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Go Gas With Bandit: Gas-Powered Chippers Offer Diesel Power with Lower Costs

Tree service companies love the power of diesel equipment. So does Bandit, which is why we offer a range of diesel options for just about every hand-fed chipper we make. For companies working with high-production chippers in the 9” to 15” category, there’s another engine option—and it has the potential to save your company thousands of dollars.


Modern industrial-grade gasoline engines have come a long way in recent years. These new-generation engines deliver all the horsepower of their diesel counterparts, but more importantly, they deliver comparable levels of low-end torque to muscle through limbs and trees like a diesel. In most cases, these gasoline engines return better fuel economy, and they’re always backed with superior warranty coverage.

Two gasoline engine options are available for Bandit’s mid-level hand-fed chippers—a 3.0-liter four cylinder producing 89 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, and a 4.3-liter V-6 producing 130 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Both engines are manufactured by General Motors and are backed with a 3-year, 3500-hour warranty. Both engines are priced lower than comparable Tier 4 diesel options, and with most areas enjoying the lowest gasoline prices in years, your potential savings with a gasoline-powered Bandit hand-fed chipper could be huge. 

“I was a little nervous going to a gas chipper because I didn’t know if the power would be there, but that engine really gets it done,” said Jeremiah Bailey, owner of Bailey Tree Company LLC in Sacramento, California.

Jeremiah bought a Model 990XP approximately one year ago, running the 3.0-liter gas engine. With approximately 30 employees and a large fleet of equipment, Bailey Tree covers all of Sacramento and the surrounding areas, and their machines are working hard every day of the week. And the gas-power Model 990XP is right at home in the fleet of diesels.

“This four cylinder does what it needs to do,” said Bailey. “It’s very responsive; the other day we were running a lot of bigger wood through it and it just kept up the whole time, it was very impressive. I don’t notice any difference between this machine and my diesels, except that the recovery rate for the gas chipper is much quicker. I didn’t really notice that before with the diesels, but when the RPMs drop on the gas chipper, they just jump right back up. It’s a real quick recovery rate.”

Tier 4 emission regulations are making things more costly for crews around the country, but for Jeremiah and other companies in California the situation is even more complicated with requirements from the California Air Resources Board. After running his 89-horsepower gas chipper for a year, he’s very happy to have a cost-effective alternative that can still perform well while helping him deal with the rising costs associated with diesel power.

“The air quality board in California makes things tough, so anything that helps me deal with that is good,” said Bailey. “The engine on my Model 990XP has a good warranty, and even if something does happen, it’s far less expensive than diesel to repair or even replace if necessary. I have another gas-powered 990XP ordered that should be to me any day. These are great machines.”