It all started when Manuel began working in the garden. We had a number of bushes and trees that were either dead, dying, gone too leggy, or were simply not right for the area. He's been doing a lot of pruning, cutting, and digging to tidy things up, and that's left us with a lot of trimmings to deal with.
What to do with all those trimmings? Manuel asked me to check online to see how much it would cost to get someone in to chip everything. Too much! Then I looked into renting a chipper so that we could do the work ourselves - nearly $300 a day - ouch. So ... I began looking on Craigslist. Chipper gets you a lot of golf clubs :) ... but in between there were wood chippers to be had. From the enormously expensive (think 10-20K) to the more reasonably priced. I found two - one in Vancouver at $400 and one in Langley at $450. Since the one in Vancouver was on our way home we checked it out first. It wasn't too bad, but Manuel was hoping for a North American made machine with a bigger engine. After he dropped us off at home he drove out to Langley. And there was Chip - big, red, and born in the USA. Manuel got him for $400.
$400 is just slightly over a days worth of renting a chipper. Since we've likely got several days worth of chipping this is so much cheaper. And after we've done all our chipping we can likely sell Chip and get our money back - not bad for a few minutes work on Google :)