Welcome to ArboristSite.com! Log in or Sign up to interact with the ArboristSite community.

ArboristSite.com Sponsors
 
 


  1. Please see this post Click Here Please ask questions if you have them!! I hope this is going to be great for us all.
    Dismiss Notice

Talk me out of a push behind stump grinder?

Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by Bwoell14, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. Bwoell14

    Bwoell14 ArboristSite Lurker

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Central Florida
    The possibility of adding stump grinding to my tree service has me puzzled. We're a small tree service in FL and I'd like to advertise to do stumps also. I found a used Toro 13hp and a Bluebird 13hp stump grinder for sale. Everybody says I should drop the cash and get a big one but dropping $25K and not knowing how busy I'll be is a big risk. What do you think?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  2. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    2,001
    Likes Received:
    832
    Location:
    lombard, il(chicago)
    They do grind stumps slowly but they do grind.... how big is your average stump? A vermeer 252 or similar would be world's better and be had for far less then 25k. But if you like abusing your body and have nothing else to do with your life feel free to buy a 13 hp machine.

    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
     
    SeMoTony likes this.
  3. CanopyGorilla

    CanopyGorilla climber....sawyer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    369
    Location:
    N Western, MT
    I bought a dingo for $11,000 a BMG for $2,300 and a quick attach stump grinder for $4,500. One machine with multiple uses for $17,800. The stump attachment has actually exceeded my expectations, and the grapple saves days of rolling firewood.
     
    Oldmaple and Conquistador3 like this.
  4. Bwoell14

    Bwoell14 ArboristSite Lurker

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I'll have to look into the Vermeer 252. We are doing mostly smaller stuff but if I advertised for stumps too, I'm sure I'd get some bigger stuff that's been cut down by somebody else without a grinder. It's the small initial that attracts me to the cheaper handheld.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. Conquistador3

    Conquistador3 ArboristSite Guru

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    523
    Location:
    Europe
    I don't know if something similar is available in the US as well, but you may want to look at something like this: http://www.caravaggi.com/fresaceppi-serie-sp-2/?lang=en
    It was envisioned exactly to bridge the gap between the 12-15hp push units and the big expensive four wheel units using twin cylinder engines.

    Alternatively less than 25 grands will buy you a fully reconditioned second hand 1.5 ton escavator with plenty of life left and a stump grinding attachment. Those small escavators can get almost everywhere, are easy to transport and are a Godsend in many jobs.
     
  6. AGoodSteward

    AGoodSteward Power Head

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    1,052
    Location:
    Billings
    The man powered stump grinders will work you ragged. I used to rent the bluebird one for a few years. Bought a 222 and it paid for itself in 2 months. I just talked to a guy who is starting up a service here. He rents a nice tracked unit from the Vermeer dealership. Saves up and does all his stumps in 1 day/mo. You'll regret putting good coin into the underpowered junk. Use it as a down payment on something nice.
     
  7. TheJollyLogger

    TheJollyLogger Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    2,180
    Location:
    Georgetown TX, Fairbanks AK
    Just go rent one for a day, you'll talk yourself out of it.
     
    jefflovstrom and CanopyGorilla like this.
  8. gorman

    gorman Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,139
    Likes Received:
    439
    Location:
    South County Rhode Island
    You will sweat your ass off using one. Hips moving side to side like some cheap Elvis impersonator.
     
  9. JeffGu

    JeffGu Antagonist/Heckler

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    1,136
    Location:
    Osceola, Nebraska
    Those 13HP ones are easy to load/unload from the trailer and move around... but only good for stumps that nothing else can reach. I bought a used Carlton SP-2000 for $3K and it's a beast, by comparison. 30HP, not 13HP and self-propelled. Still, it's work to run it, but it doesn't vibrate you to death or completely wear you out like the little ones do. Paid for itself in one season, and it's plenty big enough for my needs. Fits through a gate, but needs a little more room than the Bluebird types, so a stump in tight quarters can be a pain. Still, I can get it places where the big ones aren't an option.
     
  10. jefflovstrom

    jefflovstrom It was a beautiful day!

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    9,151
    Likes Received:
    2,077
    Location:
    san diego, calif.
    CanopyGorilla likes this.
  11. Zale

    Zale Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    4,443
    Likes Received:
    2,770
    Location:
    Darnestown, MD
    Your competitors will thank you. While your working like a slave and wasting time, they'll be doing the jobs you don't have time for.
     
