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HelpInfo on a Used Badger Chipper
<Richard Wood>
I've come across an old Badger Chipper (model TM400G3) sitting in a storage yard gathering rust.

I've called the company that handles Badger parts and they have told me that it is a 1987 12" disk chipper with a Ford Engine. It takes 3x7 knives.

The owner doesn't know a thing about the machine. That is why I called the Company.

As far as I know, it hasn't been run in a few years and it's maintenance records are nowhere to be found. The hour meter says 1600 but that seems like a very short amount for a 12 year old machine.

The biggest question I have is what is a machine like that worth and what would be a fair and reasonable amount to offer the owner.

Also, what kind of repairs and maintenance would probably be required to get a machine like this into operation.

Any thoughts on the subject would be greatly appreciated.
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<Russ Carlson>
Reply to post by Richard Wood, on December 18, 1998 at 11:15:57:

I can't help with the worth of the machine, but will offer a few caveats on old equipment.

Things to look for in an old engine that has been sitting a long time- hose and belts: These will deteriorate over time, even if not in use. Plan on replacing them if the thing has been sitting more than a year or two.

Wires: Same, although they may be OK for awhile. Spark plug wires especially may need replacing, standard electrical may be OK.

Radiator: Check for leaks and for excessive rust or clogging. You could use a radiator cleaner to flush it it out, then have it pressure-checked.

Seals and gaskets: These may be dried out and will leak. They might seem alright at first, but onl age and deterioration could allow them to fail very soon.

Carbeurator: Likely to be gummed up. As gasoline evaporates, it forms a varnish the really messes things up. Regular rubbing alcohol will take out most of the varnish, but it meaans breaking down the unit, and usually a complete rebuild of carbeurator, if the condition is bad.

Corrosion: An engine that hasn't run may have water vapor that builds up inside the engine block, and this can cause rust to form on many internal parts. The rust will interfer with operation, cause excessive wear, and poor performance if pitting is bad. A laproscope can help investigate this, or taking the block apart to inspect.

Other than lubrication, the clutch should be OK. Check out all drive shafts on the chipper, belts, and bearings.

It all depends on what condition it was in when "retired", how it was stored, and how long. Hope this helps.
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Reply to post by Richard Wood, on December 18, 1998 at 11:15:57:

Do you still have the machine, or do you have parts? Im looking for a couple parts.
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<Bob Groves>
Our local Scout camp Has a Badger Chipper TM400 the bottom infeed roller shaft has broken dose anyone know where we might get one Reply.
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Looking for the phone number that sells badger equipment. I have a Badger Northland haybine built in Wisconsin, I can not find anything on the company, please, If the same company please send info on it ?????? 989-205-0096 or
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<Rodger Dodger>

Hi Richard,
Please keep in mind that when repairing an old school chipper, it probably wont have all the safety features of a newer model. Here is a short safety checklist to run through in your head, when determining whether to invest in getting this thing up and running..

Stop Bars: These are absolutely essential to the safe operation of any mobile wood chipper. They traditionally come positioned on top of the infeed chute, however recently some manufacturers, most notably Vermeer, have begun to place them on the bottom of the infeed chute as well. The perceived benefit of this is to increase the likelihood on the safety mechanism being ‘involuntarily triggered’ in the event of an accident. As a response, other manufacturers and dealers may claim that this bottom stop bar may be triggered by branches under normal operating conditions, thus, unnecessarily slowing down the crew. *** Check List: Ask if the bottom feed bar has a variable sensitivity setting, which may increase safety, without decreases in productivity.

Safely Packaged Machine: All moving parts of the wood-chipper need to be covered by heavy duty, thick gauge steel plating. This is for two reasons. (A.) So as no body parts can come into contact with the moving parts and (B.) So as in the event of machine malfunction, no moving parts can penetrate machine covering and cause serious damage. Again, there will be contradiction between manufacturers regarding the best machine packaging and configuration. Some manufacturers claim to offer a ‘less inclusively’ packaged machine under the guise of it being easy to access parts for repair, BUT be wary of such claims.

Big Infeed Openings: This means that an operator can load up the wood-chipper with thicker material, no matter what the shape. Overall this translates to LESS CHAINSAW WORK, which in itself can be a hazard professionals need to account for. Also look out for the length of the infeed table, remembering that the longer the table, the longer the distance between the blades and your hands.

Height of the Infeed Table: This is a personal consideration and different configurations work better for different operators. Some operators prefer a lower / shorter infeed table, requiring less energy to lift the material onto the table. Others prefer a higher table, meaning they can help process the chips in a more upright and comfortable position. Again, this is dependant on the individual operator, but over time, using this systems every day, means that it becomes a very important factor in your decision making process. The wrong choice could lead to extra strain and a less than optimal chipping experience.

Colour of the Machine: Ideally, this should be a bright primary colour, for example a yellow or red, but again, this up to personal preference, providing it’s BRIGHT. You want to accept all suitable work, including that which is close to the road or railway lines, so do it safely, with a brightly coloured machine and increase the distance from which motorists and others can see and avoid you.

The Angle of the Discharge Chute: You should demand your machine has a rotating discharge chute, so you can aim your chips at an appropriate target, whether that’s your truck or a garden bed. Also if possible, make sure the discharge chute cannot be pointed in the direction of the infeed table of operator control bar. In addition, any machine on which you can adjust the chute from the ground is a bonus, as you wont have to climb all over your chipper.

Finally, there are standard safety inclusions, which you cant afford to comprise on; these would include Safety Chains and Electric Brakes, for safe towing, Safety Decal Stickers and Operator Manuals.

Ultimately, when purchasing a wood chipper, the health of your crew is in your hands. Manufacturers, who are worth anything at all, will provide innovation in safety as standard, and you have the right to demand it. But beware, there are less than reputable dealers out there, and the human, liability and legal costs are to big too risk it.

Even the best machine is only as good as its operators, so check with your dealer about what Safety Induction Programs they run with the sale of their chippers. This is reprinted from
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