Monday 11 March 2019

TOMCAT’s TOP 10 most important wood chipper safety tips

  1. Everyone within 30 meters of the chipper, especially all chipper feeders and operators, MUST wear full PPE at all times (safety glasses, ear muffs, gloves etc.)
  2. Never operate, feed or perform maintenance on a wood chipper unless you are properly trained by a TOMCAT Chipper Technician or Representative.
  3. Never reach into the infeed hopper of the chipper with your hands or feet. Use a stick or a push paddle to push short pieces or twigs into the chipper. Keep your hands clear from all moving parts.
  4. Avoid loose clothing and ensure that the area around the chipper is free from objects that can obstruct your movement and that the space behind the infeed hopper is clear of debris at all times.
  5. Never get rushed while operating a wood chipper or when performing maintenance. This will only result in injury.
  6. Before operating a wood chipper ensure that all switches and safety devices are working properly.
  7. Never leave your machine unattended while running. Stay in range of all feed control and shut down devices. Operators must always be in the reach of safety switches or the forward/reverse bar.
  8. Never operate the chipper under the influence of alcohol or any other drugs which may cause drowsiness. Don’t allow any children under the age of 16 or anyone with a physical/mental disability near the wood chipper even when the chipper is switched off.
  9. Never open the drum area while the drum is still spinning. Make sure the drum comes to a complete stop first and that the engine is switched completely before performing any action on the drum.
  10. Never open the discharge chute of the wood chipper while operating. Make sure the drum housing is always closed and locked. Never stand in front of the discharge chute as the chips are blown at a high speed and can seriously injure someone.

Monday 17 November 2014


Everyone knows that blade maintenance on a wood chipper is crucial. Most chipper operators ensure that the blades are always as sharp as possible and they clean the knife bed before they put the blades back on the drum. However, they seem to forget and neglect the MOST important thing…..the bolts! When the bolts come loose or break off of the drum it can have horrific consequences. Sometimes the machine can even be written off depending on the size of the machine and so forth.

Here are some tips to ensure this never happens to your wood chipper:
  •  ENSURE the thread of the bolt is clean before you put it back into the knife bed.
  •  ALL the bolts should be the same length.
  •  BOLTS should never be more than 10mm out at the bottom of the knife bed, but it must be visible at the bottom.
  •  ALWAYS torque the bolt according to the manufacturer’s instructions – 130Nm or 245Nm.
  •  NEVER torque the bolt more than 8 times. The head of the bolt stretches and this can cause it to break off. Rather throw it away.
  • NEVER use 8.8 bolts when the specification is 10.9. The bolt cannot handle the strain and tension and will break at some stage.

-          PLEASE phone us today with your TOMCAT Serial Number if you have lost your torque setting or if you have forgotten the correct setting and we will gladly assist you.

We hope these tips will keep you chipping!

Incorrect Blade Bolts

Correct 10.9 HT Bolt

New HT Bolt

Wednesday 23 April 2014

See you at NAMPO 2014!

Tomcat Chippers is getting ready to have some fun at this year’s NAMPO expo! Organised by Grain South Africa (GSA), the NAMPO exhibition is the biggest agricultural show in the southern hemisphere - spread over 24 hectares (80 hectares for the demonstration area) and attracting over 500 exhibitors and 80 000 visitors! 

This year’s Expo takes place from the 13th to 16th of May outside Bothaville in the Free State. We will be arriving with a large selection chippers and stump grinders and there will be a great deal of new machinery on the stand as well.  

Come visit us at stand 202, chat to us or see a live demo of what our chippers can do. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday 15 January 2014

J Haskins & Sons show off Tomcat Chippers in Botswana

This month we would like to feature one of our Tomcat agents in Botswana: J Haskins & Sons, and commend them on their excellent work in promoting our brand in their area.

Technical manager David Sautereau (from the Gaborone branch) and his team attended the Botswana National Agricultural Show from the 27th August to 1st of September 2013. Not only did they invest many hours of  hard work into this venture, but generously donated prizes for the livestock and crop competitions. Their efforts definitely paid off - the show was a great success and the team had an enjoyable time with all the farmers and visitors.

We are proud to see a company like Haskins doing so much for Tomcat Chippers in Botswana and are looking forward to more exciting developments!

To find out more about J Haskins & Sons go to:

Monday 19 November 2012

Service & Maintenance of your TOMCAT Chipper

Servicing a chipper is the same as for any other piece of equipment or car that you may own. Regular and proper maintenance will ensure a dependable machine – minimizing downtime and optimizing production. TOMCAT Chippers are simply built which makes service and maintenance quick and hassle free. Maintenance intervals vary between the different chipper models and are indicated in the TOMCAT Manual.


