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5 Essential Wood Chipper Safety Tips

If you use a wood chipper around your property, then you know what powerful machines they are. For cleaning up brush piles and making valuable wood chip mulch, using a wood chipper is often the easiest and most effective method. But with great power comes great responsibility. In this case, it is your responsibility to stay safe when using your wood chipper. Here are some easy ways to prevent injuries while wood chipping:

1. Wear safety gear.DR Wood Chipper Safety Gear

Wear eye protection and ear protection when chipping. These machines are loud and often fling tiny pieces of debris into the air. Avoid catching one in the eye by keeping your DR Safety Gear on at all times. Also, as with all power equipment, be sure to wear closed-toe shoes. Steel-enforced boots are recommended if you are chipping particularly large and heavy branches. Be sure that loose pieces of clothing are tucked in and not at risk of getting stuck in the chipper.

2. Be careful what you chip.

Wood chippers are designed to chip branches and tree limbs. They are not designed to chip metal, plastic, processed wood (such as 2-by-4s), or leftover building materials. Be sure that you only chip branches that are in the size range that your chipper is designed to chip. For example, if your chipper is designed to chip up to 4″ diameter branches, trying to feed a 5″ diameter branch into the hopper can clog the machine, put unnecessary stress on the engine, and put you in danger.

3. Don’t put your hands in the hopper!

chipper-hopper-11-15-2016If you feed a branch into the hopper and it does not go all the way into the chipping chamber, DO NOT USE YOUR HANDS TO PUSH IT IN. Use another branch, stick, or pole to push it in. Never put your hands further into the hopper than the safety labels indicate. The depth to which it is safe to put your hands will vary between chipper designs.

chipper-off-11-15-20164. Got a clog? Turn it off first!

If you have a clog in the discharge chute or chipping chamber, or if you need to do routine maintenance, be sure to turn off your engine before you do anything. After turning the engine off, wait until the flywheel has completely stopped spinning. The heavier the flywheel, the longer it will take to come to a complete stop. But while it is still spinning, there is still the danger of injury, so it is well worth the wait.

5. Keep kids and pets at a safe distance from the wood chipper.

Keep kids, pets, and other bystanders a safe distance away from the wood chipper while you’re working. Flying debris, loose wood chips on the ground, heavy branches, and the dangerous nature of the machine itself make it a very unsafe place for children and pets.

DR Power Wood Chippers and Chipper Shredders

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Compost Express—How to Make Compost in Half the Time

Fall is a terrific time for making compost, partly because leaves are a fantastic source of soil enriching nutrients. As you probably plan to remove those leaves from your lawn, recycling them into your compost pile is a win-win proposition.

Leaves need to break down in order to integrate with the other organic matter in your compost heap. Reducing them first can really accelerate the composting process. The difference in composting time between leaves that are dumped whole, and leaves that are well shredded are enormous. Reduce first this fall, and you can have usable compost in the spring!

Shredding the Leaves

DR Leaf and Lawn Vacuum - The Sharktooth Impeller

The Sharktooth Impeller

There are number of ways to shred leaves. One of the most efficient is using a leaf collector like the DR Leaf and Lawn Vacuum. The DR Leaf and Lawn Vacuum will reduce the leaves you collect twice. The mower blade makes the first pass at them, then the semi-mulched leaves are drawn into the the Leaf Vac’s steel impeller where they are reduced again.

See how easy it is to empty the DR Leaf and Lawn VacuumBest of all, those twice-reduced leaves are nicely gathered for you in the collector bin. There’s no awkward raking and bagging, or dragging an overladen tarp across your yard (in a backward-walking, butt-first posture that will keep your chiropractor’s business thriving!).

Just drive to your compost pile and dump. Come back in the spring and you’ll find that with just a little shovelThe DR Leaf and Lawn Vac Trailer is perfect for yard and farm!work to turn and mix the pile, you’ll have beautiful, rich compost to integrate into your garden beds. Your Leaf and Lawn Vac trailer will come in handy again.

 

DR Leaf and Lawn Vacuums

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