The New Chipper

After years of procrastinating we finally pulled the trigger and bought a new wood chipper from a company out east that makes quality machinery called DR Equipment. It seems that we are always dealing with an abundance of overgrown branches and downed limbs out here at our place. Usually, I pile them up and then have a huge bonfire sometime later after they have dried down. It would be much nicer to chip most of those branches into mulch for use in the wife’s garden or even just around some of the trees in the yard to keep weeds down.

In talking with the salesperson about our order, (I could have just ordered online but I’m a bit old school and wanted to speak with a live person), she questioned the delivery to our place and asked whether or not a semi tractor and trailer could turn around easily. I informed her that the driver would have to back up to turn around but that it would be possible. The sales lady then stated that the driver would not be able to back up the truck. What? A truck driver that can’t back up? What are they teaching in todays truck driver training sessions? Anyway, I told her that as an option, the driver could park out on the highway at the end of our driveway and then unload the new chipper and crate into the back of my truck if the trucker had a lift gate to lower the crate. She informed me that this would be possible. I also requested that the trucker give me a call at least an hour before delivery so I could scoot home from work and be here when he arrived. All was well. The delivery was scheduled for Wednesday between the hours of 10am and 2pm.

I went into work that day, thinking I could work til at least 10am and then bolt for the homestead when the trucker called. Wrong. He called at 8:30 saying he would be there in 45 minutes. A bit of panic set in at that point because it is a 40 minute commute for me to get home. I punched out at work and saddled up my big Honda for the trip home. I may have been speeding a bit to make it here in time but no one will ever know.

After arriving home, I jumped in the truck and drove out to the highway to meet the trucker. He arrived maybe five minutes later, just as he said. A jovial fellow, fifty-ish I guessed, greeted me and opened up the back of the trailer. There she was, a brand new DR chipper in a wood crate, right in the back. However, there was no lift gate on the trailer to let the crate down and it would have been at least a three foot drop to the bed of my truck. Not good. I did not want to risk damaging the new machine in case it got away from us so I told the truck driver ” Wait here and I will go back and get my tractor with a loader to lift it down”. He agreed. What else could he do?

I drove back home, got several tie down straps, threw them in ‘Ol Bessies bucket and headed back out to the highway. Once there, we were able to get the crate to rest on the lip of the bucket and secure it with straps so it would not fall forward. I let it down slowly, thanked the driver for his service and then proceeded to head back home with my new treasure at a sedate pace so as not to jar the crate and dump it out of the bucket and onto the driveway. The picture you see here is the last part of the journey home for the new chipper. Once it was uncrated I rolled it into the garage, saddled up the big Honda and headed back to work to finish my shift. The whole ordeal took up about three hours in the middle of my day but was worth it to get my new toy home safely. I was able to finish setting up the chipper the next day and even tried it out on some branches I had laying in a pile. It’s a beast, to say the least.