- Ensure all bolts and nuts on chipper are always fastened.
- ALWAYS adhere to the recommended torque settings!
- No person should ever perform any maintenance on a chipper without the necessary training on the machine!

The Blades

- The blades should be checked each morning for damage and sharpness.
- Dull or severely damaged blades should never be used. Blunt blades will increase fuel consumption and vibration.
- Blunt blades will cause stringy chips and can cause the discharge chute to block.
- Use a Knife Saver daily to keep the edge of the blade as sharp as possible and ensure longer blade life.
- Never mix a set of blades. Always keep the two blades as a pair. This will keep your drum balanced and minimize vibration.
- Ensure that the engine is switched off completely and the drum comes to a complete stop before performing ANY form of maintenance, especially on the drum and blades!
- Use the correct bolts with your TOMCAT blades and torque them at the correct tension.

The Engine

- Filters, oil and water should be checked on a daily basis.
- Yamaha petrol engines should be given a full service every 100 hours.
- Perkins diesel engines should be given a full service every 250 hours.
- Ensure that the engine mountings are always fastened.
- Start a cold engine with the clutch dis-engaged and with the throttle on idle speed.
- Always wait for your engine to warm up before chipping.
- Always operate your chipper on full throttle – NEVER on idle speed!
- Makes sure all engine cooling equipment is always clean!

The Bearings

- The bearings should be greased daily at all the grease nipples.
- Refer to the TOMCAT Manual to ensure the correct amount of grease is applied.
- Lubricating the bearings regularly will ensure less wear and increase component life.
- Regularly clean the excess grease off the outside of your bearings as this will collect dust and dirt.

The Hydraulics

- The hydraulic pressure should never be increased without consulting your TOMCAT dealer. Higher pressure could damage the pipes, motors and/or the hydraulic pump.
- A little hydraulic sweat on the tank is normal.
- The hydraulic oil level should always be above the MIN mark and should be checked on a daily basis.
- The chipper must be switched off and chipping stopped when the oil level drops below the MIN mark.
This means there is a leak in the hydraulic system.
- Refer to your TOMCAT Manual for the correct hydraulic maintenance intervals!
- Hydraulic temperature should never exceed 100˚C.

The fact that TOMCAT Chippers are built in South Africa, enables you as a customer to have access to spare parts, service and accessories supplied to you by all our agents countrywide!

Tuesday 23 October 2012

The Benefits of Wood Chippers

What makes wood chippers so valuable and effective?


Wood chippers provide an economical solution to clearing and reducing green waste.

  • The same labour that loads material onto a truck, could be utilised to feed a chipper.
  • A wood chipper works quicker and cleans up your site.
  • No morning burning of “green waste” will be necessary.
  • Fewer trips to the landfill will be necessary– saving you time and money.
  • Chippers reduce the volume of “green waste” by up to 70% and therefore you will save on transport, time and ultimately money.

Drastically reduce the volume of your green waste into manageable wood chips.


The wood chips which are produced can be utilized as:

  • mulch
  • compost
  • pressed wood
  • bio fuel

Basically it comes down to:

  • saving money when removing “green waste” from a site and
  • generating an income from the chipped product when you sell it to your market.

This combination will turn your wood chipper into a profitable investment and not only a piece of equipment that costs you money every month.

Monday 22 October 2012

10 General Safety Guidelines/Tips for Wood-Chipper Operators:

  1. Everyone within 30 meters of the machine, especially all operators, MUST wear safety equipment (safety glasses, ear muffs, gloves etc.)
  2. Stick to the maintenance schedules of the wood chipper and ensure that all the bolts are tightened as specified in the Tomcat Owner’s Manual.
  3. Never reach into a gravity feed wood chipper with your hands. Rather use a stick or switch the machine off.
  4. Never get rushed with a wood chipper when operating or performing maintenance. This will only result in injury.
  5. Never leave your machine unattended while running. Stay in range of all feed control and shut down devices.
  6. Never stand in front of the discharge chute as the chips are blown at a high speed and can seriously injure someone.
  7. Never allow anyone to get near the PTO shaft while the machine is operational.
  8. Never open the drum area while the drum is still spinning. Make sure the drum comes to a complete stop first.
  9. Never open the discharge chute of the wood chipper while operating. Make sure the chute is always closed and locked with the safety pin & R-clip.
  10. Never allow children near a running wood chipper even when the chipper is switched off.