Jinma chipper review: Wood Chippers 3PH  -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum and Review Jinma chipper review: Wood Chippers 3PH -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum

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 05-02-2004, 21:48 Post: 85018
kwschumm



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 Jinma chipper review

Earlier this year I purchased a Jinma chipper and I've been promising to post a review so here it is. This testing was done with a JD 4310 tractor with 25.5 pto hp. A smaller tractor can run this chipper but you may not get the full 6" chipping capacity with less power.

The Jinma chipper appeared to offer a lot of capability for the money. Comparable big-name chippers generally cost $3500 and up, so this $1550 unit seemed like quite a value. Features of this 780 lb. chipper include 6" cutting capacity, heavy 24" 175 lb. flywheel with two 10" cutting blades and anvil, a 24"' square feed chute that is positioned horizontally at hip level for easy feeding, a chip blower that makes it easy to blow chips into a wheelbarrow or truck/trailer, and a belt driven feed roller that pulls material right into the cutting blades. This chipper runs on a standard Cat-1 540 pto output and a pto shaft is included. The flywheel assembly is driven by a set of five belts from the pto shaft, and the feed roller is driven by a single belt. The chinese belts are of suspect quality, but good quality replacement belts are available at any NAPA store.

I bought the chipper new for $1550 site unseen in January from Adams Tractors in The Dalles, Oregon. In addition to the chipper I purchased an accessory kit for $120 that includes an extra NAPA feed roller belt and an extra set of blades.

Initial inspection upon arrival revealed a few shortcomings.

During operation the feed roller may need to be raised a bit when feeding larger material (thicker than 4" or so). Unfortunately, the lever that is used to raise the feed roller is located awkwardly above and behind the feed chute. To use this the operator must reach up and over the chute to reach the lever while simultaneously trying to feed material. This back-tweaking operation is nearly impossible and generally requires two people. I had a footpedal fabricated that makes this an easy one person operation (see picture 17).

Also, the 3 point hitch geometry would not work with my JD Top-and-tilt kit. Although the lower pins are dimensionally a Cat-1 standard 26" apart, the top pin is 20" above the lower pins and set 6" back. My hydraulic top link did not extend far enough to reach the top pin. Furthermore, I wanted to use the chipper with my JD I-Match quick hitch, which requires 15" between the top and lower pins. The fabricator made a removable drop-hitch adapter that put the top pin in the same vertical plane as the lower pins and dropped it to meet the I-match dimensional requirements (see picture 19). It is necessary to remove this new drop-hitch when changing drive belts.

Before starting it up for the first time I did a once-over, greasing everything and tightening all the bolts. Boy am I glad I did! The main shaft off the pto rotates in two bearing pillow blocks, each of which is held in place by two bolts. One of these four nuts was missing and another was very loose! This could have been disastrous. A trip to three hardware stores finally turned up the 14mm 1.5 pitch metric nuts that were required. Unfortunately, one of the grease zerks broke off during this maintenance so I'll have to fix that.

Once this work was complete I hooked the chipper up to the 3-point hitch and discovered that the included pto shaft was at least 12" too short! A new pto shaft was purchased and cut to size and I was up and running.

The first item fed into the chipper was a dry 10 foot 2" thick douglas fir tree. I was amazed at how easily the chipper pulled the tree into and through the chipper and voila, it was gone. The blower blew chips into a fairly small pile with good force, so it would be easy to place the chips directly into a wheelbarrow or small cart. The next tree was about 3" thick. This was fed into the chipper without raising the feed roller which caused the feed roller to jam (due to loose belt) and the cheap chinese belt started squealing and smoking. I lifted the feed roller and it then grabbed the tree and pulled it right through. Very impressive, but I had to do something about that belt.

Removal of the feed roller belt cover was fairly simple, and revealed the gearbox and belt adjustment and clutch mechanism. While installing the replacement NAPA A-36 belt I decided to drain the chinese oil out of the gearbox and replace it with some fresh gear oil. The old oil was pretty sickly looking and after draining it there were some fine metal particles in the pan so changing it was a good call. Reassembly was easy and the new belt was adjusted good and tight.

After using it extensively for five hours or so I must say that I'm very impressed. It handled everything we threw at it, at least a couple dozen Douglas Fir trees and a lot of pruned deadwood. The largest material run through it was about 6" thick and the chipper didn't have any trouble with it but 25 pto hp is a bit marginal for material that large. It was amazing to put some 25-30 foot 5" trees through the chipper, without limbing them first, and have them gobbled right up. Trees that large required a little pushing since the feed roller didn't quite have the bite to pull them through with all the side branches. The wide feed chute helps immensely with this situation but these small chippers can only handle so much. They are not the 200 hp monsters that are used commercially.

Near the end of the day I screwed up and backed the chipper into a stump that I couldn't see from the drivers seat. The base of the chipper was bent fairly badly but it didn't affect operation, and it looks like its an easy piece to unbolt and flatten out. Oops.

Overall, I'd say this chipper is an exceptional value. Parts availability was a concern, but most of the parts can be bought off the shelf. In fact the manual that comes with the machine lists North American part numbers for many components - bearings, belts, and pulleys are all off-the-shelf items at most industrial supplies. A rumor is floating around that the blades have been cross referenced to those of another manufacturer, but I have not validated this yet. My dealer has no trouble supplying spare blades though, and he says the few parts that are proprietary are available but there may be a wait on them.

If you are looking for a turnkey chipper with strong dealer support this one may not be for you, but if you're not afraid to do some of your own maintenance and repairs I'd highly recommend this chipper.






