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Chippers With Chomp

Bandit Industries takes the bite out of diesel emissions with John Deere Final Tier 4/Stage IV engines 

Todd Huffman never knew a wood chipper could have such a ravenous appetite — until he came across the wood-hungry Bandit® 1990XP drum-style chipper. 

Huffman, who owns Commercial Tree Care, a tree service business in San Jose, California, added the tree-chomping machine to his fleet of chippers last winter, and so far, he hasn’t seen anything that it wouldn’t wolf down. 

“If I can feed it into the chipper, the chipper will suck it down,” says Huffman. “This chipper will process an 80-foot (24-meter) tree in 45 seconds; I timed it. It’s such a fantastic machine for increasing efficiencies and work times. Adding it to the fleet increased our production. We are doing jobs almost twice as fast now. I figure it will pay for itself within the first year.”

While the Bandit 1990XP may sound like a voracious monster, Huffman and his crew have become so fond of the chipper, they now identify it with a personal name. “We don’t call it the 1990 or the big chipper,” says Huffman, “we affectionately call her ‘Sally.’”

Sally — aka the 1990XP — is the product of Bandit Industries, Inc. The company, located in the small town of Remus, Michigan, is a world-leading manufacturer of wood and waste processing equipment, including hand-fed wood chippers, whole tree wood chippers, stump grinders, track carriers, and horizontal grinders. 

For most of two decades, Bandit Industries has powered its machines with John Deere engines, sourcing them from Superior Diesel in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Recently the John Deere engine distributor assisted Bandit in the transition to Final Tier 4/Stage IV diesel engines on several chipper models. “We’ve had a great relationship with Superior Diesel for a long time,” says Christopher Smith, Bandit’s communications coordinator. “Dave Niles has been extremely helpful throughout the process of incorporating the Final Tier 4 engines and helping us educate our customers about Final Tier 4 engine technologies.” 

Bandit Industries now offers John Deere Final Tier 4 engines on several chipping machines. These include two other hand-fed chippers — the Bandit 250XP and 255XP. Both models are offered with the PowerTech™ PWL 4.5L engine, a powerful, compact engine that meets the latest emissions standards without a diesel particulate filter (DPF). 

On several larger chippers, Bandit makes use of PowerTech PSS engine technology that employs selective catalytic reduction, a DPF, and series turbochargers for additional performance and responsiveness. Bandit offers the PowerTech PSS 4.5L engine to drive the high-capacity 280XP hand-fed chipper, and a PowerTech PSS 6.8L engine to power the 1850 whole-tree chipper, as well as its high-capacity 1680XP horizontal grinder they call The Beast®.     

The 1990XP — Bandit’s largest hand-fed chipper that Huffman owns and operates — is driven by a PowerTech PSS 9.0L engine. 

The same chipper is also available with two other Final Tier 4 engine options, including the PowerTech PVS 6.8L engine or the PowerTech PSS 6.8L engine. 

Huffman’s tree service fleet includes 17 Bandit chippers, and all of them are powered by John Deere engines. “I’ve been in the industry for 30 years and have tried every make of engine and chipper. I like Bandit chippers because they are genetically superior machines, and I love John Deere engines because of how long they last,” Huffman relates. 

He attributes that longevity to smooth operation, even in harsh working conditions. “The engines don’t seem to vibrate. The engines are balanced, and as a result, the components seem to last longer,” he says. “I tried other types of motors, and they break mounts and components seem to fail after a few years.”  

Huffman says he still operates a 1996 Bandit 250XP chipper powered by a John Deere engine. “After years of hard service, it’s still out in the field working. Once the hour meter broke, I had my guys fix it because it’s my science experiment,” muses Huffman.  “It just keeps going.”  

If past experiences are any indication, Huffman’s new Bandit 1990XP with its PowerTech PSS 9.0L engine will serve him well into the future. In fact, he says the machine already has him “spoiled.”   

“Sally is a workhorse. She has as much horsepower as a horizontal tub grinder. It doesn’t matter what part of the tree trunk goes through it. It produces very consistent chips. The machine is impressive.” 

He’s also impressed with Sally’s heart, which beats to John Deere power. “The performance of the John Deere engine is fantastic,” Huffman adds. “It’s got plenty of horsepower and plenty of torque.”  

Huffman also knows John Deere support is there, if needed. “Locally, John Deere dealers are quick to service and quick to replace parts under warranty. When I call my John Deere dealer with questions, they are always available and easy to deal with across the board.”  

Distributor: Superior Diesel, Rhinelander, Wisconsin;

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