Purchasing stump grinder. Need recommendations

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Mowingman, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,721

    I am thinking of purchasing a stump grinder, and doing a little of that work as a sideline. I do not know much about these machines. What are some good brands to consider? What is the best size of machine for ease of handling, easy access in tight spots? What size in HP should I look at?
    All comments are welcome. I need to learn a bunch before I plunk down any money.
  2. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,578

    Mowingman, The best advice I can give you is to take a look at one of the sponsors above namely Vermeer.

  3. burns60

    burns60 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    I've noticed Vermeer a lot. One that they make that is hauled on a trailer and you take it down and walk behind and can manuever it into tight places........back yards and such.

    Very dangerous work though. Talk with someone who has been in the business for awhile and get all the facts. A lot more to it than first appears.
  4. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,218

    Ive been in the grinding business now for about 6 years and I would not go with anything less than a 50hp diesel. I have a sc502 and its got enough power to do the larger stumps and its small enough to get in tight spaces. To make the money....go large on machine so you can be productive. You will have many more stumps in the open than fenced in. You can always take down a section of fence if needed. The SC602 is a sweeeeet machine.

    Hope this helps ya.:waving:
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    One comment no matter what kind you decide to buy..these are extreemly dangerous machines..they can kill you in a heartbeat and one second of inattention can really mess you or anybody near you up bad.Please get the proper instruction and practice
    saftey 1st and get good at it bfr you take it out on a job.Then inform any lookielous any parents of children that NOBODY gets within 50' of that machine when it's working..Tape the area off if ya have too.Be sure you know what your doing and always respect this machine..do not let yourself ever become comfortable with it.
  6. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,721

    Thanks for the info so far. So far, I have only come across 3 manufacturers of good, heavy duty machines. I have found Vermeer, Rayco, and Carlton. I would thik there are others, but have not found any more. I was thinking of stayinf with a small machine for the gate access and had not considered a machine as big as 50 HP. I may need to reconsider my thoughts about size.
    I know these grinders are very dangerous, but am used to working around all types of dangerous equipment in the mining and exploration industry.
    I think the market here, is for removing stumps about 36" dia., and smaller. I am sure there will be larger stumps from time to time, but probably 95% will be in that size range. Would I need a 50HP machine for this type work? That sure seems like overkill.
    This is going to be a part-time thing, so a big machine will be hard to justify from a financial standpoint, even if it would make the work go a lot faster.
  7. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    I think Morbark is producing them now as well. Most of the ones I see are Vermeers.
  8. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I have a stump grinding attachment for my 31hp Ventrac. I used to run the same attachment on a 20hp Steiner. There is no subsitute for Hp. If you are planning on 36 in stumps on a regular basis, bigger is better. My attachment on the Ventrac will out cut a Carlton 25hp self propelled machine and since it is mounted on a 4x4 tractor, I can cut stumps you cant get to with the Carlton, plus its faster going from stump to stump. Still the attachment is better suited for smaller stuff instead of 36in stumps. I have ground stumps close to 8ft in dia, but it takes a while and lots of manuvering and repositioning. the regular stump grinders have a larger swing radius which makes cutting larger stumps go a lot faster. I demoed a Rayco with a 65hp engine. the machine had about a 8ft swing radius going from side to side. I ground a 36 in tall stump about 30 inches in dia in about 5 min with the machine. It would have took me 20 or 30 min with my grinder attachment, of course I would have probably sawed the stump lower to the ground before i started grinding if using my machine. Still, time is money, if you plan on grinding lots of stumps, go with the bigger machines.

    Everything that was said about safety is also right on. the grinder will throw large wood chips a long distance, with a lot of force. The cutter head doesn't distinguish between a stump or a persons leg, it just keeps cutting. I accidentally engaged my cutter head on my machine when loading it on my trailer, it very quickly cut the steel ladder style ramps on the trailer into. keep everybody clear when running the machine and always disengage the cutter head when moving the machine from stump to stump.
  9. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    Excellent advice Sheshovel,
    I have a Rayco super Junior that I used to run a lot until the market price got wiped out by saturation, Everybody went out and got grinders, Insurance is also hard to get because of the dangers involved.
    Anyway, Rayco has excellent machines, mine fits thru a 36" gate and I have done several stumps over 8' diameter.(A stump this size takes about 2.5 hrs) Be aware of what is possible to have grown in the middle of all tree stumps and roots, I have found barbed wire, tire irons, crow bars, chain saw chains, dog chains, irrigation pipe, phone and secondary power wires in the stumps and root zones, caution is always required.
    I may be willing to sell my grinder for the right price.
    Its a Rayco 1620 with a new Honda 24 hp engine, new super teeth, and I replaced the king pin 2 months ago.
    PM me if you are interested.
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    :waving: Thankyou Stumper.

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