After more than half a century in the game, Earthquake has remained at the forefront of the chipper shredder equipment business. The brand offers a wide variety of powered tools and related gear for everything from a weekend warrior’s excursion to the country, through short-term DIY projects, to professional level equipment. The Earthquake brand makes a part of a wider family of brands under the umbrella of Ardisam, a Wisconsin-based company that specializes mostly in outdoor equipment for activities as varied as yard work and hunting, but also produces a line of dependable heating systems.
The full spectrum of Ardisam’s family of brands includes manufacturers of lawn and garden equipment (Earthquake powered chore equipment, Porta Source portable generators, Storm Surge portable water pumps, Fields Edge string mowers, Acreage UTV implements, Breez propane tillers, Tazz chipper shredders and Yardbird chicken pluckers), hunting gear (Barronett blinds and Yukon Tracks outdoor gear and accessories), fishing paraphernalia (Eskimo ice fishing gear and Ion electric ice augers), camping tents, portable gazebos and various accessories (Gazelle), ATVs and related necessities (Rush packable ramps and YuTrax loading ramps, utility trailers and assorted accessories), functional apparel for the outdoor winter and other bad-weather activities (Yukon Tracks), and finally, even more functional and utilitarian range of products for indoor winter respite – the stove (Castle pellet stoves).
The folks over at Ardisam pride themselves on producing tools that help make your average weekend warrior’s, DIY-er’s or part-time handyman’s and handywoman’s hobbies and projects more enjoyable and adventurous. Their position is that for over fifty years (since the 1960s), they have been at the forefront of outdoor gear market, delivering nature-inspired innovation and customer service born out of the outdoor rural style of life. Seeing how purposeful and functional their products are, it’s hard to argue the statement.
As far as the Earthquake brands go, the consumer would have a difficult task of deciding what to go for given the vast array of product available for purchase. Among other things, the offer comprises a variety of cultivators, front-tine rototillers, rear-tine rototillers, earth augers and power heads, string mowers (manufactured by the Fields Edge String Mowers, also a brand of Ardisam), chainsaws, water pumps, log splitters, and last, but not least – chipper shredder machines. The brand also includes minor related products, such as various assorted accessories, spare parts, and odd bits.
Why Choose Earthquake?
Whether you live in the countryside and need something to make your daily chores more bearable and less time-consuming, or just need a bit of help tending to the little back yard an average cityscape allows, there’s bound to be something from Earthquake to suit your needs. No product will shake the ground, but many will help you lift and turn over the soil, like the front- and rear-tine rototillers, or, alternatively, prepare the soil for planting and kill the weeds around the plants with your Earthquake cultivator. Similarly, the compact, yet powerful Earthquake water pumps will make your life all the easier whether you need them to draw water for watering the lawn, washing the patio, or jobs as demanding as gold mining. In case you want to liven up the yard with a tree or two, or need to drill a hole for the post for the birdhouse, you can always turn (if you’ll pardon the pathetic attempt at a pun) to the Earthquake earth augers and power heads. For some light work, you can always point your teenage kid to your string mower and set them loose on the lawn. Naturally, seeing as the parent company, Ardisam, is based in Wisconsin, it’s only logical it would have lines of products that are shaped by and for the life outdoors, rugged, robust and ready for every challenge. The Earthquake line of chainsaws lets you tackle any limb or trunk and cut it down to size, whether for firewood, furniture, or chainsaw carving (whatever floats your boat). Additionally, if you find the task of splitting logs to taxing for your liking, you might opt for the electric powered log splitter – the only thing you’d have to do is feed the thing. Once you’re done with all the mowing, felling and splitting, simply take all the organic debris that’s cluttering the yard and chip it to so much mulch. Rake in the leaves, collect the branches, trim down the limbs to as straight sections as possible, and watch all of it disappear into the ever hungry Earthquake chipper-shredder machine, like the Earthquake 14267.
Earthquake 14267 Chipper Shredder with 212cc 4-Cycle Viper Engine
There’s a bit of a learning curve with this bad boy, as the powerful 212cc 4-Cycle Viper Engine may be a bit intimidating at first, so you might feel timid when approaching it for the first time. Like all chipper shredder combos, the machine features two intake chutes and one for discharge. The wider, top-mounted hopper admits all kinds of organic debris and reduces it to useful mulch or compost base. Just feed the leaves, twigs, hardwood, palm fronds, geranium stalks or sedge leaves, whatever it is you need to get rid of, into the hopper, and watch it being sucked into the shredder and rent to bits. Watch your hands, though, as the machine self-feeds, so don’t get too attached to the brushes you’re throwing into the chute.
Once you grow confident, you can go for the bigger stuff, feeding it to the side chute. It should be able to handle anything up to three inches in diameter, though it looks like it has a sweet spot for green wood between one and two inches. It just eats it up and spits it out like nothing. The machine can chew up a 12-foot whole willow or an entire buckthorn tree, trunk, branch, twig and leaf in a matter of seconds. The only thing you have to make sure of is that the sections are fairly straight and get rid of all the Y-joints, and don’t force twigs and leafy bits through the side chute, as it might clog up. You could potentially use a length of wood to push the material through while operating, but if the clog proves to be difficult, don’t take any chances – turn the machine off, give it a minute to come to a full stop, and clean it carefully.
As far as starting the engine goes, it may be a bit tricky, as pulling the ignition cord requires some strength. However, you don’t have to rush it, just pulling it slowly in one steady, fluid and determined motion will do the trick. Just make sure you have the choke, gas, sped and emergency shut off at just the right degree to ensure best results. When it comes to stopping the machine, the things become easier.
Although, there’s a good maintenance tip you might want to try – after each use, before you shut the whole thing down, shut off the fuel switch and run it dry for a minute or so. This will prevent fuel from sitting idly inside and gumming up the carburetor, extending the lifespan of your engine. Speaking of lifespan, the chipping knives and hammers are pretty heavy-duty, so they should last a good long while without needing to be replaced. Even if you do find yourself in need of a replacement – too easy (as the Aussies say); just order one off the official Earthquake site, or any related site that sells spares.
Granted, the Earthquake 14267 does suffer from the same shortcomings as most of the gas powered chipper shredder machines do – the noise and noxious fumes. However, the noise is not as irksome as it might seem, and compared to other products in the same class, it’s even bearable. Still, wearing ear plugs is highly advisable. Also, don’t forget to wear safety goggles to prevent any stray chips flying into your eyes, as well as to handle the debris using protective gloves. Some people eschew the use of gloves as they tend to develop hangnails, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and a hangnail is a lot easier to handle than a missing fingertip or thorns embedded under the skin.
One more piece of info worthy of note – the chipper shredder is available in a less powerful 205cc engine variant, and there’s the possibility of ordering the optional tow bar kit, so you can lug it around using a lawn tractor. Additionally, there’s also an optional vac kit for vacuuming and shredding small debris, if you really need to get rid of every little spec, but don’t feel like over-taxing yourself. Naturally, the machine comes with a complimentary collection bag that holds up to two bushels of reduced waste. Incidentally, with the reduction ratio of 20:1, you’d have to collect 40 bushels of yard waste to fill this one bag. Of course, you could collect the mulch in the bag first, and then disperse it as you see fit, but you could also just as well leave the discharge chute open and let it spew the reduced material directly onto the lawn.