Bandit’s new Model 1890 Track self-propelled drum chipper is working to spruce up Mount Rushmore while protecting the surrounding forests of the southern Black Hills, the Remus, Mich., based company has announced in a press release. Bandit calls the 1890 Track “the perfect machine” to tackle the thinning operation occurring within the national park because of its compact size, maneuverability and production rates.
|The Bandit 1890 Track at work.|
“Projects like this are exactly what we had in mind when we decided to build a self-propelled version of our 1890,” says Jason Morey, marketing manager for Bandit Industries. “It’s small enough to go pretty much anywhere, and it’s strong enough to chip a surprising amount of wood for its size.”
The Model 1890’s versatility in the field is enhanced, the company says, by a loader and a Caterpillar 307B steel-track undercarriage. It rides on a pair of 500-millimeter pads, which provides stability to scale steep slopes and exceptional flotation. A built-in loader takes the hands out of the hand-fed chipper, allowing a single operator to feed the machine with material up to 19 inches in diameter. A standard radio control permits operators to handle all chipper functions remotely, while an easy-to-use swing out control panel on the machine is available for those preferring direct contact. Engine options range from 114 to 213 horsepower, and a swivel discharge allows chips to be spread where needed.
The extent of the 1890 Track’s versatility is assisting the National Park Service in thinning the woods around Mount Rushmore, the company says. The three-month project is designed to make the park and surrounding forests more resistant to fire by removing younger trees less than 10 inches in diameter. The measure is designed to slow the pine beetle infestation that has affected the area. To preserve the integrity of the forest and area wildlife, tight restrictions are in place to ensure the project only removes that which is necessary.
“It’s not logging or clear cutting,” says Mike Johnson, the park service regional fire information officer. “It’s thinning out some of the stuff that would’ve burned in a natural forest cycle.”