One of the biggest disadvantages of log splitters is their size. They may have to be transported from time to time, and this is where their larger size can cause some problems.
If it was any other yard tool, you could easily transport it.
However, bigger log splitters can be hooked up to the ball hitch of a car, and they do have tires so they can be towed.
But at what speed? And what happens if you need to go through the highway?
How fast can a log splitter be pulled on the highway? Log splitters should not be pulled on highways. Highways have a minimum speed limit that varies between 30 to 45 mph depending on where you live. The majority of the commercially built log splitters are not designed to be pulled at speeds above 5 to 35 mph. At the same time, some higher-end or home-built log splitters can be towed at a higher speed up to 70 mph.
Below I share with you everything you need to know in order to understand the do’s and don’ts of towing a log splitter.
Why You Should Not Pull Your Log Splitter on the Highway
There are a number of different problems that you may run into when pulling your log splitter on the highway.
Log Splitters Are Not Designed for High-Speed Towing
Log splitters are just not built or designed to be pulled long distances or at high speed.
Log splitters usually do not have any plates, brakes, stop lights, blinkers, or sway control.
Although small log splitters do not require active lights because they do not block the vehicle’s lights, this does not make them suitable for long-distance towing.
Usually, commercially built log splitters have short axes and do not have suitable tires that can be used for moving at high speed.
Another problem with the design is the fact that log splitters are top-heavy. This means that the center of gravity is high, which translates into even less stability (and the splitter can easily flip over).
And last but not least, many log splitters may have small wheels that can heat up when being towed.
These little details can make log splitters extremely dangerous and unstable when pulled at high speed.
Log Splitters Lack Suspension
Many log splitters do not have any suspension.
Towing a log splitter that does not have suspension at high speed can be extremely dangerous and hazardous. This can lead to losing the wheels, various damages, cracks, oil leaks, and so much more.
Log splitters that do not have suspension will bounce around, and there have been very unpleasant stories of log splitters flipping over. And figuring out how to get your log splitter back on its tires again is the last thing you want to do in the middle of the highway.
Log Splitters Are in Your Blind Spot
It is never a good idea to tow things with your vehicle that you cannot easily see. And log splitters just happen to be one such thing.
They are often right in your blind spot. The lack of visibility means that you will not be able to see if your splitter is okay and not bouncing.
But this is not the only problem you will be facing.
Backing up with the log splitter is very hard. And it is going to be a kind experience that you will most likely never forget.
Weather and Road Conditions Matter
An uneven road or terrain can literally make the whole process of pulling a log splitter close to impossible. Even a hundred yards will seem like a feat.
Couple all that with bad weather conditions, and you are looking at a recipe for a small disaster.
The Minimum Speed Limit
Depending on where you live, you may be looking at different maximum and minimum speed limits.
The minimum speed limit on a highway will vary, but in general it’s between 30 to 45 mph. And not all log splitters can move at such speeds.
Log splitters are usually categorized either as farm equipment or trailer.
If you are going to pull your log splitter behind your car or truck, make sure to check up on your local authorities and your state trailer or farm equipment laws.
In some states, you may not need any plates or registrations, but in others the law may require you to register anything that is towed behind a vehicle regardless of what it is.
If you are still unsure, I would recommend getting in contact with a renting joint near your area for more information or with the DMV.
How Fast Can a Log Splitter Be Pulled?
In general, the majority of the homeowner log splitters should not be towed at speeds higher than 30 to 45 mph.
This is where one of the major problems with pulling a log splitter on a highway becomes evident – you need to follow the minimum speed limit, and your log splitter may not be ready for it.
You really don’t want to be the only person doing 35 or 45 mph in a 65 zone. You will be slowing down the traffic, especially if there are only two lanes, and you may be putting other people in danger.
Always make sure to check the owner’s manual that came with your log splitter for more information regarding towing speed.
Some splitters have tires on which you can find the rated speed they can be used at. Some may not even be DOT approved, and they may not be suitable for speeds over 5 mph.
And when you consider the potential damage the splitter can sustain during towing in combination with the lack of visibility, it is advisable to err on the side of caution and either keep the speed low or look for other transportation options.
How to Transport Your Log Splitter on the Highway?
Of course, all that does not mean that you have no options left for transporting your log splitter on the highway. There are several things that you can do.
- You can use (or rent) a utility trailer; or
- You can load it in the bed of your truck;
Both of these ways have been tested by many other people and are considered to be the best way to transport heavy machinery, especially when it needs to go far.
Loading the splitter in a truck or a trailer is significantly safer, and you can drive faster too.
If you are buying a new log splitter, it is advisable to speak with the retailer first. If possible, arrange for the log splitter to be unassembled. That way, you can easily pick up and load the different parts in your truck.
That being said, some log splitters (usually the high-end ones) can be designed for highway and public road towing. These usually have plates, active lighting, and suspension.
Before you go ahead and transport your log splitter, make sure that its tires are up to pressure, the chains are secured, and that the splitter is strapped down tightly. And as always, make sure you are adhering to your local laws.
Where Can You Pull Log Splitters?
Log splitters are supposed to be pulled around your property, backyard, farm, etc. However, even then, they can be incredibly tricky and hard to maneuver and control.
Many people say that towing a log splitter on public roads at short distances up to 5-10 miles is doable at low speeds. Adding a vertically mounted flag or some reflectors may also be a good idea just to be on the safe side.
A slow-moving vehicle sign can also be used if you will not be going over 25 mph.
If you have no other option but to tow your log splitter, make sure to follow the code, drive slowly, avoid highways, and constantly inspect the road for any dips or potholes.
Can You Pull Home Built Log Splitters on the Highway?
Although the majority of the commercially sold log splitters are not suited for being pulled on the highway, this may not necessarily be the case with home-built ones.
Building your own log splitter can cost you just as much as buying a new splitter (and in some cases even more), but the good news is that you have a certain degree of freedom.
When building your own log splitters, you can design it in such a way as to tolerate higher speeds. Using a longer axis, larger tires and suspension will add more stability and durability to the splitter.