry stuff and clogs.....

    Would love to get the Peacemaker that you recommend Len, bit expensive at $1699 although I am sure our community of 14 households would get good use out of it and never have to buy another one!

    I need to convince my community that we should spend $1700 on the piecemaker. Can you write some words that would help me to explain why the piecemaker is the one to go for compared to say the Recycler 2000 electric. Was going to ring you and have a chat but couldn't find a number on your website.

    Thanks Len
    kind regards
    Sandra
     
  10. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Advice on buying a mulcher

    g'day sandra,

    like most things the more you delve the more the confusion, my recommendations come from being a mechanic in the industry and of course having owned a peacemaker.

    the greenfield shreds all material that is normal woody type stuff plus fibrous stuff like palm fronds, ginger plants and whatever fits that catagory, that is where the greenfield leaves the others in its dust to so speak, it is an easier machine to unclog and clogging happens no matter who you are, the blades are sharpenable and reversable, so if you blunten them you simply turn the blades over after undoing the blade bolts too easy. sounds like you are looking at the 10 or so hp powered model with a community that will give you a long reliable service. those who have bought the 10hp model are amazed at its work load.

    if you can find another machine that will do fibrous material as easily then that is the only comparrison you need to make.

    just simply damn fine machinery, don't know if i can say more?

    len
     
  11. Dalrymple

    Dalrymple Junior Member

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    Re: Advice on buying a mulcher

    Hi Len

    Yes, I knew you had a background with these things so really appreciate any of your feedback. I will take my suggestion to the community along with your words of experience and let you know how it goes. Hopefully we will be the proud owners of a piecemaker very soon and I can get on with making some good compost and clean up our neglected Gedye bins...

    Best wishes
    Sandra
     
  12. 4G's

    4G's Junior Member

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    I know this is an old post so am hoping there has been more findings of a good electric mulcher/shredders. Are the yardeco or rover shred n chip decent? Or are there any other solid good electric mulchers?
     
  13. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    i'd find another way of dealing with the material than shredding. i think it adds more work and expense for very limited gains (or in some cases it defeats some purposes). often there is another way to deal with or reuse the material in a beneficial manner, or simply leaving it in place and letting nature break it apart through time.
     
  14. 4G's

    4G's Junior Member

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    That may work in some circumstances. But unfortunately when you need to build soil and are buying in mulch, it is would be better to make it on site from the remainder of the trees that are used for posts and stays. Tree branches/twigs take a lot longer to break down and using an electric mulcher on off grid power is helping nature do it quicker. Isn't this what permaculture is all about?

    How do you make your mulch and build soils?
     
  15. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    i try to keep things as simple as possible and let natural processes work for me. so for most of what you seem to be describing i would be using such branches for other purposes. bean pole teepees, temporary wind breaks, protection for tree seedlings, temporary small fences, protection for edges of raised beds, rocket stove fuel, etc. in time they get broken down. i consider it a feature not a bug that it takes longer to break something down as then it provides the other function for a longer period of time. in some cases i bury organic material deeply in our clay soil because we need the added elevation and that is one way to get it without having to bring in more soil one wheelbarrow at a time.

    for mulch and soil building i do several things, i grow stuff in place and then chop it and leave it to feed the soil community. i have friends who bring me stuff from when they are cutting wood, chunks of bark, rotting pieces they won't burn, sawdust, leaves, etc. all of that gets used in various ways, but most of it is just left to hold down paper bags or other things like cardboard to smother weeds or as a cover for an area. the various animals here will dig through it and break it apart as it rots going after the bugs/etc. i also keep worms for processing all the food and paper scraps here in the house, so that gets taken out to the gardens each spring and is put under the heavier feeding plants we put in. the soil improves each year. i also add some of the green manure plants that have a fair amount of nitrogen and i harvest and dry some of them too for using as a part of the feed for the worms through the winter months.

