Shredders are essential work tools in agriculture sector. However, there are different types on the market – each related to a different use – and choosing the right one based on your needs can prove complicated.

Different types of shredders are in fact used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • crush the pruning residues of fruit crops,
  • clean the edges of canals and moats,
  • manage the vegetation in the forest,
  • eliminate crop residues, such as corn stalks.

Consequently, it becomes essential to identify the right model for one's work needs. To better guide one's choice, it ca be helpful to divide these implements on their weight and the power required to the tractor, as follows:

Shredder type and weight

Required power (HP)

Very light, until 150 kg

until 25

Light, 150-300 kg

from 25 to 50

Medium-light, 300-400 kg

from 45 to 70

Medium, 400-500 kg

from 50 to 80

Medium-heavy, 500-700 kg

from 60 to 90

Heavy 700-1.000 kg

from 90 to 120

Semi-forestry and forestry, over 1.000 kg

from 120


How do the different types of shredder differ?

The above table indicates essentially that a 60 HP tractor is unlikely to be able to operate a heavy shredder, whereas a high-power tractor would risk damaging a light shredder.

However, it should be clarified that the weight, in the choice of a shredder, is an important but not an exclusive factor. The shredders of the highest range are built with materials that, for the same strength and length, are proportionally lighter than conventional ones. In addition, heavier equipment also requires more energy for their movement and, therefore, a higher cost in terms of fuel.

To simplify we can assume that, in general terms, the shredder’s weight is directly proportional to its ability to effectively crush shoots or plant material.

A first reason for this assumption is that light shredders have lower section frames than heavy ones, so they have lower structural strength. The main components of the machine – such as the tool-holder rotor and the gear box – are also able to withstand increasing stresses based on the overall weight of the machine.

As the weight increases, the frame’s width increases: so, a heavy shredder will be able to handle more biomass (grass, residues or stalks) than a light one. In addition, a larger frame can work at higher speeds than a smaller one both for the volume of plant material processed in the time unit, both because a shredder of higher dimensions and weight better absorbs vibrations and impacts related to the feed speed.

One of the most stressed components is definitely the rotor: the heavier shredders are equipped with rotors of greater section than the light ones. The greater strength allows this component to withstand both the most intense stresses, either to impacts with stones or other obstacles present on the ground.

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All the different components of a shredder are adapted. For example, a light shredder is normally equipped with 2 transmission belts, while those heavy are equipped with 3 – 4 or even 5 transmission belts.

The transmission belts perform a double work in a shredder: they transmit the rotation to the rotor but, at the same time, they also work as a clutch, sliding in case of excessive load. This function protects the drive components, the rotor and cutting tools.

Being positioned on the side of the machine are protected by a crankcase. Important that the latter is properly sized to limit the space requirement, provide the necessary safety for the operator and, at the same time, robust enough to perform its function even in case of impact.

Would you like to learn more about the shredders functioning? We have selected an in-depth study dedicated to this very topic.

Forigo Roter Italia is a world leader in the production of fixed, mobile and folding rear and front forage shredders. Are you curious about the different types of shedders we provide? We invite you to consult the dedicated page on the website or contact us to receive more information about our solutions.


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Agrotti Michele

Written by Agrotti Michele

Graduated in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies at the University of Padua, in Forigo Roteritalia he is involved in training and consulting for Italy and foreign Countries.

Forigo ® Roteritalia srl
Via Brennero Nord, 9
456035 Ostigila
Mantova - Italy


+39 0386 32691
+39 0386 31250

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