December 1, 2015:
Maryland Landscape Supply dramatically improved the cost and efficiency of its firewood processing operation with the purchase of a Black Splitter S2X 800 hydraulic wood splitting attachment from Ransome Attachments. This unique German-manufactured attachment allows an operator to handle and split large timber with surgical precision from the cab of a construction machine.
The S2X 800 has transformed what was once a two-person operation to a single operator in a Kubota U35-4 mini excavator, according to Maryland Landscape Supply Owner Ethan Langrill, who often mans the controls himself. The S2X 800 has replaced a full-time worker and a four-way log splitter, which saves time and money, and also improves safety.
The S2X 800 works on the front end to quarter logs before feeding them into a Bell’s 4000 Firewood Processor. The result is a log that is cleaner and easier to split, which translates into a more seasoned end-product for the customer.
The rotating threaded chromium cone of the S2X 800 allows the operator to maneuver and position logs from the operator’s cab and improves comfort and productivity, especially during winter. The Black Splitter’s ability to rotate logs provides a distinct advantage over traditional grapple and loader buckets.
The S2X 800 also plays a pivotal role handling logs that have already run through the wood processor. The mini excavator pivots around the pile, using the S2X 800 to downsize, clean up, stack, and load logs while the processor continues to operate. Productivity has been increased roughly 100 percent through the elimination of monotonous manual processes. The S2X 800 is also directly responsible for an estimated 45 percent increase in usable logs.
The S2X 800’s ability to quarter logs on the front end also allowed Maryland Landscape Supply to purchase a smaller and less expensive wood processor. Langrill estimates that the firm saved nearly $25,000 by purchasing the Bell’s 4000 instead of the 8000. The S2X 800 also helps to reduce the load and improve the efficiency of the processor.
Maryland Landscape Supply deals primarily with oak and other hardwoods, so the S2X 800 gets a daily work out. Further complicating matters is that incoming recycled wood is often of poor quality and in various shapes and sizes. The Black Splitter has not met its match, according to Langrill, although he hopes to upgrade to a larger excavator at some point.
He commends Ransome Attachments for keeping the S2X 800 operating at peak performance, from ensuring that the attachment fit the mini excavator properly at the time of purchase to providing ongoing guidance on prolonging the life of the drill bit. “Their customer service is a 10,” says Langrill.
Langrill purchased the S2X 800 in June 2016 and already considers the attachment indispensable to his production-driven firewood processing operation. Maryland Landscape Supply cranks out more than 1,000 cords of wood annually in 17-inch pieces. He needs to keep the operation running steady eight hours a day to keep up with demand.
“It’s important to our operation,” Langrill says. “Any firm that handles firewood and doesn’t own one (S2X 800) obviously doesn’t know what it’s capable of.”