The Yard Machines brand is just one member of a large family of brands under the auspices of MTD consumer group, which is itself one of the leading manufacturers of outdoor power equipment in the States. With over 80 years of experience and excellence under its belt, the company takes a strong position as one of the leaders in the outdoor power equipment market. While individuality and distinctive appearance remain one of the hallmarks of each respective brands of the MTD family, they are still strongly supported and interconnected, to both their and consumers’ benefit. This applies to everything from finding accessories and replacement parts for any product, and from information to other types of service to their customers. The best way to understand Yard Machines as a brand is to get to know the MTD history and collective (the old “takes one to know one” shtick).
The story begins way back in the 1930s in Cleveland, Ohio, with a three-way partnership between Theo Moll, Emil Jochum and Erwin Gerhard, who collected $4500 (in case anyone’s wondering, that comes to about 62,000 in today’s money) to purchase the assets of Modern Tool and Die Company; hence – M(odel)T(tool and)D(ie). In those early days, the company manufactured perforating dies and a rolling machine that was used for making window channels for Standard Products. The company made a jump from only twelve employees in 1933. to more than sixty just a year later.
The first breakthrough and significant expansion of the product range came as early as 1936 when the company started manufacturing their first automotive stamping products – the grilles for Graham-Paige autos. By 1952, MTD managed to get controlling interest in Midwest Industries Inc. and further expanded the product list with pedal bikes, velocipedes, kiddie cars, as well as assorted playground equipment. The trend continued, and MTD introduced their own line of wheelbarrows in 1954, thereby entering the garden equipment market. The lawn and garden power equipment market soon followed, when in 1956. MTD started manufacturing a line of 18-inch power rotary mower, and in ’59, they added other power equipment, such as self-propelled lawn mowers and garden tractors. Bicycles followed in 1967, and 1968 saw the advent of the first MTD snow thrower. The ‘70s record the purchase of Yard-Man brand from Montgomery Ward, while the ‘80s see a sharp rise in production capacities and similar expansion by the acquisition of Arnold Corporation and Aircap Industries, as well as the Cub Cadet product line and White Outdoor Products Company from International Harvester and White Motor Company, respectively. The new millennium sees MTD become a major player in both Europe and North America, and by 2001, the company acquires the world renowned Troy-Bilt and Bolens brands, which, as noted elsewhere, manufacture powered chore equipment and States-wide known lawn tractors, respectively. In 2009, MTD family of brands grew by two names – Remington Chainsaws and Desa International. In 2012, the company started the Murray brand of products but ended up selling it to Briggs and Stratton Motors three years later.
Why Choose Yard Machines?
As noted earlier, every brand of the MTD family of brands is instantly recognised by its individuality and distinctive signature, but they all share the MTD network of contact and support, and rely on each other to give the speediest and most satisfactory service to their consumers, so it’s not only Yard Machines that stands behind their products but the whole clan! All jokes aside, though, the Yard Machines brand is a lot like its parent company – they are diverse, energetic and friendly enough. Going in the reverse order – the customer support is well-organised, with a neat and easily navigable site, as well as polite staff. The vigorousness is reflected in the fact that all Yard Machine products are, first and foremost, functional Yes, they do have some bells and whistles, but the key thing is that they will get the job done. Whether you need something to help you prepare the soil for planting or prepare yourself for the winter chill, or just tend to the lawn, Yard Machines have the thing for you. For tilling prior and after planting, there is a number of front- and rear-tine tillers and cultivators that you can choose from. Alternatively, if you’re more of a lawn person, your teenage kids can choose from a variety of push or self-propelled lawn mowers, or you could enjoy some measure of comfort with a riding lawn mower. For more precise and detailed work, there are always trimmers and edgers, most of which are CARB Compliant. Naturally, as seasons change, you’ll need to change to, and it would be ill-advised to be caught with the pants down when winter comes a-knocking. That’s why Yard Machines developed a line of log splitters. Once winter snows set in, however, the problem becomes how to get out of the house. Well, as the Aussies say – too easy, mate! Just let your teenager take your one- or two-stage snow thrower for a spin, preferably down the patio or the driveway. As if that wasn’t enough, the weight of the snow will also cause branches to fall off and clutter your yard. No matter. Come spring, just bust out your Yard Machine chipper shredder, and watch the debris disappear into its hungry maw.
Yard Machines 24A-45M4700 208cc Gas Chipper Shredder
The best thing about this machine is that it’s 50-State compliant, with an environmentally-friendly OHV engine that’s still capable of mulching branches up to two inches in diameter. Moreover, the heavy-duty 4-cycle engine has about 5 HP (horsepower), which enables it to chew up and spit out a whole bougainvillea bush in short order (just mind the thorns). Like most chipper shredder machines, this bad boy features two intake and one discharge chutes. The top-mounted hopper can come up and down, enabling you to have better control of the feed, while the side chute admits branches and limbs up to two inches in diameter. A word of advice, though – if you want to forestall jams, take some time before chipping to eliminate all the Y joints on the limbs, and, if possible, cut them into shorter straight sections. It might seem like wasting your time, but it will actually help you get the job done all the sooner.
The machine has a reduction ratio of 10:1, so you can take mountains of leaves, branches, rose bushes, corn and bamboo stalks, palm fronds, or even dry cardboard (whatever rocks your boat), and reduce it all to hillocks of nutritious mulch. Just make sure to avoid wet cardboard, green vines, or rain-soaked leaves, as that might clog the feed. If, however, this does happen, don’t try to take a stick and try to unblock it that way. Shut the engine down, let it come to a full stop, and then have a look at it. Speaking of safety, it’s worth mentioning that the machine is somewhat loud, as most all gas-powered chipper shredders are, so it would be a good idea to wear ear mufflers. Additionally, though this should really go without saying at this point, don’t forget to wear safety goggles and protective gloves when operating one of these bad boys, or any other piece of heavy machinery.
Starting the engine can be a bit tricky, especially if you haven’t had prior experience with similar products. Start by checking the oils and gas levels, give it a full choke, mid-throttle, and pull the cord in one steady, fluid motion. It might take a couple of pulls, but don’t sweat about it. Now, due to the large and heavy flywheel, it takes a little time for this puppy to gain momentum as if it were a steam engine. Turning it off is lot less complicated, though you might want to let the engine run dry before stowing it away, so as to prevent the fuel from gumming up the carburetor. Another great piece of advice is to take the machine apart at least once a year, check all individual parts, paying special attention to the chipping knives and shredding flails, and give it a good scrub and oil up, if needed. If you need to move it, you can do so by yourself thanks to the low center of gravity and surprisingly functional semi-pneumatic wheels. However, if you feel you can’t quite manage it, you can find a tow bar kit and lug it behind a lawn tractor.
As has become the custom with chipper shredder machines, with the purchase of the 24A-45M4700 you also get a complimentary 2.5-bushel collection bag, so you have to find about 25 bushels of organic debris to fill this one single bag (which, honestly, should not be a problem). After the discharge chute is done belching up the chips and shreds, you can either use the detritus for mulching or unload it on a compost heap. This is a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle the organic material that would otherwise clutter your yard, and in an eco-friendly way, at that, so… green thumbs up on this end!