Stump Grinders


Old 01-31-07, 10:32 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Frozen Tundra, WI
Posts: 304
Stump Grinders

I have a boat load of stumps I need removed. I am competent at running machinery, however, I have never run a stump grinder before. I am considering renting a large one (~1800 pounds) and was told by the rental place it should take about 20 – 30 minutes per stump (and they told me it is a piece of cake to operate). I am not sure of the make and model, all he told me was the weight and hydraulically controlled.

My questions, is the learning curve to operate such a piece of equipment pretty quick? Is his time estimate per stump high or low (I am looking at 10-24” stumps, up to 6” above ground to ground to at least 3” underground). I know it would depend on the grinder itself, but I am looking at ballpark.

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Old 01-31-07, 10:59 PM
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Sorry Dave, I have no idea. I've never used one. Keep checking in though, as someone here will probably reply with a little more helpful info.
Old 02-01-07, 03:49 AM
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Sorry, the other mod can't help either but stay tuned.
Old 02-01-07, 10:03 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Frozen Tundra, WI
Posts: 304

I orignally posted this over in the Landscaping area figuring few people actually owned a stump grinder, but those who landscaped may have used (rented or borrowed) one. I thought this forum was more for consumer owned power tools (the only owners of industrial stump grinders would most likely be the owner of a tree removal or landscaping business, or someone with a lot of money to spend that likes very expensive toys.

Thanks a bunch for the replies.
Old 02-01-07, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Where the cows roam, CA
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Dave...I'm terribly sorry. I moved your thread to the Outdoor Power Equipment topic. I thought it would be best answered there. I apologize for that and will copy this thread in the Landscaping topic in hopes one will have a response for it.

Please accept my apology
Old 02-01-07, 11:06 AM
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Location: Frozen Tundra, WI
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No problem

No problem, I was weighing each forum, it could have been either/or (I was actually going to do both, but the one time I did that, I was told I should avoid doing so).

Apology accepted but not needed .
Old 02-01-07, 11:36 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Hi Dave,

I was going to answer this for you but it got moved and I thought you might get a better answer there. Sometimes we just aren't sure where to put some topics!

Anyway, back to your questions. I have not used one, but watched them used several times. It would be most helpful if you knew the make and model number for more research about the particular model. I 'hang around' some arborists boards and could further research this for you.

Something I have read about using these is that often it takes about 10 seconds for the blade to stop rotating once shut off. Safety is of the utmost importance when working with these. If anyone is nearby while it's running there should be a spotter. Anyone wearing earplugs or ear mufflers needs to stay away, especially if they are using something like a blower which drowns out any noise. There have been accidents where people back into them this way and are injured when raking or using a blower. Even the remote controlled models don't stop spinning immediately when they are turned off.

You really should have someone with you while running this in case there are problems. Safety gear would also be helpful in the form of heavy shoes, eye protection, long sleeves and long pants.

Hopefully others will have more helpful info.
Old 02-01-07, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: somewhere down in texas
Posts: 506
we usually hire the grinding out. if you have that many, i bet you could get a good rate. other than that, i have only rented one once and it was the small walk behind unit. i found it to be useless on the stumps we wanted to grind[12-20"], especially if the stumps were green. if yours are seasoned so to speak, they should grind pretty easy.
Old 02-01-07, 05:14 PM
WGW is offline
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Ontario
Posts: 313
I rented a stump grinder last summer.
It weighed in at about 600lbs and worked great.
I'd say the estimated time you were given for each stump is about what it took me.
I had five spruce stumps, each about 15" across and took them down 6" below ground. I got comfortable enough with it to grind out the roots that protruded along the ground as well.
The hardest one I think was a maple and about 30" across but I took it down about a foot below ground level because of the wifes planned landscaping ideas.
That was the first time I'd used one.
The hardest part was pushing it up the ramps I'd made to get it in my truck for return it.
If you take on the remember to wear ear/eye protection and you'll want work gloves as well.

Hope that helps

Old 02-08-07, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 948
not much of a learning curve. you'll get a feel of where on the stump the machine grinds best, usually the edge. make sure the teeth have a good square edge, not round. it should throw chips not dust. the physical aspect will get to you first, lot's of man handling. get a self propelled unit.
wear gloves to isolate vibration, hearing protection, and goggles. before you obtain the machine, flag all of your stumps so you don't miss any. i take out around 40 per year and don't look forward to it.
Old 02-12-07, 06:25 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Frozen Tundra, WI
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Make and model

It looks like I would be renting a Vermeer SC630. If I had my choice, I would love to get one of the units that drive on a track (I think a company called Bandit makes one), but I am sure that is too much for me.

Anyhow, I am probably going to hold off on the rental because we have about 7 or 8 more trees to take down this spring. If I wait til fall or next spring to grind them up, hopefully the older stumps will have cured even more and the newer stumps will be a little easier to grind.

Thanks for the input!

Old 03-05-07, 01:08 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 14
Stump Grinders

Dave --

I'm not sure if this post will reach you before you have accomplished your task, but figured I would give you my 2 cents.........

I am by far not an expert -- a weekend warrior at best, but I have rented a Vermeer Stump Grinder on 2 occasions (not sure on the model #, but it was a walk behind, 4 wheel driveable type). Here's what I can tell you based on my experience:

The amount of grind time depends of the size, depth, type and condition of the stump. I have ground out 2 foot diameter stumps in 30 minutes below the surface, and the same has also taken me 3+ hours. Reason? The harder the wood and the less decay, the longer the grind will take. My suggestion -- prior to grinding, make sure you have cut the stump as low to the ground as you can with your chainsaw.

Also, as a safety tip: make sure that you operate the unit perpendicular to the area you are grinding -- i.e. don't grind sideways on a hill. Why you ask? Because I learned from personal experience that it takes 4 grown men to right-size one of those machines back up! Good thing it was a rental....

Fortunately -- the debris it leaves behind makes mountains of good mulch. GOOD LUCK!!!

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