Introducing the next project from David & Jared Burder – designers for Whitlands Engineering – the Rex Log Buster. After a lot of research and discussion with participants in the firewood industries in both Australia and New Zealand we found there was a gap in their ability to handle and process the ugly logs that are accumulated as the result of logging and firewood operations.
The ugly logs are generally too big and gnarly to worry about or are dealt with by workers hanging off the end of the biggest available chainsaws. Breaking these logs down to a handleable size and able to then be reworked with smaller type firewood processors is certainly an arduous task. Loosely based along the lines of the very successful Superaxe wood splitters, Whitlands Engineering have designed and built their first Rex Log Buster designed to split ugly logs up to 3 meters long and 1.5 meters plus in diameter.
Designed to be operated from the cab of a 20 ton plus excavator, the log buster can produce up to 90 tons of splitting force. The blade has a travel speed of about 100mm per second, the full travel distance through a 3-meter log being about 30 seconds. In most cases the log will have broken apart long before the full splitting stroke has been reached.
Initial field tests, shown on the video footage, show the Log Buster breaking up ugly red gum and yellow box logs up to 1.2 meters in diameter. This wood yard had accumulated a huge quantity of oversize logs over time, so the owners were certainly happy to have this machine tested on site. Over two days (16 machine hours), approximately 500 tons of oversize logs were processed and split to a size that the Rex 800 Log Saw could handle. The equivalent job on chainsaws was estimated to be about four months work, highlighting the massive efficiencies that can be achieved with this machine.
The concept of splitting large logs is certainly not new but most options are fixed units that require the log being picked up and moved onto the machine. This process is slow, requires enormous amounts of fuel and power and is for many wood yards, not actually worth the effort once the labour is taken into account. The Log Buster instead utilises the mobility, efficiency and simplicity of an excavator, providing safe, quick processing that maximises potential profit.