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stump grinders

Discussion in 'Tree Climbing, Pruning, Felling' started by MowDaddy, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. CarolinaWater.org

    CarolinaWater.org LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    I have recently thought about adding the service as well, more less something to keep busy with in the winter months here. There are a couple of guys who just grind in my area, and they seem to stay busy.

    The used equipment that I have available locally and am debating on is:
    2004 Vermeer SC252, unknown hours, $8600
    2002 Rayco Super JR 1625, unknown hours but looks ok, $8400 w trailer
    2010 2500 Carlton in excellent condition. 444 hours $8900
    2010 Toro STX, 800 hours, looks nice, $9500

    All these machines have gas engines in the 25hp range. I am leaning towards the Toro STX because its low maintenance and hydro drive head and has no belt to change, I hear the poly chain belts are several hundred dollars and somewhat easy to break.

    Anyone have any advice on these machines?
  2. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,964

    The stump grinding pros generally prefer Rayco, Bandit, and Carlton machines. The Vermeer SC252 has many design shortcomings. Vermeer parts support for their grinders is marginal at best. I will say the 252 is a popular machine used by tree companies who only grind part time.
    Carlton is the top brand of stump grinders as far as ease of use, excellent design, excellent build quality, efficiency, and factory parts support. Bandit is not far behind. Rayco builds some nice machines, but always seems to be about one generation behind in their designs. The Rayco 1625 is a nice little machine for part time work, and can handle larger stumps, just a little slow on the big ones. In fact, I started my stump grinding business with a Rayco 1625.
    Stay away from the Toro. It is not balanced properly and thus is awkward to grind with in my opinion. Our local rental house had one, and he did not keep it long. Most users said it was inefficient and awkward to use.
    When buying used, be aware that 1000 hours is a lot of hours on a stump grinder. They take a beating and require top notch maint. to keep them in good operating condition.
    Here is my rating for the ones you isted:
    2. Rayco
    3. Vermeer
    4. Toro
    The low hour Carlton should be a great machine if it has been maintained properly.
  3. CarolinaWater.org

    CarolinaWater.org LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    Hope I didn't hijack the thread, I assume this information will be useful the OP who started the thread and is looking to purchase a machine.

    Thank you for the advice Mowingman. Can you give me any real world advice on the poly chain belts as to how long they last approximately. I know that it probably varies greatly based on many factors, however a general idea of say 50hrs or 10hrs of use before they need to be replaced?

    Any advice in what to look for in a used machine is greatly appreciated! I know my way around mowers and know what to look for with the engine and hydros, but not sure about the cutting wheels and such. I see several with "Green teeth" and have looked them up and found them to be reasonable in price.

    I'm going to have to look at the Carlton machine a little harder after reading your last post. I attached a picture of it from the Craigs list ad.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    Carlton OX.jpg
  4. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,447

    I normally sub grinding out and only rent a toro when I have lots if small jobs spread out. If I had to run that machine all the time I would find a new line of work.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. West Property Maintenance

    West Property Maintenance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    If you have a skidsteer with high flow there is one that attaches to the skidsteer. Its a great unit that does the largest stumps quickly and gets down deep in the ground! Great tool to have if you have the work to justify the cost!
  6. OP

    MowDaddy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,739

    To my post above. Any clue to how many stumps in 8hr shift is realistic to do? 10 to 12 in ave stump size. ? Oak.Birch. maples. A couple pine.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. West Property Maintenance

    West Property Maintenance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Alot is going to depend on set up time and clean up and break down too. If it winter you won't need mats for the lawn if the ground is frozen. If its not then you will. How are you going to clean up the chips? How deep in the ground are you going to grind? To do it right you need to get down to the roots so the tree dies and does not start to regrow. How are you going to get the material out of the property once it is ground? As for the grinding part, the skidsteer one would go threw a 12" tree quickly. But it is one of the more exspensive machines to own if you don't already own the skidsteer.

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