Where It All Began
An inventor at heart and quick to spot an opportunity, Bert set out to design a 3-point hitch hydraulic log splitter incorporating a two-way splitting action that splits wood in both the forward-and-reverse stroke. With the ultimate goal of designing a log splitter that was safe and productive, he designed a prototype that he tested and modified until he had created a machine that met this criterion. With the full support of his wife Corina, he dedicated himself to building the best hydraulic wood splitters found on the market. Consumers who bought these new 2-way log splitters recognized the quality engineering behind these machines that set them apart from others.
In the late 1980s Bert was approached by a rental operator, asking if he would build a gas-powered version of his 3-pt-hitch splitter for the rental industry. Log splitters were not a popular item among rental stores at the time due to their inherent dangers and liabilities rental shop owners faced if customers were hurt with the machine. Bert worked with rental companies seeking their advice and feedback which allowed him to tweak his splitter to fit this demanding industry. From his experience Bert learned the 3 most important ingredients for success in equipment rentals: first and foremost, the machine must be safe, the maintenance must be low, and the machine must be productive, providing a solution to the end-user.
In 1995, after developing several variations of his log splitter in gas powered, skid steer mounted and 3-pt hitch models, the company introduced a new product line, a wood chipper designed and built with the same ingenuity and durability that made the log splitters so successful. From a one-man operation, Split-Fire Sales quickly grew to be one of the leading manufacturers of hydraulic log splitters and wood chippers serving global markets. As the company continued to grow so did the products they offered; from the addition of excavator mounted splitters to launching additional brands such as the Fast Freddy Winder; an industrial winder for lay flat and larger diameter hose.
In 2012, tragedy struck with the untimely passing of Bert. With tremendous support from the community the Vanderweerd family carried on the torch Bert started. Taking up the helm were his eldest sons; Paul followed by Marco. Keeping to his father’s foot steps, Marco inherited Bert’s eye for innovation and is quick to spot room for enhancement in a design.
Today, Split-Fire offers a full range of log splitters and wood chippers, lay flat hose winders, extension cord winders, 3 point carry all products, industrial waste shredders and steel fire pits.