    those friends also bring me their wood ashes which i can dig down and bury deeply for more elevation or i can use them as a soil amendment. in some areas i've already gained a foot in elevation using the combination of wood pieces, wood ashes and whatever else i can scrounge up. after some years it will settle as the wood rots, but eventually i can just dig it back up and pile more stuff down there. once in a while i have some interesting mushrooms to appear.

    sometimes we get woodchips brought in from the people who do power line clearing and they have a large shredder which can grind up trees. they are often happy to do it because it saves them having to haul it further away. sometimes we get a few yards from a friend who does excavating landscaping and topsoil stuff, but those are for the more formal gardens and flowers. i'd remove a lot of them and turn them into other type of gardens (less formal and less crushed limestone mulch for sure) if it were my place to manage completely, but as it is i'm not the owner so any natural or permaculture things i do are as i can and sometimes i get overruled.
     
  16. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi 4G's,
    I bought one of these a couple of years ago to assist with making compost from sticks and woody weeds/brush (although I paid about half the current price): https://www.amazon.com/Eco-Shredder-ES1600-Electric-Chipper-Shredder/dp/B002U82A3K/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1431493706&sr=8-2&keywords=electric+chipper+shredder
    Frankly I rarely use it. It is extremely slow (can't just shove a bunch of sticks through it) and while it shreds nicely it takes forever to reduce a pile to chips.

    It is quite dry here and wood "mummifies" (oxidizes) instead of breaking down through biology so what I've been doing instead is using woody sticks/brush as an aerating base layer for my compost piles. This keeps the woody stuff moist and after a couple of compost pile cycles it begins to break down nicely. Works well to allow air beneath the pile and prevent anaerobic conditions. I still need to frequently apply water to the pile when turning though ...
     
  17. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Every mulcher I've ever seen has struggled with the job. Unfortunately, a large spinning drum or disc powered by a diesel engine with well-maintained blades and anvil is the one of the only options for efficient mulching of branches.

    With good prior preparation of the material, a significant amount can be mulched within a very small amount of time with some people power. Chippers and crews exist within our economic system, they use a small amount of fuel if done quickly and the weight in the spinning drum can tear through branches up to and above 500mm (dependent on chipper size).

    Branches can rest for 2 years or longer, stacked correctly, and you could bring in a chipper at that point and create 20 cubic metres in less than an hour with 3 people.

    Small branches, a good machete and hardwood anvil will net you some nice rough cut mulch. Don't forget biochar.

    I'd perhaps use your electricity excess to efficiently pumping water high or around.
     
  18. grantvdm

    grantvdm Junior Member

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    Great advise guys!!

    I've got the same problem. I take all the cut branches from my neighbors to use in the garden.

    I was currently just using a machete to chop off smaller branches and then I would cut that even further to almost just the leaves (while they were wet). But have changed my approach now, because cutting branches the whole day with a pair of pruning scissors was very counterproductive, and plus my right arm is bigger than my left now! Ouch! I now only use the machete to cut the small branches and then sort them into different size piles. The leaves eventually dry and fall off after which I just rake them up for use as mulch or in compost.

    I'm still pondering on what to do with the branches - a chipper was my best solution - but after reading the posts now it is evident that that might not be the best option for the small amounts I want to process - unless I collect a huge pile as S.O.P mentions, but that would take long and the chipper would then just be wasting away while I wait to collect enough material to process. Biochar for larger material and compost pile for smaller sticks seems the way to go. I've always wanted to try my hand at mushrooms as well so that's another option I guess...
     
  19. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    some folks really like neat and orderly, so they would not tolerate sticks laying about on the surface of the soil, but in that case you can bury them and they'll still work as soil improvement organic materials in time.

    larger pieces are better for mushroom farming and in most cases you want to use green wood because that will not have as many odd fungal spores established. when you innoculate a chunk of wood you'd like that to be the fungi that grows...
     
  20. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Not to argue, but my point was to use someone else's chipper that's part of their business and available when booked.

    One purpose-built chipper per community rather than 50 sub-par chippers.
     

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