Walk behind stump grinder? Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by MooseMan89, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. MooseMan89

    MooseMan89 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Hi guys, and thanks for looking.

    I have had my eyes on some stump grinders recently because I run into customers that I cut their grass, who ask me if I grind stumps or know anyone that does. So I thought I should purchase one.
    I looked at a bunch and they're all over my price range.. Except for this Rayco rg 25HD that is a walk behind with a trailer, and the guy is willing to take $1,500 for.

    He said he bought it used from a guy (who was out of the business) to grind a load of stumps in his home and in his second property. He also used it to grind stumps for family members. But now he has no use for it and wants to get rid of it for a nice dirt bike. So he said he's willing to take $1,500 for it or trade for a nice clean bike... What do you guys think? Is it worth it? Do these smaller walk behind grinders get the job done? Are they fatiguing??

    Its self propelled with a 22 hp kohler engine. I called the local dealer and they quoted me with 10,000 for a new one just like it. Should i buy.. He's 3.5 hours away from me. I'm looking to meet with him tomorrow. Any opinions?

    Here is a pic

  2. Kkane97

    Kkane97 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 657


    I found a vid of a newer one for you, seems kind of older. How are the teeth on it? My uncle bought one and the teeth were junk after getting it home and looking it over, and they werent cheap to replace,
  3. Tizzy

    Tizzy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 383

    if you are only going to use it for odds and ends stump grinding. you can pay it off fast. for only 1500. but if you plan on picking up stump grinding jobs on a regular basis its not worth it. as they are really only good for small stumps. when you get up to the 12" diamater or larger its going to be a pain to grind with it. and they take a lot longer to grind with than a full size one.

    but for 6 or 8 stumps a month its a good tool to have. i have a vermeer 252 but we do tree removal and stuff so we can be running it 40 or more hrs a month. ours will easily do a 30" stump but it take about 45 min.

    you have to consider how much use its going to see. also check the teeth b/c if they need replacing they are very expensive.
  4. Tizzy

    Tizzy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 383

    side note* if you are doing a larger 12-16" hardwood stump its going to give you a workout.
  5. MooseMan89

    MooseMan89 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Thanks a lot for the input. He said the teeth are practically new. He only grinded 4 stumps since replacing the teeth. But you're right about it being fatiguing when getting into the larger stumps.. This sucks. I don't want to pass out trying to grind a 15" stump.. especially since it gets in the three digits in the summer here. I guess I'll have to wait and see if I can find a bigger one at a good deal. I have one customer that I maintain his property and he has about 30 small stumps (6-10 inch diameters) that he was trying to pay me to grin them. But seeing a youtube video of this machine.. it looks pretty slow.. it'll take me all weekend to grind these up, if not longer.. I want one that pulls smaller stumps right off the ground.. like the 4" stumps or smaller, some machines can pull them off the ground rather than grind them..
  6. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,714

    I have been in the stump grinding business for almost 10 years now. I would not own one of those "mankillers". Will they do the job? Yes, if the stump is under 8", or if you want to spend 6 hours grinding an 18" stump.
    Will it wear you out and make you tired? Yes, in about 15 minutes you will wonder why you ever bought that thing.
    Here is a better option. Instead of wasting money buying something you will use just now and then, go rent one when you need it. Home Depot rents them here for $124.00/day, including the trailer. Some rental places have that size grinder on half day rates. Rent one, and you will probably never want to use one again, let alone buy one.
  7. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,714

    Forgot to mention, if you just have to have a machine like that, then this is a deal. Heck, that special Rayco trailer is probably $800.00+, all by itself.
    Also, I wonder why he is selling it so cheap??? Stolen??? Learned his lesson the hard way about how hard these are to operate and make any money with???
    The price is a bargain though, if it runs good.
  8. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    that machine is a waste of time, i would just rent a self propelled one like the rayco 1625 super jr or whatever it is, i rented one for 225 for the day and put 2,000 in my pocket for grinding 14 stumps which took almost 6hrs. they were right across the street from each other. my dad had a rayco tow behind one with a 44hp duetz diesel engine with a 24" wheel that thing would blow through stumps 3' in diameter in 20 mins, then the crank snapped. i would go with the biggest stump grinder you can afford, and try to get a diesel engine too, the bigger the wheel the faster it will grind, with my dads old machine you could grind a 1/2"-1" per swipe, with hardwood, soft woods would go crazy fast. 6" stumps would be destroyed in about a minute, and I used to charge 30-40 dollars for stump that size if there were quite a few of them at one house, if there was only 1 there would be a 50 dollar minimum, but there's a lot of money in stump grinding, if you have the extra money get a machine and go to town, probably gonna drop 10,000 on one of the bigger machine with a 40-60hp diesel engine and bigger wheel but its worth it.

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