Meet the RuggedSplit 300-Series Log Splitter
Welcome back to RuggedMade. I’m Jared and today we're at the farm with the RuggedSplit RS 322 Log Splitter. We developed the 300-Series based on the popularity of its big brother, the 700-Series. The feedback we got from customers about the 700-Series was that they loved features like the hydraulic log lift, the standard four-way blade, the catcher tray, and the fast cycle times, but not everybody needed 37 tons or a 30” stroke and the machine can be a little bit heavy to move around if you're operating it by yourself. So, this is the answer; it's a smaller form factor. It offers a lot of the same features, but at a more affordable price point and it really punches above its weight.
So, now let's get into some of the details. It rides on 4.8 x 815” bias ply trailer tires and it comes with fenders. It connects to a standard 2” ball and it comes with safety chains, so you can drive the 300-Series around town, around the backyard, and out on the trail to get to the splitting zone. The hefty I-beam is 6” tall x 5-7/8" wide. The top and bottom plates are 10mm thick and the vertical web is 1/4" thick.
Now, let's look at some of the elements that really set the 300-Series apart. First and foremost, it's a horizontal splitter. It's also called a fixed blade or a push-through, and what we're talking about is the fact that the blade is welded to the beam, the end of the rod has a push plate, and it's just going to push all the logs past the blade and you get a lot more productivity this way compared to a horizontal vertical or tip up log splitter where in between every split you've got to take the finished pieces out of the way and then put the next log in place. Whereas, this, it just, each log pushes the next one past the blade onto the catcher tray and then into a pile onto a cart, onto a conveyor belt, whatever you want.
The blade on the 300-Series is 9” tall and 20mm thick and it's welded right down through the web of the beam and then the feature that anyone who's ever used one has to have is the four-way blade. It's just a game changer. It increases productivity so much when you can get four pieces out of one pass and it just slips right on and can be used for pretty much everything except those really big, gnarly, knotty logs or something that's really hard and unseasoned.
The cylinder has a 4” inner diameter and a 24” stroke. The oversized rod is 2.25” OD and that speeds up cycle times. The cylinder is welded and the gland end threads in for strength and serviceability. The trunnions mount to the beam into 5/8" thick plate steel. The number one feature of the 300-Series has got to be the hydraulic log lift. Getting these logs up into position for splitting no longer requires lifting them and straining your back. The power of the hydraulic log lift is doing that for you. It's got a 2” x 8” hydraulic cylinder, it's controlled by a dedicated valve, and once the logs are up here, you've also got a work table for when you want to do some re-splits and break your logs up into smaller pieces. You can also have multiple logs up at one time. It really speeds up the splitting process.
A bipod support leg provides stability when operating the log lift. One of the secrets to the productivity of the 300-Series is the catcher tray. It mounts securely to the beam with two pins, and as logs pass the blade, instead of dropping right onto the ground, they drop onto the catcher tray. So, first this allows some of that bark and dirt to fall off the logs, but it also gives you the opportunity to put a cart or a conveyor at the foot of the tray and then you have this nice continuous process. But, even if you do want to let the logs just drop onto the ground, it gets that pile farther away from you and where you're splitting and maybe if you're working with someone else they can pull that wood away and throw it in the back of a truck. Or, if you want to just split a few logs and let them sit on the tray and then grab them and throw them in the back of the truck, well it's one less time that you have to bend over and pick stuff up off the ground.
The 300-Series is available with a few different power package options. This is the 301 CC Raven engine with electric start and it's powering a 16-gallon-per-minute, two-stage log splitter pump. This is going to give the fastest cycle times but the 300-Series is also available with a 13-gallon-per-minute, two-stage pump powered by either a 212 CC Raven engine with electric start or a Honda GC190 pull-start engine. The pumps are mounted to the engines using Lovejoy-style jaw couplers. If you want to utilize the electric start feature of the Raven engines, a battery tray is included. Batteries are available separately.
The hydraulic system has an 8 gallon reservoir for cool operation. There's an in-tank strainer to keep contaminants out of the pump and there's a return filter to keep the fluid clean. All of the hoses that go from the pump to the valves and from the valves to the cylinders are braid-reinforced high pressure hoses rated for 4,000 PSI working pressure and 16,000 PSI burst pressure. All the connections are a mix of JIC-37 degree and NPT.
One of the most exciting features about the 300-Series is the modular design when it comes to the log lift and the valve platform. We have customers who operate those machines by themselves or with teams of two and three. We have commercial firewood sellers who operate these. Some people like to stand on a certain side of the machine and operate the valves with their left hand and manipulate the logs with their right hand. Other people like to stand on the opposite side and use the opposite hands. Here at RuggedMade, we believe that you should have the choice and you should be able to configure this machine the way you like it. So, the log lift can be installed on either side of the beam and the valve platform can be oriented in any one of five different positions. It can go 90 degrees and on either side, it can go at one of these 45-degree positions like it is here, or it can be mounted right down the centerline of the machine, which is ideal for operating it from either side. I like it at the 45-degree orientation because it makes for ergonomic operation of the valve levers, but the point is, you get to design it and set it up the way you like it.
You can split logs up to 24” in length. When the rod is fully extended, there's actually about a 1/2" gap between the push plate and the four-way blade and when you take the four-way blade off there's about a 1.5” gap. There is a detent on the main valve and that's going to allow the rod to retract by itself while your hands are free to do something else, like get the next log into position. But, we know that a lot of people like to split shorter rounds, 16” to 18” length rounds are very common, so what do you do? You want to use your detent, but every time you retract the rod all the way, it's going too far back for that next log, so we developed a device called, “the stroke restrictor.” This mounts to the beam and it allows you to return the rod just to the 20” position and save a lot of time over the course of cord after cord of wood by not having to retract the rod all the way when you're splitting those shorter rounds. So, the stroke restrictor mounts to the beam using two holes that are right under this push plate, so you need to extend the rod somewhat to reveal the holes. The stroke restrictor mounts with two wing nuts.
Many splitters spend most of their life parked in one spot in the backyard or stored in the garage. They also get towed from place to place. To make this easy, the lower half of the log lift on the 300-Series can be removed and attached in the upper part of the log lift and the catcher tray can be mounted to the top of the blade. When it's collapsed into the smaller form factor, it's really easy to throw a tarp over it and store it or hook it up to a vehicle and tow it. It's easy to hook the 300-Series up to a vehicle. It takes a standard two inch ball and it comes with safety chains. The bipod leg can be locked in the retracted position.
So if you're looking for a midsize log splitter that's loaded with pro features, the kinds of features that are going to save you time while saving your back, and is available at a reasonable price, check out the RS 300-Series by RuggedMade. And, be sure to visit us at ruggedmade.com for more information. Now, I'm off to help a neighbor tackle a huge pile of wood. So, until next time. Thanks for watching.