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Alpine Magnum Stump Grinder

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by work4green, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. work4green

    work4green LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    I was wondering if anyone here has this stump grinder? How do you like it? Does it perform as advertised on the web site?


    I've been considering buying one for several years, but never had a pressing job large enough to justify another piece of equipment. I have a customer that had his timber cleared, about 3 acres worth. He wants the stumps ground and the soil prepped for planting fescue. It doesn't need to be a real manicured lawn, just a field that is smooth enough for mowing with a large rider/zero turn.

    I'm trying to find a skidsteer mounted grinder to rent, but haven't found one available in my area. I would rather spend more time grinding and a little more money up front to buy a machine that can be used for the next several years, instead of turning it in after a week. Eventually I'll buy a skidsteer mounted brush cutter and stumper, but I currently am specializing in smaller brush cutting jobs.

    I'm also open to any other ideas for cleaning up this lot. Someone has already pushed the larger debris into piles, and has been burnt. We just need to do a final cleaning, remove the stumps, and prep the soil.
  2. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023

    We have had a couple stump grinders in our rental fleet, The first one I don't remember the name but was a manual operated pull behind type and it would beat you to death. We now have a Vermeer 222 all hydro operated and even it still bounces around while grinding. I have also ran a Raycor the size of the 222 and it did also. Unless you are one hell of a big man this thing will turn you every which way but loose and you will know you been grinding stumps for days after.

    Good Luck
  3. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    I can guarantee if I had three acres of stumps, thats not the machine I would choose to grind them out with. Altho I can see where it might come in handy around a bed area such as shown on their webpage. One day of running that machine would put a big man in the hospital. It might be alright for the occasional stump, but you will be much better off renting the proper machine for a 3 acre job or subcontracting to someone that has the right equipment.
  4. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,889

    that thing looks dangerous to me.
    I have a Rayco super jr. 1620.
    Its a great machine for doing most stumps up to 30" anything over that requires extra time spent per stump. Raycos & Vermeers are usually availible at rental places. Also, you need to take note of the fact a stump grinder is a high maintaince machine, teeth need sharpening and replacement quite often and the motors are worked very hard, I replace my super teeth about once every 3 months at 300 bucks a shot. I just replaced the motor and had to replace the king pin last fall, these machines take a beating for very llittle ROI
    think this thru before you get into it, when I started out doing stumps there was lots of business for it, now everybody and their brother is out there cutting the rates worse than lawn care. My grinder sits in the garge most of the time now because I wont run it for the rates people are quoting around here.
    I just cant see tearing up equipment for no profit.
    I may consider selling for the right offer, if you are interested.
  5. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    Stumper is correct. When i started grinding stumps, no one was doing it. Now there is two more just on my street alone. Maintenance is a big issue. I advertise stump grinding on the side of my truck, I only take the good jobs now. I use a attachment for my Ventrac tractor. With the 31hp turbo diesel and the maneuverability of the tractor, I can make short work of a lot of small stumps and big stumps aren't really a problem either. I just go at them from different sides until I get cut down. I can do a 4 ft dia maple in about an hour. White pines seem to be the worst.
  6. work4green

    work4green LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    Thanks for the advice guys. I spoke to Keith at Alpine yesterday. He was very helpful, and thinks 3 acres is very 'doable' with this machine, compared to the walk-behind models other versions offer. He says the difference is the cutterhead speed...

    I think a skidsteer or hydrostatic tractor/pto mounted one would be the BEST way to go, but I have yet to find one available, rental or from a sub-contractor.

    There are a few stump grinders around here. I specialize in cleaning brush in areas that noone else can efficiently reach, and this equipment would fit in great with that. I can probably almost eliminate regrowth using something like this in areas where a larger machine can't reach. I'll probably get one in the future for other work, but am still debating on whether it would be ok for this job.

    Stumper, appreciate the offer, but you're a little far away, shipping would kill me. :dizzy:

    EDIT: I get a lot of requests for customers for stump grinding, often they already have a stump to grind before I'm on the job. It would be an easy way to pick up some extra income, especially if the (90lb) grinder is on the truck/trailer all the time anyway.
  7. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    I think the Alpine machine Might be fine for the ocassional stump, but i dont care what the sales man told you, that machine is to small and to labor intensive to take on 3 acres of stumps. Can you do it, sure, but plan on being there for a while. And dont be fooled by the cutter head speed. If you want to see how the fast cutter head speed will work just take your chainsaw and use the tip of the bar to grind a few stumps, which is basicly what the Alphine machine is, A chainsaw with a cutter head attached.
  8. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,213

    With three acres, I would pull them out instead of grinding. As they rot over time you will have depressions and any Pines will attract Ants.

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