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Stump grinder questions

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by ksss, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    Anybody run a stump grinder off of their high flow skid steer? I am pondering getting one. The one I am most interested in is sold by Skid Steer Solutions http://www.skidsteersolutions.com/Skid_Steer_Stump_Grinders_s/19.htm My question is what is the going rate, how productive are the high flow grinders? Over all is it a worth while area to get in to? I realize that different parts of the country do things different, but if you can share what you know I would appreciate it.
  2. Digdeep

    Digdeep LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,840

    I've seen a guy with a Fecon on his RC100. I've never spoken to him so I can't help you with the performance or billing rate, however, it does throw another manufacturer out there. Good luck.
  3. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    maybe you can dig stumps faster / cheaper with your ex :drinkup: Unfortunatley then you need to dispose, (we have a local 'hog-fuel' grinder that will take for $7/yd)

    Stumpgrinders CAN be 'ez money' - but you need to compete with guys who do that only (base price= $2 per dia inch (dia at ground)), ,,, they heavily discount for multiple stumps + they are much faster, easier move-in for typical residential yard (towed grinder) than a skid w/ attachment, BUT they can't do steep hills and confined / muddy areas

    I use the Bobcat StumpGrinder (on tracked SS) which has some additional degrees of freedom (in movement) than the SSS unit, but that also causes some vibration, but reduces moving machine. It's pretty good and effective on stumps under 30" at base, but...I don't have HF, :cry: ~ 1min/inch (dia) for me, (average, I can do a 12" in about 2 min) BUT the big stumps are a pain, (60" = 1-1.5 hr) as are rocks :nono: The root system gets very octopus and might require chasing for up to 10ft from center, if tree grows in rocks it can suck them up into stump :cry:, and roots go over rocks, causing 'exposed' roots when you come back and grade. (I like the 'grading feature' of the bobcat grinder, an a 'generic' <18" stump, you can grind and blade smooth very fast, and swing around and be into another stump before the usual grinder guy can get his machine backed in.) - Thus the attachments are very productive in a small stand of dense trees on an incline (tracked:) ) where you don't want to excavate. You need quite a few stumps to make it worthwhile. I did over 75 on my last job (worked out to $13/stump @ $65/hr) (as well as lots of grading / brush burning) I like to have ~20 before I will come in to do stumps only. The big boys (stumps only w/ tracked specialized grinder) will come in for $1500/day and take out ~100 stumps, but in general $50/stump is average discounted rate.

    Teeth availability is key...$$$ (bobcat $7 each, 32 total), Vermeer = $3 each, but unfortunatley they are not the same (of course) these are 'green-teeth' (like carbide insert lathe tool, left right and straight) Vermeer likes to get you into a set of 'cast' teeth ($7 each ), they have an index pin, and are faster to change, but not adjustable. A rock strike can wipe out 2-5 teeth in a brief second. :cry: If you don't hit any rocks, you can grind lots of stumps / teeth. The 'big-boys' struggle with rocks too!, but they are often using a 'remote' button and are standing right by the stump and can stop motion at the first contact. Inside the cab, with roar of Full throttle engine behind you, and 4 ft from stump, you have a disadvantage. (sparks / dust are a bad sign...) remember that your grinder wheel is usually 12" buried in chips also. I often have a 3-5yd mound of chips with 24" stump. - bottom line is, there is often quite a bit of hand work in areas with rocks, BUT... nice soil = very fast and ez $$ (sound familiar?)

    Stump Grinders are pretty tough on vibrating the arms, and I wouldn't try it on a light machine. Not sure how the wheeled skid would take to the operation, but the tracked SS seems to stay planted during grinding

  4. jsbiker

    jsbiker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    look or call FAE they have stump grinders also some of the best that i have been around. they are not on the webpage that i could find.
    i think they put money in heads and RD and others put money in ads
  5. cddva

    cddva LawnSite Member
    Messages: 189

    KSSS, did you purchase the SSS grinder? I'm considering the SSS low flow model for my RC50. I like the simplicity of the design and the apparent ease of use and getting better access to stumps in tight areas. However, I'm wondering if the RC50 would get too stressed trying to run a stump grinder, especially one like the SSS where it has no stabilizers. The spring loaded mechanism and bypass circuit on the SSS model would seem like it would prevent you from over-stressing it and consequently the loader. Just wondering if you had purchased one and had any experience with it. If anyone else here has any advice/experience on the subject I'd be interested to hear it.
  6. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    I have not yet. I got side tracked on the 9020 thing and have not bought one yet. I like the design of that one as wll
  7. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    I am not convinced this design is great, especially for $$$. I got my 'Bobcat' SG-60 as part of my 8 attachment 'package deal', so not sure of current price, but think it was $5xxx. It has lots more features and over 2x the number of teeth (which is none too many for high productivity) except if you hit a rock:hammerhead:

    Remember, you can only cut 2"-3" depth per pass, and the SSS is gonna require lots of machine movement. I can do up to 30" dia sitting in one spot and using articulation of the SG-60. I can see the SSS stalling out big time if you are having to move machine to moderate 'feed-rate'

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