NorTrac PTO Chipper Review

If you are looking for a high caliber, American made wood chipper and want to save a little money without sacrificing quality, the NorTrac PTO Chipper (5 ½ inches capacity) is going to be just what you have been searching for.

If you have at least a 20 horsepower tractor with a category 1 hitch and a six-tooth spline, 540RPM PTO driveshaft, you can definitely make use of this amazing chipper.

The NorTrac PTO Chipper is surprisingly simple to assemble upon delivery; you should be done putting everything together in around an hour. Once it is assembled it will attach perfectly to your tractor with equal ease. Once you are all hooked up, you will be ready to get out and get to work on your brush pile.

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The NorTrac PTO Chipper can handle brush and logs up to 5 ½ inches in diameter and is able to self-feed them to the chipping knife, turning them into chips of relatively equal sizes. With elements of its structure made of hardened steel, this machine is built to last. Its 6 ½ inches steel knife has been designed for expediency when it dulls. While it can be removed and sharpened, the time it takes to do so is valuable work time lost. In anticipation of even that very particular need, NorTrac made the blade reversible. Simply power down, remove the blade and turn it around so you can get your work done on time and with less fuss.

NorTrac has done a great job on keeping the real world issues that come with maintaining land and has added features to the PTO Chipper to accommodate the needs that arise out of them. Here are a few very important features that stand out to anyone that knows the work that is done to maintain large plots of land and what it takes to work them well:

  • If you have had to spend any amount of time pruning away extra branches or leaves while using other chippers, you know how much it can slow you down. The idea that you have to almost pre-chip the wood before it goes into the wood chipper is dumb. It is a terrible waste of time and there are plenty of other important things to do. You want your chipper to do its job so that you can do yours. Good news, NorTrac has designed a larger hopper on the PTO Chipper that is vertical and self-feeding so that you do not need to waste as much time cleaning up your wood and you can keep on moving through your day.
  • One of the best things about the PTO Chipper is that it is mounted to your tractor’s 3 point hitch, so it follows where you are going. No more bundling and dragging piles of wood around with you. The hassle and energy draining job of lugging limbs and branches from your site back to your chipper is a thing of the past. Good riddance.
  • Another favorite feature is the raised discharge chute. You do not want wood chips lining the ground at every single work site. There are areas you want clean and clear of any debris that doesn’t belong. You want to dispose of, burn or sell what comes out of your chipper, but gathering all of it up after is a royal pain, so is trying to find the proper container to catch the pieces that other wood chipper churn out. With the NorTrac PTO Chipper placing any wheelbarrow, large trash can or bin underneath the chute is good enough to get you finished. More directed flow into any large container you have on hand means less shoveling, raking, sweeping and general cleanup for you.
  • Finally, some machines are good for harder, denser woods and some for softer, more pliable woods. The NorTrac PTO Chipper has been fitted with a 75 pound flywheel that creates enough inertia to handle any type of wood you can think of to throw at it. With this machine, all woods are created equal. The PTO will chip them all. It is truly a great tool.

Here is a video showing the chipper in real action:

It should go without saying at this point, the NorTrac knows the job that has to be done and has made their product to fit it. They have listened to you and have made a custom machine to suit your needs and eliminate cumbersome and frustrating issues.

As with anything, there are going to be one or two hiccups, of course. The ones that are listed below are not deal breakers, but they are certainly worth a mention:

  • It seems that the PTO has a little more trouble self-feeding if the branches are not straight. An easy fix seems to be lopping the pieces that bend or are crooked into smaller parts and feeding them through after. No time is wasted because a quick chop can be done while the PTO is working through other lumber.
  • The issue that is a bit more familiar is the way it treats some of the smaller branches and needles. They do not seem to catch properly in the hopper. The PTO Chipper seemed to need a little extra help and a lot of extra pushing to get that small stuff through, but that seems to be the norm with a lot of wood chippers nowadays.

In conclusion, the NorTrac PTO Chipper is a well-developed, keenly planned and laboriously crafted tool that can be of great use to anyone responsible for a patch of land. The fact that it moves with you saves you time; the fact that if you chip a knife you can flip it and keep going saves you money; the fact that it can help you get your work done well, and maybe with a little bit of time to spare, saves you peace of mind; and if you like eating wood chips, the NorTrac PTO Chipper will even make you breakfast. What more could you want out of you wood chipper?