    CanopyGorilla likes this.
  12. Bwoell14

    Bwoell14 ArboristSite Lurker

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Which did you like better, Bluebird or Toro?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. BC WetCoast

    BC WetCoast Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,558
    Likes Received:
    1,721
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I had to rent a 13 hp toro yesterday when our self propelled machine crapped the bed and we had to finish the job. It works, but whether you should get one really depends on your market. If you're only doing stumps <10", many with difficult access, then it might be a good deal. I saw one guy who had built a carrier rack on his chipper for a small grinder, so was able to grind the stump without having to bring a second vehicle.

    If you get bigger stumps, you'll want a bigger machine.

    To follow others, go and rent a couple of machines and see how they work for you.
     
  14. Bwoell14

    Bwoell14 ArboristSite Lurker

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Thanks. Problem I'm having is nobody rents bigger machines in my area. Closest that rents is a Home Depot outside of my area and that's the Toro 13hp.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. gorman

    gorman Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,139
    Likes Received:
    439
    Location:
    South County Rhode Island
    I would just save yourself the headache and buy a used self propelled. Find one on Craigslist and have some money saved to replace the engine. You can find gas engines for around 2k. Don't bother rebuilding them, they're throw-always.
     
    jefflovstrom likes this.
  16. TheJollyLogger

    TheJollyLogger Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    2,180
    Location:
    Georgetown TX, Fairbanks AK
    It's like any other purchase in this business: a one time pinch, and a month later you cant figure out how you did without it. At the same time, Just like every other purchase, buying too small or lesser quality as a stopgap is almost always a waste of time and money, and you end up buying the one you should have gotten in the first place.

    John Ruskin put it well.

    https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/236559-it-s-unwise-to-pay-too-much-but-it-s-worse-to
     
    Oldmaple, CanopyGorilla, Zale and 4 others like this.
  17. JeffGu

    JeffGu Antagonist/Heckler

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    1,136
    Location:
    Osceola, Nebraska
    I liked the Bluebird a little better, myself, but I can't really say why. Someone else is bound to have liked the Toro better. I didn't think there was a big difference.
    On the other hand, the first time I used the Carlton, I knew I had made the right decision in holding out for a used one I could afford. It has required only a couple of very minor repairs, is a lot heavier and harder to load/unload and tie down to the trailer, but it is also a lot more powerful machine. Slower than the big machines, but a lot faster than the small ones. The teeth don't dull quickly and it doesn't vibrate you or bounce around. You still have to manhandle it into a good position sometimes, but I've found it pays to take your time and let the machine do the work. It might take a bit longer to use the self-propelled drive to make a few moves to get it into a better position, but that beats the hell out of trying to muscle the heavy beast around.

    All in all, I think the John Ruskin quote sums it up well. It has ground stumps that the little ones would take all day to do. It's also taken more than 2 hours to grind one that a big machine could have done in 20 minutes or so. I was looking at buying one of the small ones new, and I'm glad I held out for the bigger machine. I'd be turning down a lot of stumps, otherwise. The used Carlton was in my budget, and is a reasonable compromise. There's no way I could afford one of the big machines with a remote control.
     
    TheJollyLogger likes this.
  18. ArtB

    ArtB ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    155
    Location:
    renton wa
    How deep d the comparative grinders grind? HO contentment the next year?

    Different approach:
    Dig around stump foot or so deep, wash off with hose and small sump pump to drain.
    Easy with the little excavator someone already mentioned.

    Chainsaw off at bottom of hole, backfill with a $15 load of topsoil.
    Did that with a 44" cottonwood stump, no problem.
     
  19. jefflovstrom

    jefflovstrom It was a beautiful day!

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    9,151
    Likes Received:
    2,077
    Location:
    san diego, calif.
    ,,,,.....:dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:,,,,...
    See?,,,,,emotion,,,,,
    Jeff :cool:
     
  20. JeffGu

    JeffGu Antagonist/Heckler

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    1,136
    Location:
    Osceola, Nebraska
    The SP-2000 can cut 27" above grade, 24" below grade. I believe both the Toro and Bluebird are 12" both above and below grade.
     

Share This Page