Long gone are the days of having to bust up wood with a splitting maul — hoping you don’t hurt your back before you get done. Other than cutting down the tree, the hardest part of turning a log into firewood with a log splitter is starting the engine!
Yardmax sent over their new heavy-duty 35-ton Full Beam Log Splitter for us to check out & when the truck showed up….it was obvious that this thing was a lot bigger than we had expected. Inside the wooden crate was a partially assembled unit (with excellent step-by-step directions to complete the setup) & within a couple of hours the unit was fully assembled and ready to go.
One huge advantage of the Yardmax version over any other brand is the fact that the engine is pre-attached to the frame & all of the hydraulic hoses are pre-installed WITH hydraulic fluid already topped off! If you normally buy one of these “you assemble” units, to save on shipping costs other manufacturers will package it as tightly as possible — meaning NOTHING is preassembled & you will have a lot more time and effort involved in putting it together.
As I was putting it together, a few things really stood out.
It is not too often that directions suggest “safety measures” that actually turn out to be true, but aside from the easy-to-follow guide, they do tell you that two people are needed for assembly. Not one to heed such warnings, I set out to do this myself…..big (time-consuming) mistake! This most likely added about an hour onto the otherwise simple process of bolting everything together, because I had “improvise” in order to stand the beam upright (300+ lbs by itself). Luckily I was able to stand it up against my landscape trailer during assembly, but be warned — two people (or a chain hoist) will be needed for proper assembly.
Here are some specs on the YU3566 :
- 35-Ton Rated
- Full Beam Design
- Upgraded “U-Beam” (will not twist like standard I-Beam versions)
- Spinner Footplate to prevent stress on unit
- 636 lbs
- Towable – 45mph Max
- Pre-installed Engine
- Pre-installed Hydraulic System
- Pre-filled Hydraulic System
- Removable 4-Way Wedge Included
- Built-in Stroke Limiter
- Heavy-Duty Log Tables
Normally a splitter is going to come stock with a standard 2-way wedge only — with a 4-way wedge being an aftermarket option. When this happens, the original unit is not typically equipped with the proper housing to accommodate the larger wedge (requiring modifications to the unit to make the add-on wedge fit). The Yardmax splitters however have this solved, since they are including that 4-way wedge with each unit pre-installed. No modification is needed & removal is as simple as loosening one bolt to transition over to the standard 2-way mode for heavy-duty applications.
Also, it is worth noting that the beam design (U-Beam) and spinner plate base will work together to prevent extra stress on the unit — specifically twisting. With a standard splitter (I-Beam), twisting can occur when you are dealing with a large knot — causing the wood to physically rotate against the base. Looking at a typical splitter without the spinner plate, all of that stress is then absorbed into the beam and cylinder. This will cause stress, and will cause twisting. By using the upgraded U-Beam in conjunction with the spinner base — the twisting is eliminated & any movement is done by that base plate, not your beam!
By going with the “full beam” version -vs- the “half beam”, we are able to tow this easier (per Yardmax), and with 40+ mile trips in the future, this is a big selling point. The extra weight adds to the overall stability & it will feel more solid behind you as you are driving.
The tire/wheel combo actually has some heavy-duty bearings! This was a big relief since I plan to haul it down the road behind me….and although the unit is rated at 45mph — at least I know that it is well-built & shouldn’t have a problem with that speed.
Once it was completely assembled, the weight of the full beam & 35-ton hydraulic cylinder were very apparent — for an in-shape person this won’t be a huge problem to set-up and/or put away the unit (lifting the beam vertically to use & laying it horizontally to store). However, if you are older, don’t want to deal with extra weight, or would like a much easier setup/takedown procedure — check out the half beam version. It is going to have the same capabilities, at a lower weight! The only real disadvantage would be the ease of towing, but if you are going to use it around your property only — or are towing with an ATV, the lighter version is a better choice.
After I got done with assembly, it was as simple as hooking it up to a trailer ball & driving off.
To get it moved out of the driveway (and to maneuver it around some parked vehicles), I pulled it with my zero turn. The mower had no issues with it, but due to the weight — a truck/suv would be a lot better idea with something this size. The 35-ton is the largest version that Yardmax offers, and it has the max weight.
We just dropped some more trees…..time to fire it up & see what this monster can do!