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Posted by Josephine Ayre on Feb 24, 2012 in Chippers

If you are planning on using a tree chipper for the first time, you may be looking at the machine and scratching your head – how on earth do you use this equipment without taking your hand off? Even though a tree chipper can be potentially dangerous, it really is not hard to use the machine safely if you know what you’re doing.

First, you will need to ensure that the tree chipper is placed on a flat surface, with a tub or collection bag placed underneath the exit chute. Before starting the machine up, you should always check that it has enough fuel and oil to run for the duration of your project. If in doubt, just add a little bit to the tank.

You should always ensure that you are wearing the proper safety equipment, including goggles or glasses, a dust mask, gloves and earplugs or earmuffs. While you might feel a little silly at first, once you’ve switched the chipper on you’ll understand why this equipment is necessary – it can be very easy to become injured.

When you first start the chipper, listen to make sure that it is running smoothly. If you hear any grinding sounds, banging, squealing or other odd noises, something is not right with your machine and you should turn it off immediately. Check it over and fix any issues before restarting the chipper.

Carefully feed your branches and sticks into the tree chippers, ensuring that you do not put in anything that is larger than the maximum trunk size for your particular model. A branch that is too large for your chipper can seriously damage it.

Finish by piling your leaves into the leafhopper, usually located on the side or top of the tree chipper. These will be quickly shredded and dumped out of the exit chute with your wood chips.