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 05-14-2004, 16:27 Post: 86059
acerguy



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 Jinma chipper review

Nice review. Thanks!






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 05-18-2004, 14:56 Post: 86321
kwschumm



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A bit more information. After 15 hours of chipping soft douglas fir I pulled the chipper blades for examination and they were still sharp. Removing the blades is somewhat difficult for one person. I did it by myself but it took about three hours to remove and install both blades with hand tools. The difficulty is that you need to reach into the chute side with a 5 mm allen bit while simultaneously reaching around the chute and loosening the nut on the other side with a 16 mm socket. This is impossible for one person to do so I had to access the chute side through a hole used for the feed roller. This is doable, but a lot of time is spent finagling tools to get the right combination of ratchet and universals and extensions for each bolt while using 2x4 blocks to support the ratchet end so the allen bit won't fall out. It would be much easier with two people, and I'd guess with a helper it could be done in 30 minutes or less. Overall I'm still very pleased with the chipper.






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 05-31-2004, 23:46 Post: 87399
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After 20-25 hours the Jinma chipper suffered a failure in the feed roller drive mechanism. The feed roller shaft has a square male end that drives it. A female square socket fits over it. This connection failed, the socket wallowed out and cocked which caused the square end on the feed roller to round off. The dealer responded on Memorial day and is meeting me half way on parts, so a new feed roller and associated drive shaft parts will cost $60 shipped. Unfortunately they are not in stock and will take one to two weeks to arrive. This connection needs to be kept clean and well lubricated but there is no zerk fitting so it needs to be disassembled periodically to clean and grease. Apparently if it gets a little dirty the socket can stick and get cocked, as happened to me. The dealer recommended a small modification to drill a small hole through the socket and drive shaft and insert a cotter pin to prevent it from backing out. Makes a lot of sense and I will do that before using it again.






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 07-01-2004, 23:28 Post: 89882
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 Jinma chipper review

I also have the Jinma chipper, after two shaft failures like you discribe I bought two universal steering joints and had the shaft cut and fabricated with the new universal joints. After many many hours of heavy chipping I have had no more failures. The fedd roller is so much stronger now.






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 07-01-2004, 23:43 Post: 89883
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That's a good idea! Is there any way you can make a picture of that available? How did you adapt the universal joints to the square feed roller drive and gearbox clutch ends?






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 07-01-2004, 23:53 Post: 89884
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I just a few minutes ago registered. I am learning how to move around the site. So I can't promise a picture, but I'll try in the next couple of days. I measured the stock shaft and then cut the factory ends off and shortened the shaft and welded the new joints to each end. the joints i used are the female end and have an allen screw to secure them to the existing square male end.






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 07-03-2004, 17:18 Post: 89988
kwschumm



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After a month wait the needed replacement parts finally arrived. Examination of the flex joint that is not being replaced shows some significant wear already, so I'm planning to order a complete replacement driveshaft assembly and have it modified with universal joints. I did drill and tap the female sockets and install some setscrews to keep them from coming off again. With that modification it looks like the flex joints are the weak spot.






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 08-07-2004, 09:51 Post: 92925
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Using a piece of equipment long term sure exposes it's warts. Maybe my Jinma chipper is a bit too small or too consumer-quality for my needs but it seems that every 15 hours of operation requires 5 hours of maintenance. Here's some more issues that have come up.

The feed roller drive pulley is mounted on the main flywheel shaft which passes through a hole in a sheet metal panel. This hole is about a half inch larger than it needs to be, which creates a gap between shaft and panel. The ends of small brush can enter this gap and they then get wrapped around the shaft and pulley. Eventually they bind the shaft, and removing them is a tedious and time consuming operation. You have to pull off some sheet metal covers and half the feed chute and grab one end of the brush while manually spinning the flywheel backwards and avoiding the knives. This probably could be prevented by pulling the pulley and riveting another piece of sheet metal with a smaller shaft hole to reduce the gap.

This problem may have been exacerbated by a too-large gap between the anvil and knives. The manual calls for 0.010-0.030 clearance and I suspect the clearance from the factory was much larger (but didn't measure before I had already removed the anvil). I replaced the anvil and set the clearance to 0.020. We'll see if this helps.

Also, the knives don't seem to stay sharp more than 10-15 hours. Changing or reversing knives also takes a couple of hours. It's a real PIA to dig the sap/dirt out of the four hex head screws and associated nuts that hold each knife, but they have to be cleaned up before they can be removed. I spoke to a guy who makes chipper knives out of high quality alloys, and he said he could make some knives for me for around $100/set. I may take him up on this since the price isn't that much higher than factory knives.






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 08-08-2004, 08:46 Post: 92962
grassgod

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Excellent review Ken!!! You should be an author. I have a Jinma dealer about 4 miles from here & have been debating on buying that same chipper. Your review has taught me that it would be a bad move for me. I have been renting commercial truck towable chippers for years. They are strong & almost never jam. I personaly would not have the patience to do all the maintenance & modifications that your doing. You have solved a decision of mine that I have been struggling with for some time now....Thanks a million!






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Wood Chippers 3PH Forum

Thread 85018 Filter by Poster:
acerguy 1 | BillAle 1 | blbiii3 1 | CharlieNH 1 | cjrhea 2 | danburda 1 | Danman1 1 | ddivinia 7 | flowerman 2 | grassgod 2 | jimbo1164 1 | kthompson 1 | kwschumm 17 | Murf 3 | RanchHand 1 | stanleyb 1 | weldingisfun 1 |




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